“I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you.” (1 Corinthians 1:10&11 NIV84)
Much of Paul’s letter to the church of Corinth addresses the issue of division within the church. I find these verses on division to be pretty condemning for churches today. Division seems to be common place in American churches right now. I don’t know too many Christians who are active in their church who don’t highlight division as their No. 1 pet peeve. Something deep within us knows that there shouldn’t be division among us, but sadly, we accept it to be the norm today. What is the problem? What is the root cause of the division and infighting within so many congregations today?
Yes, the obvious answer is Satan and our sinful nature. But, what door is he using to begin his destructive work? I personally believe it is the idea of “one-mindedness” (“homothumadon” in the Greek). Paul used the phrase “united in mind and thought.” He made the assumption that this is how we, as Christians, should be as we work together in the kingdom of God. The Greek word is used several times in the first five chapters of the Book of Acts. Each time it was used as a description of how the young Christian church responded in unity to whatever challenge it was facing at the time. Here is the key point: We are members of the body of Christ, in which He is the HEAD! He provides the mind and the thought of/for His Church. It is His kingdom! He is the one with the plan. Too many times we put ourselves in the place of headship, and we do not belong there. We need to return back to the spirit of homothumadon. We need to be first and foremost united to Christ as our head. If we all focused on Jesus (instead of ourselves), we might find the Spirit of God drawing us all into unity of mind and thought. Understand, there were times in the early church (Book of Acts) that the believers were of one mind. They were described as one mind when there were more than 5,000 in their numbers. If it was possible then, it is possible today. We just have to get our hearts and minds in the right place.
Today, may we consider our place in the kingdom of God (body of Christ) and rest comfortably in that place, as long as it’s not the head.