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.
For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. 1 Cor. 1:10-11
[“Perfect” means complete, 100%.]
I know this will sound very un-Christian, and it is, but I can tell you right here that I don’t know of many people, brethren, with whom I am “perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” I leave you, the reader, to judge me as you see fit, but that’s a fact I cannot deny. The problem here is with that word “perfect”. If that word were not there in that scripture I would not have needed to make that admission. Had it said “just make sure, somehow”, that would have been just perfect for me. I have hundreds, probably thousands, with whom I am at various levels of agreement with. But the scripture says “perfect”, and that throws a spanner into the whole works for me.
On the other hand, my heart beats with excitement when I consider the implications of this scripture. It is possible for brethren to be perfectly united and be in one accord in everything. Everything! Our mind, our purpose, our will, our speech, and our manner of life. And that is the Godly life, for we are one Body.
As children of God, let us first agree that human nature is way too rebellious for that to happen. I know someone will say that we need to be born again, and we are. But the Corinthians were born again, and they even had the gifts of the Holy Spirit flowing liberally in their midst and yet, as we see, they had “contentions” among themselves!
Clearly, they needed something more. Paul had exactly what they needed: a revelation of the cross. That was what Paul had preached to them at the first instance. In chapter 2, verse 2, he reminds them of the gospel which he first brought them: “Jesus Christ, and him crucified”. In other words, he brought them an understanding of what the cross needed to do in their lives.
But apparently, they had quickly forgotten.
In order for us to understand the gospel that Paul preached, we must first understand that he had received this gospel through a revelation of the Lord Jesus (Gal. 1:12). The Lord Jesus Himself met Paul, then known as Saul, on the way to Damascus and revealed Himself to him in a way we cannot comprehend fully – yet. But the revelation was so clear and powerful in the Spirit that Saul died, and Paul was born! He says in Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
Paul became an embodiment of the character and nature of the Lord Jesus. That was how powerful the revelation of Jesus to Paul was.
We cannot contemplate walking in perfect unity without a heart understanding – a revelation – of this gospel. Indeed, we cannot contemplate being perfect as God is perfect in anything apart from this revelation. When we read the first two chapters of 1 Corinthians we see that by implication, there was another gospel (or gospels) that Paul could have preached to the Corinthians. With his over-sized brain, Paul could have preached them a gospel of the intellect. But he chose not to, because he loved the church. He chose to die – to crucify his life – with Christ through the revelation that he had received, that he might bring life to the church.
We must humble ourselves and pray for a revelation of Christ in our hearts. This revelation is the only thing that can crucify the flesh in our lives and bring about true unity within the Body of Christ.