Questions for Littles: By what does Paul plead with them (v10)? What does he ask them to speak? What kind of mind should they have? What kind of judgment? What has Chloe’s household reported (v11)? What have they been saying, according to v12? What questions does Paul ask in v13? What is Paul glad about in vv14-16? What did Christ not send him to do (v17)? What did Christ send him to do? But not in what way? Why?In this week’s Epistle reading, an apostle pleads with the brethren by the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. This must be something important! What is he pleading for? Christian unity!
Now this is the point at which some start nodding their heads. Surely, they think, this means that we shouldn’t emphasize doctrine so much.
But let us look at the kind of unity for which the Scripture here pleads:
Speak the same thing.
Be perfectly joined together in the same mind.
Be perfectly joined together in the same judgment.
This is decidedly not a situation of people being ok with a wide range of theological differences on important subjects!! Instead, this is a call for greater emphasis upon doctrine, so that everyone can be brought to the same conclusions.
The Bible does NOT celebrate doctrinal diversity, and neither should we!!
The stakes are high. The honor of Christ’s name and Christ’s cross are on the line.
The apostle goes so far as to say that he is glad that the only way that someone could honor him in this way is by making a mistake.
I wonder if you or I are like that: relieved when we don’t get much honor, because that means Jesus gets all of it? Relieved when a very unimpressive-sounding sermon is used mightily… because that shoes that Christ’s cross had the power, and we didn’t do much.
What opportunities are you taking to understand Scripture and theology better?Suggested songs: ARP197 “Christian Unity” or HB473 “Blest Be the Tie That Binds”