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September 19, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“And you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.”—1 Corinthians 3:23 (NKJV)
It’s been well-said, “God’s expectations are best seen in His exemplifications.” In other words, God demonstrates what He calls us to through His own personal example. In short, He gives us a personal pattern to live by.
We get a great glimpse of this above, where Paul is building a case for the Corinthian church, which had been plagued by division, to come together in unity. How does He drive home this need? By reminding them “you are Christ’s.” Nobody exists for themselves. They’re all connected to the same Head—Christ—which argues for unity among the different members of His body.
But Paul doesn’t stop there. Notice he takes things a step further by adding, “and Christ is God’s.” What’s that all about? Paul is reminding the Corinthians (and us) that God desires unity so much that He exemplifies it in His own nature and existence! “Christ is God’s,” or put another way, there’s a holy unity between the Son and Father. A unity that Jesus, Himself, further unpacks in John’s gospel: “Then Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner’” (John 5:19 NKJV).
To be sure, we are swimming in the deep end of the theological pool here. We are being let in on the inner-workings of the Triune Godhead. God the Son is sharing how He relates to God the Father. Jesus is revealing that He doesn’t act on His own, but only acts in accordance with His Father. Later on, in the Gospel of John, Jesus will put an exclamation mark on this oneness by declaring, “I and My Father are one” (John 10:30 NKJV).
Dysfunction doesn’t exist between the Son and the Father. There will never be a moment when Father and Son aren’t in perfect, harmonious unity with each other. If only our earthly institutions worked like that! Actually, there is an institution on earth that can function that way . . . the Church!
This brings us back to Paul’s reminder that the body of Christ is to live in unity, and it can as it looks to the example set by Christ and His Father. Granted, our oneness won’t be perfect like theirs, but it will be the closest thing to their sacred oneness that this world can see and know.
DIG: What does Jesus personally exemplify for His Church?
DISCOVER: Why does the Church need to follow this example?
DISPLAY: How might you grow in unity? Make a list of ways you see in Scripture that unity can happen in the Church and then pray over it. Ask the Lord to guide and lead the hearts of His people to unity.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.