10.08.23 AM Bible Class – Nathan Adkins – Introduction to Isaiah
10.22.23 AM Bible Class – Nathan Adkins – Isaiah Chapter 1
10.29.23 AM Bible Class – Nathan Adkins – Isaiah Chapter 2-5
Chapter 2-5 Handout
11.05.23 AM Bible Class – Nathan Adkins – Isaiah Chapter 6
11.12.23 AM Bible Class – Chris Scott – Isaiah Chapter 7-12
Chapter 7-12 Handout
11.19.23 AM Bible Class – Nathan Adkins – Isaiah 8
11.26.23 AM Bible Class – Nathan Adkins – Isaiah 11-12
One of the joys of traveling is meeting New Testament Christians in different places. To attend another congregation and to see the “like precious faith” in the lives and worship of others is indeed a blessing to my soul. It reminds me that Jesus Christ is head of the church, King over the kingdom, and that His last will and testament is understandable and can be followed.
Religious division, however, shrouds those truths from many. Paul addressed this when he wrote, “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” (1 Cor. 1:10). Paul was pleading with those in Corinth to have unity. He had heard from reliable sources that Corinth was divided in following different preachers (1 Cor. 1:11-13) and these fractions had disrupted proper worship (1 Cor. 11:18-20; 14:33).
Paul’s pleading was “by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,” in other words by the authority of the Lord. Paul words were the Lord’s commandments (1 Cor. 14:37). Some have attempted to contradict this truth by misusing the phrase “But to the rest speak I, not the Lord…” (1 Cor 7:12). But what Paul was saying is that the Lord had addressed the previous principles of 1 Corinthians 7:10-11 with His teaching while on earth (cf. Mt. 5:32; 19:9). Paul was pointing out in verse 12 that he was giving God’s inspired instructions regarding matters not explicitly stated by Jesus during His earthly ministry. Jesus indeed had many more instructions to impart that the Holy Spirit would guide the apostle in after Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension (Jn. 16:12, 13). Paul taught the words the Holy Spirit gave (1 Cor. 2:13).
When we stay with the word of God, we will all speak the same thing. Some religious groups try to enforce uniformity in their doctrines, but that is not what Paul means. The Watchtower has its curriculum that each Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses receives and studies so that all are being taught the same exact lesson. Many religious groups follow a liturgical calendar where certain passages and topics are covered on given dates throughout the year. These are not what Paul is referring to. That one can travel to another congregation of Christ’s church in another area of the world and hear the pure word of God is a testament to this truth Paul emphasized in 1 Corinthians 1:10. The churches of Christ do not have some earthly headquarters that controls what each congregation studies every single week. There is no human hierarchy to enforce conformity. The headquarters is in heaven with Jesus Christ ruling over His people (Eph. 1:20-23).
We are not only to speak the same things and have no divisions, but also to “be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Cor. 1:10). As the church, we are a people joined together for a purpose greater than ourselves; the church is greater than the sum of its parts. As Paul explained, “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” (Eph. 2:19-22). Think of the way that different pieces of wood are fitly framed together in mortise and tenon joints. The unity of which we speak then does not mean that we are clones of one another. As Paul later explained to the Corinthians, we each as members of the body have unique attributes that we bring together to serve the whole (1 Cor. 12). Let us be perfectly joined together by God’s word.