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Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:10-16
Unity: Follow Christ, Not Men
1. Unity is a defining trait of Godís people (Gen 13:8):
a. Prophesied, Isa 11:6-9 (peace); Ezek 34:23-25; Jno 10:14-16.
b. Prayed for, Jno 17:20-21.
c. Preached, Eph 4:1-6; Phil 2:1-2.
2. Yet, the body of Christ has been ravaged by division:
a. Because of false teaching, Acts 15:1-2; 1 Jno 2:18-19.
b. Because of carnality, 1 Cor 3:1-3; 4:6.
c. Because of selfish ambition, Phil 2:3 (cf. Mk 9:33-34; 10:35-45; Lk 22:24-27; Jno 13:4-5).
3. Unity does not just happen: it requires devoted and humble hearts, hard work and endurance, Eph 4:3.
I. A PLEA FOR UNITY, 1 Cor 1:10 (2 Cor 13:11).
A. Speak the Same Thing: Gospel of Christ, 2 Tim 4:2-4; Eph 4:4-6.
B. Be Mended Together in Same Mind and Same Judgment, Phil 2:2.
1. Have the mind of Christ, Phil 2:5-8 (be humble).
2. Put the word of Christ in your heart, Col 3:16.
3. Be a servant, not one who expects to be served (Jesus, Matt 20:28).
II. I HEAR THERE ARE CONTENTIONS AMONG YOU, 1 Cor 1:11-15 (11:18).
A. Following Men Divides the Body of Christ. 1:12-13 (Eph 4:4; 2:14-18)
1. Christ is not divided.
2. A man was not crucified for you.
3. You were not baptized in the name of any man.
B. Following Men Produces the Sins of Envy, Strife and Divisions, 1 Cor 3:3; Gal 5:20-21, 13-15.
III. DIVISION AMONG BRETHREN MUST BE IDENTIFIED, ADDRESSED AND CORRECTED, Rom 16:17; 1 Cor 3:3.
A. Preachers are Servants and Fellow Workers in Godís Field, 1 Cor 3:5-9.
1. Preachers are not to be exalted over others, 3:5-7. Who worships a servant?!
a. Preachers are not saviors, 1:13; not authorities over you that you should be named from or by them (or approved by them), 1:13.
b. Preachers are ministers, not lords, 3:5.
c. Each preacher has different abilities (God-given) Ė use them in truth for Godís glory, 3:5.
d. Some, gospel meetings; others, private studies; others, establish new congregations; others, edification and encouragement; etc.
e. Use God-given gift with thanksgiving, 3:6-7 (not with envy, evil suspicions, jealousies and strife), 1 Pet 4:10-11.
2. Preachers must be united in purpose, 3:8-9. We mutually serve the Lord Christ, Col 3:23-24.
a. Results of our work are in Godís hands, 3:8 (3:6).
b. Workers are rewarded because they worked.
c. We are Godís fellow-workers, 3:9a.
1. Unity among Godís people is good and pleasant in His sight, Psa 133:1.
2. God hates one who causes discord among brethren, Prov 6:19.
3. Which person will you and I be: One who promotes unity or who causes strife, factions and division? Rom 16:17-19; Titus 3:10-11