Now I beseech you, brethren - The apostle having finished his introduction comes to his second point, exhorting them to abstain from dissensions, that they might be of the same heart and mind, striving together for the hope of the Gospel.
By the name of our Lord Jesus - By his authority, and in his place; and on account of your infinite obligations to his mercy in calling you into such a state of salvation.
That ye all speak the same thing - If they did not agree exactly in opinion on every subject, they might, notwithstanding, agree in the words which they used to express their religious faith. The members of the Church of God should labor to be of the same mind, and to speak the same thing, in order to prevent divisions, which always hinder the work of God. On every essential doctrine of the Gospel all genuine Christians agree: why then need religious communion be interrupted? This general agreement is all that the apostle can have in view; for it cannot be expected that any number of men should in every respect perfectly coincide in their views of all the minor points, on which an exact conformity in sentiment is impossible to minds so variously constituted as those of the human race. Angels may thus agree, who see nothing through an imperfect or false medium; but to man this is impossible. Therefore men should bear with each other, and not be so ready to imagine that none have the truth of God but they and their party.
Now I beseech you, brethren - In this verse the apostle enters on the discussion respecting the irregularities and disorders in the church at Corinth, of which he had incidentally heard; see 1 Corinthians 1:11. The first of which he had incidentally learned, was that which pertained to the divisions and strifes which had arisen in the church. The consideration of this subject occupies him to 1 Corinthians 1:17; and as those divisions had been caused by the influence of phi osophy, and the ambition for distinction, and the exhibition of popular eloquence among the Corinthian teachers, this fact gives occasion to him to discuss that subject at length 1 Corinthians 1:17-31; in which he shows that the gospel did not depend for its success on the reasonings of philosophy, or the persuasions of eloquence. This part of the subject he commences with the language of entreaty. “I beseech you, brethren” - the language of affectionate exhortation rather than of stern command. Addressing them as his brethren, as members of the same family with himself, he conjures them to take all proper measures to avoid the evils of schism and of strife.
By the name - By the authority of his name; or from reverence for him as the common Lord of all.
Of our Lord Jesus Christ - The reasons why Paul thus appeals to his name and authority here, may be the following:
(1) Christ should be regarded as the Supreme Head and Leader of all his church. It was improper, therefore, that the church should be divided into portions, and its different parts enlisted under different banners.
(2) “the whole family in heaven and earth should be named” after him Ephesians 3:15, and should not be named after inferior and subordinate teachers. The reference to “the venerable and endearing name of Christ here, stands beautifully and properly opposed to the various human names under which they were so ready to enlist themselves” - Doddridge. “There is scarcely a word or expression that he (Paul) makes use of, but with relation and tendency to his present main purpose; as here, intending to abolish the names of leaders they had distinguished themselves by, he beseeches them by the name of Christ, a form that I do not remember he elsewhere uses” - Locke.
(3) the prime and leading thing which Christ had enjoined upon his church was union and mutual love John 13:34; John 15:17, and for this he had most earnestly prayed in his memorable prayer; John 17:21-23. It was well for Paul thus to appeal to the name of Christ - the sole Head and Lord of his church, and the friend of union, and thus to rebuke the divisions and strifes which had arisen at Corinth.
That ye all speak the same thing - “That ye hold the same doctrine” - Locke. This exhortation evidently refers to their holding and expressing the same religious sentiments, and is designed to rebuke that kind of contention and strife which is evinced where different opinions are held and expressed. To “speak the same thing” stands opposed to speaking different and conflicting things; or to controversy, and although perfect uniformity of opinion cannot be expected among people on the subject of religion any more than on other subjects, yet on the great and fundamental doctrines of Christianity, Christians may be agreed; on all points in which they differ they may evince a good spirit; and on all subjects they may express their sentiments in the language of the Bible, and thus “speak the same thing.”
And that there be no divisions among you - Greek, σχίσματα schismata“schisms.” No divisions into contending parties and sects. The church was to be regarded as one and indivisible, and not to be rent into different factions, and ranged under the banners of different leaders; compare John 9:16; 1 Corinthians 11:18; 1 Corinthians 12:25.
But that ye be perfectly joined together - ἦτε δὲ κατηρτισμένοι ēte de katērtismenoiThe word used here and rendered “perfectly joined together,” denotes properly to restore, mend, or repair that; which is rent or disordered Matthew 4:21; Mark 1:19, to amend or correct that which is morally evil and erroneous Galatians 6:1, to render perfect or complete Luke 6:40, to fit or adapt anything to its proper place so that it shall be complete in all its parts, and harmonious, Hebrews 11:5; and thence to compose and settle controversies, to produce harmony and order. The apostle here evidently desires that they should be united in feeling; that every member of the church should occupy his appropriate place, as every member of a well proportioned body, or part of a machine has its appropriate place and use; see his wishes more fully expressed in Romans 15:5. This cannot mean that they were to be united in precisely the same shades of opinion, which is impossible - but that their minds were to be disposed toward each other with mutual good will, and that they should live in harmony. The word here rendered “mind,” denotes not merely the intellect itself, but that which is in the mind - the thoughts, counsels, plans; Romans 11:34; Romans 14:5; 1 Corinthians 2:16; Colossians 2:18. Bretschneider.
And in the same judgment - γνώμη gnōmēThis word properly denotes science, or knowledge; opinion, or sentiment; and sometimes, as here, the purpose of the mind, or will. The sentiment of the whole is, that in their understandings and their volitions, they should be united and kindly disposed toward each other. Union of feeling is possible even where people differ much in their views of things. They may love each other much, even where they do not see alike. They may give each other credit for honesty and sincerity, and may be willing to suppose that others “may be right,” and “are honest” even where their own views differ. The foundation of Christian union is not so much laid in uniformity of intellectual perception as in right feelings of the heart. And the proper way to produce union in the church of God, is not to begin by attempting to equalize all intellects on the bed of Procrustes, but to produce supreme love to God, and elevated and pure Christian love to all who bear the image and the name of the Redeemer.
Christ is leading out a people, and bringing them into the unity of the faith, that they may be one, as He is one with the Father. Differences of opinion must be yielded, that all may come into union with the body, that they may have one mind and one judgment. 1 Corinthians 1:10: “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” Romans 15:5, 6: “Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be like-minded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: that ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Philippians 2:2: “Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” 1T 324.1
All the people of God should have an interest in His cause. There has been a lack of this interest among the brethren in Wisconsin. There has also been a lack of energy. Some think it no sin to idle away their time, while others who love the precious cause of truth, economize their time, and in the strength of God exert themselves and labor hard that their families may be made neat and comfortable, and they have something besides to invest in the cause, that they may do their part to keep the work of God moving and lay up a treasure in heaven. One is not to be eased and others burdened. God requires those who have health and strength of body, to do what they can, and use their strength to His glory, for they are not their own. They are accountable to God for the use they make of their time and strength, which are granted them of Heaven. 1T 324.2
The duty to help in the advancement of truth does not rest only upon the wealthy. All have a part to act. The man who has employed his time and strength to accumulate property is accountable for the disposition he makes of that property. If one has health and strength, that is his capital, and he must make a right use of it. If he spends hours in idleness and needless visiting and talking, he is slothful in business, which God's word forbids. Such have a work to do to provide for their own families, and then lay by them in store for charitable purposes as God has prospered them. 1T 324.3Read in context »
“I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” 5T 236.1
Union is strength; division is weakness. When those who believe present truth are united, they exert a telling influence. Satan well understands this. Never was he more determined than now to make of none effect the truth of God by causing bitterness and dissension among the Lord's people. 5T 236.2Read in context »
Paul had been called to his work by the Prince of life. While Paul had been engaged in the work of cruelly persecuting the followers of Christ, the Saviour had appeared to him and called him to be an apostle to the Gentiles. As an apostle of our Lord, he felt a sacred responsibility for the welfare of the church in Corinth. Under his administration they had not only received but they had taught the truth to others. They had been so enriched as to come behind in no gift. They had been brought into near and dear relation to Christ. 6BC 1083.1
Paul could not, by silence, allow himself to be driven from the field by false teachers—teachers who would introduce false sentiments and theories that might lead honest souls away from the truth. The churches must be guarded, and warned against deception. Christ gave Himself for us, to redeem us from all iniquity, that He might purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. His church must be kept free from all false doctrine (Manuscript 46, 1905). 6BC 1083.2
10. Unity in Diversity—The strength of God's people lies in their union with Him through His only-begotten Son, and their union with one another. There are no two leaves of a tree precisely alike; neither do all minds run in the same direction. But while this is so, there may be unity in diversity. Christ is our root, and all who are grafted into this root will bear the fruit which Christ bore. They will reveal the fragrance of His character in the talent of speech, in the cultivation of hospitality, of kindness, of Christian courtesy and heavenly politeness. 6BC 1083.3Read in context »