GOD DESIRES UNITY IN THE CHURCH
I. TEXTUAL THOUGHTS
1. 1 Cor 1:10-13 - Paul pleads in the name of Jesus that there be no divisions in the body.
2. 1 Cor 3:1-4† - Envy, strife, and divisions are evidence of worldly nature.
3. 1 Cor 3:5-11 - We are Godís fellow workers, Godís field, Godís building.
4. 1 Cor 3:18-23 - Do not boast in men, for we belong to Christ.
II. THEME:† Because Godís will is unity in the body, division is a violation of Godís will. Following men and human wisdom creates division, and is evidence of worldliness..
1. In the name of Jesus, be perfectly united in mind and thought.
a. Be united by agreeing with one another (1 Cor 1:10, Phil 2:5-11).
b. Be united by not following men (1 Cor 1:11-13).
2. Division is evidence of worldliness and immaturity.
a. People who practice division are called babies (1 Cor 3:1).
b. Envy, strife, and divisions result from following men (1 Cor 3:1-4).
c. The mature, spiritual nature is fixed on Jesus, not on men (1 Cor 1:13, Heb 12:1-2).
3. We should be united because we are working together for the same purpose.
a. We are working in the same field, working for God (1 Cor 3:9).
b. We are responsible for doing our work well, trusting God to give the increase † (1 Cor 3:5-7).
4. We must follow Jesus, not other men.
a. Following men is a sign of immaturity (1 Cor 3:1-11).
b. Trusting the wisdom of men is of no value (1 Cor 3:18-23, 1:21).
III. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS
∑ Unity of the church is the result of following Jesus faithfully. We should only follow men who are setting the proper example of following Jesus (1 Thes 1:5-11, 2 Thes 3:9-14, Philip 3:16-21).
∑ Some men create divisions to get some advantage for themselves. We should identify those who teach divisive doctrines as false teachers (Tit 3:9-11, 2 Pet 2:1-3, 2 Cor 11:12-15).
∑ We should not trust our own wisdom to find some special understanding of Godís word. The message is simple and easily understood (1 Cor 1:21-29, 2:1-10, 2 Cor 1:12-13).
∑ God resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble. We should teach with love and simplicity, lifting up Jesus, not bringing attention to ourselves (2 Cor 1:12-13, 2 Cor 11:2-4, Eph 4:1-3). A preacher who wants to rule in everything for the church should be corrected.
∑ The unity of the church is based on it being the body of Jesus. Members may not agree on all our opinions. It is knowing Jesus that gives us unity, not knowing all the right answers (Rom 12:3-5, Rom 3:21-27, Eph 3:14-21, Rom 14:4-6).
IV. MEMORY VERSE: 1 Cor 1:10 - ďI appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.Ē (NIV)