Today’s passage from 1 Corinthians lacks the punch the first two chapters had, or that much of Galatians had. There is a lot of bridge material here, to get us from Paul’s discussion of unity and the upside down nature of God, onto specific addresses to the Corinthians concerning the things dividing them. So for today, I just want to shortly highlight the idea of Christian unity that underpins so much of 1 Corinthians.
Through these two chapters, Paul ties up the loose ends of the arguments made in chapters 1 and 2, reminding the church at Corinth of the importance of being a united church in Christ. No matter who founded the church, or built up the church, or who leads the church now; all are under God, all receive God’s grace through faith equally.
Paul throughout his ministry has a vision of an authentic, unified Christian community, united behind the idea of One God, One Church. This isn’t to say there won’t be disagreements. But disagreements don’t need to lead to disunity.
We still have this problem today. I don’t mean this to be a screed against denominationalism; I think denominations can serve a good purpose, in that we all experience and find God in different ways, and diverse communities can help people find an authentic church home.
But too often, we let our disagreements stand in the way of being One Church under One God. In the end, as Paul reminds us, we all follow the same Christ, and we all worship the same God. In the end, that is all that really matters. We don’t need further division and disunity, a disunity characterized by character attacks and a lack of fellowship and a general attitude of hatred. We need to recognize that we are all of us, all of humanity, in this together, and try to identify among our common bonds of being children of God, and specifically for us, followers of Jesus Christ.
Next: 1 Corinthians 5-6