Thought and Purpose
1 Corinthians 1:10
I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.
We don’t have to guess or leave it up to personal preferences what our united thought and purpose should be; Jesus tells us very clearly in his prayer for all of his followers that is recorded John 17...
And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth. I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me...
Humans have divided churches up into denominations. Even a non-denominational church is a denomination in that it’s a denomination that doesn’t declare a denomination. The world will not know we belong to Jesus by the type of church we prefer, for we do not seem united by dividing ourselves up, do we? The world will know we belong to Jesus by our love for one another. And this love must be based on God’s Truth.
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples. (John 13:34-35)
And this love is not random, indulgent, or based on squishy feelings, this is real love defined by God’s truth not the arbitrary thoughts of mankind...
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose... Our united thought is the TRUTH found in God’s Word, and our united purpose is God’s love as illustrated by Christ Jesus. That’s all. We are not united by holidays, wearing buns and skirts, coat and ties, or whether or not we own a tv. We are united by Actual Truth and Real Love. If there is a church out there that doesn’t teach the truth and would rather assimilate to the current culture, then their love is just indulgent and man-centered. Churches with all truth and no love do not represent Believers either. David Guzik says in his John commentary,
· Take love from joy and you have only hedonism.
· Take love from holiness and you have self-righteousness.
· Take love from truth and you have bitter orthodoxy.
· Take love from mission and you have conquest.
· Take love from unity and you have tyranny.
God's Truth and Love go together. Believers should have one thought - God’s Truth and one purpose - the Love of Christ that unites us and doesn’t mislead or distract the rest of the world from coming to believe in Jesus and be saved.
Thank you for making the way for me to belong to your Family. Thank you that because we are people with preferences and different hang ups that there are places we can go for fellowship, but help our fellowships be based on your Truth and your Love so that we may accurately represent you. I love you and thank you for my church family and our united thought and purpose with your Son Jesus, in whose name I pray, amen.