As Christ followers we are united around one thing. That Jesus, Deity wrapped in flesh, was crucified for all mankind for the forgiveness of our sins, and that He conquered death by being raised from the dead. Evangelicals agree that we can surrender our lives to God, and that He transforms us through the indwelling Holy Spirit.
The Believers in Corinth believed in the Risen Christ as well, but they found themselves disagreeing and taking sides about other issues. Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians addresses this and reminds them that “Christ crucified” is central to faith and unity. Any deviation or doctrine teaching that Christ didn’t die for all mankind is unbiblical and at that point divides us. Paul would not have tolerated misconstruing the message, life, and death of Jesus and neither should we. When Paul uses the phrase, “Christ crucified” in 1 Corinthians 1:23, he is portraying the entire message of God in just a few words. That message is John 3:16 which the late Billy Graham proclaimed when He said “God loves you”.
How can we stay united to the central message of Christ crucified?
- Know the entire message of the Bible which is that God loves you and provided redemption for all humans through the cross of Christ. Anything less is false doctrine.
- Know the person or speaker. Often we read, listen or watch national or local speakers. Research what they write, their beliefs, their affiliations and endorsements.
- Open your Bible. A good life-long practice I use is to always open my copy of the God’s Word when someone is sharing. The Bible is our authority.
- Stay united by abiding in Christ. When we are not daily abiding in Christ we tend to succumb to our own desires, thoughts and opinions. Reading the Bible and praying each day keeps us centered in Christ.
- Proclaim Christ crucified as Paul states in 1 Corinthians 1:23. When we work together to speak of this truth we unite ourselves as the Body of Christ. Share Jesus in your conversations as well as your actions and lifestyle.
- Keep focused on the main truth which is God’s redemptive love for all. We can have differing opinions about some things, but we must stay united on the key truths of the Biblical message.
- Give grace. Live in grace. Speak the truth in love. Overlook non-essential petty issues. Build bridges with people and not walls.
People are going to have opinions especially in our day when it comes to things of faith. Believe what the Bible says. Live in such a way that contributes to unity and not division.
Let the Spirit rule in your life.