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THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS - Chapter 1 - Verse 10
Verse 10. Now I beseech you, brethren. In this verse the apostle enters on the discussion respecting the irregularities and disorders in the church at Corinth, of which he had incidentally heard. See 1 Co 1:11. The first of which he had incidentally learned, was that which pertained to the divisions and strifes which had arisen in the church. The consideration of this subject occupies him to 1 Co 1:17, as those divisions had been caused by the influence of philosophy, and the ambition for distinction, and the exhibition of popular eloquence among the Corinthian teachers, this fact gives occasion to him to discuss that subject at length, 1 Co 1:17-31; 1 Co 11; in which he shows that the gospel did not depend for its success on the reasonings of philosophy, or the persuasions of eloquence. This part of the subject he commences with the language of entreaty:—"I beseech you, brethren", the language of affectionate exhortation, rather than of stern command. Addressing them as his brethren, as members of the same family with himself, he conjures them to take all proper measures to avoid the evils of schism and of strife.
By the name. By the authority of his name; or from reverence for him as the common Lord of all.
Of our Lord Jesus Christ. The reasons why Paul thus appeals to his name and authority here, maybe the following:
(1.) Christ should be regarded as the supreme Head and Leader of all the church. It was improper, therefore, that the church should be divided into portions, and its different parts enlisted under different banners.
(2.) "The whole family in heaven and earth" should be "named" after him, Eph 3:15, and should not be named after inferior and subordinate teachers. The reference to "the venerable and endearing name of Christ here stands beautifully and properly opposed to the various human names under which they were so ready to enlist themselves."—Doddridge. "There is scarce a word or expression that he [Paul] makes use of, but with relation and tendency to his present main purpose; as here, intending to abolish the names of leaders they had distinguished them- selves by, he beseeches them by the name of Christ, a form that I do not remember he elsewhere uses."—Locke.
(3.) The prime and leading thing which Christ had enjoined on his church, was union and mutual love, Joh 13:34; 15:17; and for this he had most earnestly prayed in his memorable prayer, Joh 17:21-23. It was well for Paul thus to appeal to the name of Christ—the sole Head and Lord of his church, and the Friend of union, and thus to rebuke the divisions and strifes which had arisen at Corinth.
That ye all speak the same thing. "That ye hold the same doctrine." —Locke. This exhortation evidently refers to their holding and expressing the same religious sentiments, and is designed to rebuke that kind of contention and strife which is evinced where different opinions axe held and expressed. To "speak the same thing" stands opposed to speaking different and conflicting things, or to controversy; and although perfect uniformity of opinion cannot be expected among men on the subject of religion any more than on other subjects, yet, on the great and fundamental doctrines of Christianity, Christians may be agreed; on all points in which they differ, they may evince a good spirit; and on all subjects they may express their sentiments in the language of the Bible, and thus "speak the same thing."
And that there be no divisions among you. Greek, scismata —schisms. No divisions into contending parties and sects. The church was to be regarded as one, and indivisible, and not to be rent into different factions, and ranged under the banners of different leaders. Comp. Joh 9:16; 1 Co 11:18; 12:25.
But that ye be perfectly joined together. hte de kathrtismenoi. The word here used, and rendered "perfectly joined together," denotes, properly, to restore, mend, or repair that which is rent or disordered, Mt 4:21; Mr 1:19; to amend or correct that which is morally evil and erroneous, Ga 6:1; to render perfect or complete, Lu 6:40; to fit or adapt anything to its proper place, so that it shall be complete in all its parts, and harmonious, Heb 11:5; and thence to compose and settle controversies, to produce harmony and order. The apostle here evidently desires that they should be united in feeling; that every member of the church should occupy his appropriate place, as every member of a well-proportioned body, or part of a machine, has its appropriate place and use. See his wishes more fully expressed in 1 Co 12:12-31.
In the same mind. noi. See Ro 15:5. This cannot mean that they were to be united in precisely the same shades of opinion, which is impossible; but that their minds were to be disposed towards each other with mutual good will, and that they should live in harmony. The word here rendered mind, denotes not merely the intellect itself, but that which is in the mind—the thoughts, counsels, plans, Ro 11:34; Ro 14:5; 1 Co 2:16; Col 2:18.
And in the same judgment. gnwmh. This word properly denotes science, or knowledge; opinion, or sentiment; and sometimes, as here, the purpose of the mind, or will. The sentiment of the whole is, that in their understandings and their volitions, they should be united and kindly disposed towards each other. Union of feeling is possible even where men differ much in their views of things. They may love each other much, even where they do not see alike. They may give each other credit for honesty and sincerity, and may be willing to suppose that others may be right, and are honest, even where their own views differ. The foundation of Christian union is not so much laid in uniformity of intellectual perception, as in right feelings of the heart. And the proper way to produce union in the church of God, is not to begin by attempting to equalize all intellects on the bed of Procrustes, but to produce supreme love to God, and elevated and pure Christian love to all who bear the image and the name of the Redeemer.
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