“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.”
that you all speak the same thing,
The phrase “all speak the same thing” is a classical period expression used to refer to political communities with no faction but friendly relations. It is an appeal to party unity because disunity reduces the strength of the party. The argument is harmony and peace, not a unison of abstract thinking. Harmony of thinking rests on standards of divine truth. A choir singing in unity comes by singing from prearranged notes. A church should have unity of testimony based on principles of the Word.
The church should speak the same thing about the truth. No church with a smorgasbord of belief can be effective in ministry. The church should have unity of vision and philosophy of ministry. This does not convey the idea that rigid dogmatism is the norm. The agreement is agreement based on the Word.
Ro 16:17, Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.
Php 3:15, Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. 16 Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.
Speaking the “same thing” means to speak the same content, not the same words. It carries the idea of speaking from God’s viewpoint rather from a party-spirit of man’s viewpoint. Look at life from God’s viewpoint, not man’s viewpoint. The content of the message of the Corinthian church was disunity, not the message of Jesus Christ. The entire argument against disunity following in this chapter and chapter two attacks human wisdom versus divine wisdom.
and that there be no divisions among you,
The word “divisions” comes from the Greek word schemata, meaning splits, breaches, fissure, tears, rips. Our English word is schism. A division is a schism.
The secular Greek used the word “divisions” for tears in a garment. Divisions in the church were like a person walking down the street with unsightly torn garments. The Corinthians fought over differences of opinion and fell into three parties. The divisions at Corinth were not about doctrine but about preferences, style, and personalities.
Unity comes from what we believe.
The church should get behind its leaders who teach unification of truth. Leaders well taught in scripture bring unity. Leaders ignorant of God’s Word cause confusion and splits. Sound decisions in the church should be based on the Word.
Church splits look like a shabbily dressed person to the world and other Christians. What an unsightly mess! This is all the more tragic if differences come from preferences and personality.