In the opening lines of 1 Corinthians we already hear the trumpet call to unity as Christ’s church.
1:2 “To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours” [ESV]
The key word here is “together”—we are “called to be saints together with all those who…call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Because he is “their Lord and ours.”
It is so easy to push pass this line as we read through this text. But let this sink in for a moment. Especially in light of where Paul is about to go with the first portion of this letter.
What does it mean to acknowledge the universal church? Are we acknowledging the universal church? Are we honoring of our Christian brothers and sisters across the globe…across the street.
It is a lot easier to seek division from Christians by any other name, rather than to seek fellowship with them.
1:10 “To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours” [ESV]
Paul addresses the church in Corinth but he might as well be addressing “the church of God that is in [enter your city here].” If we find sanctification in Christ Jesus, then we find a common union with people all across this globe who “call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
How quickly we turn our eyes from the Gospel to the writings of theologians who are in “our camp” so to speak. “I follow Tim Kellor.” “Dude, I follow Mark Driscoll.” “I follow Luther.” “I follow Calvin.” “I follow the Pope.” All of these men have written, preached, said things that are worthy of our attention and helpful in our Christian walk; but, if we let our adherence to their writings cause division among us, then we have placed the writings of these men above scripture—which is not such a good thing.
As Christians we are to find a connection in Christ. We are baptized in His name. We profess faith in His name. We all find salvation in His atoning work. We join in common union through the remembrance of His body and blood. And thus as Christ followers all we must seek to unite under the banner of His love.