1 Corinthians 1:1-17; unity expanded…a common sanctification

It is a miracle that such a diverse group of people found within the body of Christ can get along at all.  That being said, Paul in these verses acknowledges that doctrinal issues can sometimes divide us (see vs 1 Cor 1:10-16).  An important issue here is that Paul was addressing believers (vs 2) so this was not an issue of false doctrine that needed purging but of practical doctrine that was an expression of an individual believer’s ministry of the Holy Spirit in them.  This expression of “practical doctrine” in our walks is fueled by scripture, relationships, beloved teachers and cultural faith traditions.  These varied “faith personalities” can sometimes “bump into” each other.  In his attempt to reunite these varied camps Paul emphasized firstly that the spiritual under-girding of our individual faith expression is the sanctification process.  Paul says in vss 2 and 9, “[we are all] sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling…through Whom you were called into fellowship with His Son”.  While our personalities may be different (thank goodness), as believers what fuels that faith personality is not different, it is a common spiritual source and promise that fuels the varied expressions of our faith. Titus 3:5 says it best “He saved us, not on the basis of our (past, present or future (read faith personalities)) deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.”  It is our common gift and ongoing experience of God’s grace in us that forms the basis for fellowship. If diverse people, brought together by the common experiences of military units, high school classes, fly fishing, motorcylcing, artistry, musicality et al, can form bonds on the basis of past and ongoing experiences, how much more should varied people who have experienced amazing grace be able to appreciate and experience that emotional-spiritual bond in their fellowships.  Furtermore, it is a mark of spiritual maturity to be able to “grow” our individual faith expressions when needed.

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