October 1, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”—1 Corinthians 1:10 (NKJV)
Yesterday, we saw how Paul was wise in laying a foundation of God’s faithfulness for the Corinthian Christians. They needed to understand how good God is before dealing with how bad they were. If he had just launched in by listing their flaws, it would have just demoralized rather than helped them. But having established everything the Lord had provided in order to transform them, Paul could begin tending to their spiritual wounds.
In the world of medicine, there’s a practice known as “triage.” Its purpose is to speedily evaluate the condition of those in need of medical attention and to prioritize them appropriately. The more life-threatening the need, the more immediate attention is given. Triage is where the person suffering from strep throat and the person suffering from a stroke are discerned and dealt with differently. You can start to see just how important the triage process is because its proper implementation can literally be a matter of life and death.
With this in mind, Paul performs his own form of spiritual triage on the Corinthians by assessing and prioritizing their most critical issue: division. There’s no question on this point, he pleads (literally begs) them to come together so that “there be no divisions among [them].” Pastor Chuck Smith was often known to ask, “When the body of Christ is divided, pray tell who bleeds?” Although the Church of Corinth had a lot of issues, Paul identifies this as the one needing immediate attention, because division was causing this church to bleed out.
The tourniquet was (and still is) unity. But how do you get a multitude of people who are divided against each other to reverse course and come together? By doing what Paul does here in calling them “by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Left to our own, we all have an agenda that we will pursue regardless of how it impacts others. We get locked into what we want and steamroll our way to that goal. That’s how divisions begin and deepen to the everyone’s detriment.
It all goes back to our agenda. But what happens if our agendas are submitted to another agenda? And what if that agenda is what is actually what is best for everyone? When unity happens, the wounded body heals. That’s precisely what happens when we decide to submit our agendas to the Lord’s. When we put Him first and ahead of ourselves, it brings harmony and healing because what Jesus wants is always what’s ultimately best for everyone.
As God’s Spirit performs His own form of spiritual triage on us, we should keep in mind not only the danger of division, but its remedy as well. May our will be in submission to His, and may we glorify Him in our unity.
Pause: What’s the first thing Paul addresses in the Corinthian church and why?
Practice: Do some self-assessment. How does God’s view of division compare to your own? In light of this, identify how your view might need to change and what you can do to align with His view.
Prayer: Lord, I am prone to chase after my own agenda at the expense of others. Help me to break this bent in me by seeking and submitting to Your will instead. Show me where I’m sacrificing unity for my own selfishness and empower me to change. Amen.
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.