ONENESS BY CARING ONLY FOR CHRIST IN 1 CORINTHIANS
Caring for Christ, Not Knowledge or Gifts
The Corinthian believers were rich in all utterance and in all knowledge, and they did not lack any gift (1 Cor. 1:5-7). In other words, they had all the utterance, they had all the knowledge, and they had all the gifts. On the one hand, this is wonderful, but on the other hand, they were divided by the knowledge and gifts (v. 10). They were divided because they were too much in the teachings and the gifts. Because they appreciated knowledge and gifts, some admired Paul, others appreciated Apollos, and still others treasured Cephas. They appreciated these brothers according to their gifts. Eventually, some said that they were of Paul, of Apollos, and of Cephas. The Corinthians were divided by knowledge and gifts. If someone is for knowledge and gifts, eventually he may appreciate one brother and belittle another. Then there will be division. We do not care for mere knowledge, Bible doctrines, or gifts. We care only for Christ.
If we care only for Christ, we can never say I am of Paul, I am of Cephas, or I am of Apollos. People today like to use the suffix -ite. Someone who follows Cephas, for example, is a “Cephasite.” People take such names because they are too much for teachings and gifts. We should not be for teachings or for gifts. We should be only for Christ.
Being Attuned in the Same Mind and in the Same Opinion
In 1 Corinthians 1:10 Paul says, “Now I beseech you, brothers, through 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 attuned in the same mind and in the same opinion.” How can we be attuned to the same mind? In verse 13 Paul asks, “Is Christ divided?” The way to be attuned is in Christ. The Jews require a sign, which is related to gifts, and the Greeks seek after wisdom, which is related to knowledge; but we preach Christ and Christ crucified. To us, the called ones, Christ is God’s power and God’s wisdom (1 Cor. 1:24).
We all need to be attuned by Christ. If we care for something other than Christ, we can never be attuned, and to be sure, we will be divided. We have to be attuned by Christ and with Christ. In 1 Corinthians 2:2 Paul says, “For I did not determine to know anything among you except Jesus Christ, and this One crucified.” Paul seemed to say, “I came to you without a determination to know anything except Christ. Why must you Corinthians know so many other things? You have to be attuned by Christ and with Christ. You have to give up all the teachings, you have to give up all the gifts, and you have to give up all your opinions.”
Some may be offended by my word. They may ask, “What kind of preacher is this? He tells us to drop all the teachings. We have spent many years to learn all the doctrines. Now this man is telling us to drop them.” I would ask such ones to read 1 Corinthians again and again. In chapter one Paul said that the Corinthians had all utterance, all knowledge, and all the gifts (vv. 5-7), but in chapter three he said that they were still infants in Christ. He said that they were still childish, fleshly, and even fleshy (vv. 1-3). Their need was to be attuned by Christ and to grow. This is today’s situation in Christianity. There are many doctrines and gifts, but most Christians are divided by them.
(Enjoying the Riches of Christ for the Building Up of the Church as the Body of Christ, Chapter 13, by Witness Lee)