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Where is Wisdom in Unity?

Biblical Authority Devotional: Authority and the Church, Part 14

by Steve Ham on February 9, 2011
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Steve Ham, AiG–U.S., shows how true unity is only based on God and His Word.

Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? (1 Corinthians 1:20)

Today’s big question: where is wisdom in unity?

When Paul wrote his first letter to the Corinthians, the Corinthian church had contentious divisions. People followed different teachings of men including Paul, Apollos, and Peter (1 Corinthians 1:10–13). Following the belief systems of men rather than the truth in Christ had led the church to detour from the full unity that is only found in Christ. Paul clearly instructed the church to restore unity by leaving the wisdom of man and returning to the wisdom of God.

The first few chapters of Corinthians show that unity, truth, and wisdom are closely related. Although the world may scoff and consider believers to be foolish, true wisdom is based in the source of all truth—Jesus Christ. Since all wisdom can only be found in obedience and submission to Christ, then the church’s unity must be based on our Lord. Denying or ignoring God’s Word for the sake of perceived unity can never establish true unity.

Proverbs 1:7 states, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” If the church today wants to be unified, we need to start by fearing (having reverence for) the Lord. Any pursuit of wisdom, truth, or knowledge must commence with God as our starting point.

Many people will attempt to use their own fallible interpretations of evidence, their own experiences, or their own philosophies to interpret Scripture. This is the quickest way to fearing man instead of God. If we start with human opinions rather than God’s inspired Word, we are in effect claiming to be wiser than God. Similarly, the Corinthians followed fallible men over the plain truth that has been revealed in the Scriptures and the person of Christ. This resulted in truth being compromised and divisions in the local church.

Today, many in the church have left the unity in Christ in order to adopt the vain philosophies of the world, particularly in areas such as millions of years and evolution. These people have allowed foolishness to reign over the wisdom of God. Everyone needs to be aware that this rejection of God’s wisdom is in itself a divisive act. A plea for unity is a plea for truth—the truth that is in and of Jesus Christ.

Today’s big idea: wisdom and unity are inseparable.

What to pray: pray to keep on the straight path of the truth and wisdom in Jesus Christ.

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