1 Corinthians 1:10-16
Now I beseech you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing…
The Church of Corinth was now lying bleeding of her wounds, given her not by enemies, but by her own children. The apostle applies himself to the curing of this rent and broken Church in this most pathetic exhortation to unity. Note —
I. THE COMPELLATION, "Brethren."
1. A kindly compellation, whereby he endeavours to insinuate himself into their affections; for it is hard for faithful ministers to get people's affections kept where once divisions enter.
2. An argument for unity: he minds them that they are brethren; and it is a shameful thing for brethren to fall out by the ears (Genesis 13:8; Genesis 45:24).
II. THE OBSECRATION, "I beseech you, by the name," &c. Paul turns a petitioner for the Church's peace, and begs of them, as he did of the jailor (Acts 16:28), that they would do themselves no harm, but lay by the sword of contention; and that it might have the more weight, he interposeth the name of Christ. It is as much as if he had said —
1. As ye have any regard to the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, who hath so often enjoined unity and brotherly love to His followers, beware of divisions.
2. As ye love the Lord Jesus, as ye tender His honour and glory, let there be no divisions among you; for the name of Christ sadly suffers by your contentions.
III. THE MATTER OF HIS EXHORTATION.
1. He exhorts them to unity of principles, "that ye all speak the same thing"; for now some were crying one thing, some another, like that confused multitude (Acts 21:34), till some of them came at length to deny the resurrection (chap. 1 Corinthians 15.).
2. He dehorts them from schisms, which properly signifies a cutting in a solid body, as in the cleaving of wood. Thus the one Church of Corinth was rent into divers factions, some following one, some following another; therefore says the apostle, "Is Christ divided?" Where will you get a Christ to head your different and divided party? Through these divisions, it would seem, from 1 Corinthians 11:33, they had separate communions, they would not tarry for one another. The apostle also taxeth their divisions as carnal (1 Corinthians 3:3), where the word "divisions" properly signifies separate standing, where one party stand upon one side, and another party on another side — such dissension, wherein one separate one from another.
3. He exhorts them to amend what was amiss already among them in that matter, to be perfectly joined together, in opposition to their contentions and divisions. The word in the original is very emphatic, and signifies —
(1) To restore disjointed members into their proper places again (Galatians 6:1). It is a metaphor from chirurgeons setting members or joints again.
(2) To establish in the state to which a person or thing is restored; and so it denotes a firm union betwixt the members of that Church as a body, and withal he adds here the bonds of this union, the same mind, that is, the same heart, will, and affections, as the word mind is taken (Romans 7:25), and the same judgment or opinion anent matters; if the last cannot be got, yet the first may.
IV. FROM THE WORDS WE DRAW THESE FOLLOWING DOCTRINES:
1. That schism is an evil incident to the Churches while in this world.
2. That professors ought to beware of it, as they tender the authority and honour of our Lord Jesus Christ.
3. Where schism enters into a Church, there will be great heats, people contradicting one another in matters of religion.
4. That however hard it be, yet it is possible to get a rent Church healed.
5. That it is the duty of all Church members to endeavour the unity of the Church, and the cure of schisms; and particularly, it is the duty of disjointed members to take their own places in the body again.
6. That schisms, as they are grievous to all the sons of peace, so they are in a special manner heavy and afflicting to faithful ministers of the gospel of peace.
(T. Boston, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.
WEB: Now I beg 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 perfected together in the same mind and in the same judgment.