9God, the one who called you into the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful. 10But I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you speak in unity, and that there not be divisions among you. Let yourselves become of one mind and of one opinion. — 1 Corinthians 1:9-10
Unity is really, really hard. It takes a whole congregation to truly live in unity. Just one disruptive person can prevent unity.
I’ve taken two verses together than normally would fall into two separate paragraphs. The reason is that I want us to see the connection. All of Paul’s letters take on the form of ancient letters. There is a salutation indicating the writer and the intended recipient. There is a greeting, in Paul’s case normally â€œgrace and peace.â€ Then in Paul’s writing there is a thanksgiving or blessing.
But Paul isn’t just writing a thanksgiving or a blessing because there is supposed to be on there. He has specific things in mind. Here he tells the Corinthians first that God is faithful. Second, he tells them that God has called them into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ. Do you get the connection here? God is faithful. God has called. God will empower.
Then he calls on them to live in unity. Now Paul already knows that they are not, and he expects them to have a number of excellent excuses. So right here in his blessing he has cut off those excuses.
Unity is God’s call. God is faithful. God will empower us to dwell in unity. It may seem too difficult for us, but it is not too difficult for him.
11I have spoken to you, so that my joy might be in you, and your joy might be complete. 12This is my command, that you love one another just as I loved you. 13Nobody has greater love than this, that he lays down his life for his friends. 14You are my friends if you do that which I command you. 15I no longer call you slaves, because the slave doesn’t know what the master is doing. But you I have called frinds, because everything that I heard from my father, I made known to you. 16You did not choose me, but I chose you, and I appointed you that you should go and bear much fruit and your fruit might remain, so that whatever you ask the father in my name he might give you. 17These things I command you, so that you might love one another. — John 15:11-17