The Same as … What?Bro. David Chancellor
1/2/2005 11:00 AM
1 Corinthians 1:4-13
I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
The same as … what? We all should speak the same thing. If each said they were "the same as" their favorite, they could keep their sectarian unity. This isn’t what Paul was talking about.
Paul was trying to help them see that the goal wasn’t to be different. People, in religion, are trying to differentiate their group from the other groups.
When Paul says, "We all speak the same thing," he doesn’t mean to try to be like each other. He wanted us to be the same as Christ. These were what they were because of Christ. We will speak the same thing when we see to be like Christ. Seek out what Christ wants you to be. "Is Christ divided?" If you just try to be the same as some person, you can be divided. If you work to be one with Christ, you’ll speak what he speaks. You’ll work to understand what he said as he said it. When you read the Bible, seek to know what God intended to get across to you.
1 Peter 4:10-11, 1-2
As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.
That which you speak should be what you received. Received from whom? From Christ. Share what Christ has given you. If others have received from Christ, when they share it, it will agree. Speak it just as God gave it. When you speak as the mouthpiece of God, you don’t want to say he said something if he didn’t.
When Jesus sent out the disciples, he sent them to teach others all that he had taught them. We have the Bible to teach us what is of God. When God shows us something, it will agree with the Bible. The Bible is where the answer will be found. This is what helps us to all speak the same thing.
Peter encouraged them to have the mind of Christ. They should think as he thought, and sometimes this would bring suffering. Not everyone will agree with you. The important thing is to agree with Christ.
Are you pursuing your own thoughts and wishes, or are you pursuing the will of God? Do you try to get in agreement with others or do you try to get in agreement with Christ? The goal is to endeavor to be like Christ.
2 Timothy 2:1-3
Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
Paul encouraged Timothy to follow Christ. It’s not about being like those that brought us the gospel. It’s about following the gospel, not the bringer of the gospel. The important thing is to follow Christ. It’s not wrong to benefit from a good example, but be sure to keep your eyes on Christ. Stability and unity are found in following Christ. When we follow Christ, sameness will be there, because we will be the same as Christ. There will be things to endure as well as things to be understood.
Study the Bible to find how God would have you to live. Find out what Christ stood for and be the same as that.
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
Paul encouraged them to move forward to the calling of Christ. There is more to learn and areas to grow in all through life. It’s not over till it’s over. You won’t make heaven until this life is finished. Keep your eyes on the goal. There are battles to fight and things to overcome. Be in the center of God’s plan for your life. As God helps you know things, grow and learn. We want what God says. Being like some group of people isn’t enough. We want to be like Christ. We want God to be pleased with us, as he was pleased with Christ. Keep your eyes on the one that can help you to win the prize. The Spirit of God helps us to understand the word of God. You try the Spirit by seeing if it lines up with the word of God. Study the Bible to know what it says and what it means. Strive to be one in Christ. We can’t take the traditions of others for the sake of oneness. We need to follow what the Bible says. Don’t follow opinions. They don’t matter. What God accepts is what matters. Observe the commandments of Christ.
Paul wanted the people to be one in Christ. Our thoughts, ideas and opinions need to be in subjection to God. When this happens, we can have real unity.