“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.”
but that you be perfectly joined together
The phrase “perfectly joined together” is a medical term for setting broken bones. The essential idea is to put something back together or to restore it to its original condition. A divided church is like a body with broken bones. They are out of joint with one another. It is the task of the church to set the broken bones of the church. They are to heal divisions within the church. The term was also used for mending nets by fishermen. The church needed mending. The church needed to be fixed into a well-ordered assembly.
“Perfectly joined together” was also used in the realm of the theater. The Greeks wanted to display a god in the play differently than human beings, so they developed a lift for elevating the god over the stage. They cranked this lift over the stage, and Zeus, for example, would say his part, and then the lift would swing him back off stage. Sometimes the lift would bind, and the god would hang over the stage after his lines were finished. The crowd became angry and threw their lunch at the god. Bedlam broke out. The Greek word for “perfectly joined together” in this case would mean tune the lift so that it runs smoothly. The church should correct all their bickering, dissension, and divisions. The church cannot run smoothly with bedlam.
This phrase is an appeal to restoration and restorative action in Corinth. The Christian life is not simply a personal matter but also a corporate issue. The church needs to know how to function as one body (chapter 12).
Unity is a corporate issue.
It is an obligation of the church to take restorative action against the party-spirit and schism. The church cannot function properly in an environment of hostility. We have the choice to heal the church or hurt the church. This is an issue of whether we want to please ourselves or please the Lord.
Ro 15:3-6, 3 For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me.” 4 For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. 5 Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, 6 that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.