We have an overflow of challenging thoughts in our readings today. Paul’s words that particularly arrested our attention was his
“appeal to you brothers by the name of our Lord that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10,11).
This essential factor needs to exist among those who follow Christ. However the believers in Corinth were in disarray because they were following leaders. Paul is stressing that the only way believers can be united is to follow Christ; that they must aim to develop the “mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16), as Paul had done.
“God is faithful”,
“by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (1:9).
God is faithful to believers – and expects faithfulness in response. The failure to do this is the tragedy we read of today in Exodus 32; they were put to the test when Moses delayed – and they failed the test. This was a very great tragedy after they had been given so much evidence of the Divine presence. There are many examples of how, after evidence of divine presence and power has been given that God puts people to the test to see if they are faithful.
Paul writes about the challenge of “the cross” (verse 18). The message of
“the cross is folly to those who are perishing”.
What they could not understand they tried to ignore, yet they were attracted by the dynamics of the Christian movement and the fact that they were
“not lacking in any spiritual gift” (1:7).
So many in Corinth wanted the experiences the church offered but were unwilling to put their minds to understand that Paul
“preached Christ crucified, a stumbling block to the Jews and folly to the Gentiles” (1:23).
God had an objective in all this testing; Paul puts it this way,
“God chose what is low and despised in the world … so that no human being might boast in the presence of God” (1:28,29).
Where there is boasting and human ego, believers will never be united. So often, those seeking leadership, or looking for leaders to follow, are elevating men: this attitude destroys unity, a unity that should be based, not on human wisdom, but on the wisdom that is from above.
What does the word wisdom mean to us? There is no mystery about it. The Greek word for wisdom, Sophia, means more or less the same as in English. Human wisdom has invented the theory of evolution! Earlier the lack of good wisdom caused would-be ‘believers’ to look for what they wanted to believe, as a result we have so many churches and divisions among believers. Let us make sure that in 2020 we read God’s word diligently, absorbing the spirit of it as well as the ‘letter’ so that we are
“united in the same mind”.