“Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”
We now turn to the main body of 1 Corinthians. The first section of the main body runs from 1:10-4:21 and deals with divisions in the church.
Now I plead with you,
With the word “now,” Paul turns to treat problems in the church. “Now” is adversative and contrasts with the introduction (1:4-9). Having stated the Corinthian’s church prerogatives, he turns to their troubles.
The word “plead” means exhort, beseech. The exhortation here is an admonishment. Paul straight away calls for a change based on an appeal to their best side. He does not command but appeals to their love for Christ.
Paul exhorts them as brethren. The Corinthians are in the family of God with Paul. This is an appeal to identity. Christians have a common identity in Christ.
by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Paul bases his appeal on the essence of Christ. The word “name” conveys the idea of essence and represents the totality of who Christ is. Paul says in effect, “Look at the character of Christ. His glory is at stake! Don’t you care what people think about Jesus Christ? Divisions make Him look bad.” Everything we do reflects on Jesus. The person of Jesus is the unifying factor for the church. Disunity reflects on what Christ represents. The church is identified with Christ and what it does reflects on Him.
The basis of Christian living is reverence and love for Christ.
Divisions undermine the witness of the church before those without Christ. The schism in church casts a pall on Christ. People who cause division in the church should take note of the impact this has on the attitude of others toward Christ. Love for Jesus should make a Christian wary of representing Him poorly either before Christians or the world. His glory is at stake. Schism ricochets negatively on Him.
Do you care what people think of Jesus? Do you care how you represent the family of God to the world? If you don’t, then that reflects on your love for the Lord. Look to your Lord and your love for Him before you divide the church. Look to your identity with Him.