Paul wrote [1 Corinthians –17] in a letter to the divided body of Corinthian believers. The church was allowing a disagreement to hinder their fellowship. Paul knew the steep danger of dissension among believers.
Scripture is clear about the church’s mission. Some of its highest goals include sharing the gospel with all nations, caring for those in need, and worshiping together, along with loving, encouraging, and admonishing one another in God’s truth. None of these is fully possible if a church is divided, whether physically or mentally.
God wants His people to “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3, NIV). So if all Christians base their beliefs on the Bible, they should be able to settle every argument according to its truth, right? Unfortunately, it is not that simple. Our human nature, preferences, and different interpretations of Scripture can cause disagreements. Consider, for example, how many churches have experienced strife over music styles.
Tragically, when differences are divisive, our mission becomes blurred and we are ineffective. Just as fishermen cannot catch fish with a broken net, we are unable to effectively share Jesus with the world when our fellowship is not intact....
Are your actions and words strengthening your fellow Christians? Or do you gossip, express negativity, and push your own preferences and opinions? Be careful. God has mandated that our conduct positively impact the church’s unity. This is essential if we are to accomplish His purpose.
~Dr. Charles F. Stanley~