Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. (1 Corinthians 1:10)
By The Name Of The Lord Jesus Christ
The name of Christ is the affirmation that God has given His approval that all authority rests upon the Son of God as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Salvation will not be granted without the name of Jesus Christ. Names identify the character of a person, define the boundaries of their identity and establish a pattern of who and what they are before all men. Authority is determined by the legality of the name and what authority is attached to that name. An ambassador is not the authority but the representative of the one who has all power and rights to determine what is authorized. Throughout the ministry of Jesus, He reminded the disciples the words He spoke were not His own but what the Father had given Him to speak. After the resurrection, all authority in heaven and earth was given to the Son from the Father. No man has taken (or can take) this authority from Jesus Christ. The early church taught that salvation could not come but through the name of Jesus. Men like Philip preached Jesus to those who were in need of salvation. Paul wrote often that his message was the message of Jesus Christ and Him crucified. The name of Jesus permeated every part of the First Century church because this was the foundation of everything that was true. Sadly, the church at Corinth had become so carnally minded the saints had forgotten which name was authoritative. There were great men in the church like Peter, Apollos and the work of Paul helping to establish many churches throughout the Roman Empire. It would be clear these men would receive the honor for the diligent work they were doing but what had happened is the brethren began to follow these men instead of the authority of Christ. The church had divided over allegiance to the preachers rather than the name of Jesus Christ. Paul purposed to set things right in Corinth demanding the division and carnal fighting stop. God never intended for the church to be divided or believers in Jesus Christ to differ in word and doctrine.
Unity is found when men submit to one banner of truth. What happened in the church at Corinth would become the mantra of the religious world fifteen hundred years later. In response to the apostate church known as the Roman Catholic Church, men rose up to create their own bodies of faith. A protestant movement began to divide the religious world into factions of different names (Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptists, Quakers, Episcopalian, etc.) and doctrines of the faith were established outside the scriptures. Paul had written to the Corinthians seeking for them to speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among the believers in Jesus, but that they are perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. He was asking for unity in the name of Jesus Christ because Jesus Christ was not a divided Lord. What the brethren were doing in Corinth became a worldwide movement in the last five hundred years when thousands of churches have carved their niche in the name of Jesus Christ. What is lost on the minds of most religious people is the name of Jesus represents authority demanding the divine pattern be followed according to the word of God. Paul was pleading with the saints by the name of Jesus Christ because He was Lord and there can be no division if Jesus is Lord and men follow His word. No matter how hard religious leaders try to sell the idea that all faiths serve under the same banner of truth they do not speak the same thing, have the same mind and use the same judgment. For example, the dogmas of the Lutheran church will not make a person a Methodist. They are contradictory to one another. The Baptist church manual will not help a person become a Mormon and the book of Mormon will not make an Episcopalian. If all believers in Jesus are united then why do they follow different creeds, faiths, patterns of worship and teach a doctrine of salvation that differs from what the Bible says? Is God to blame for religious diversity? Has the Creator of the world written a book that cannot be read and understood so that all men can come to a unified conclusion of how to worship the one true God? If there is religious division – who is responsible? According to the apostle Paul, the religious division is carnal (sinful) and a work of the wisdom of man; not God.
Establishing authority by the name of Jesus Christ requires one thing: book, chapter, and verse in the only book that is the word of God. Unity can only come if you can find the name of the church you are a part of in the Bible. If you cannot find the name of the church in the Bible, it does not come from the authority of the name of Jesus. Look closely at the pattern of worship, organization, the teaching of salvation and make certain everything that is done has a scriptural basis of what the Bible says. If all men would accept the Bible as the only authority there would be no divisions. Speaking the same thing means that we are on the same page of the Bible. There will be no divisions if we are united under the same name and that name is Jesus Christ. Following the teaching of the Bible alone all minds will be bound by the same law. The same judgment is what is declared in the same book, by the same Judge, under the authority of the same name – Jesus Christ. It cannot be pleasing to the Father to look down upon His creation and see men divided under the name of His Son. He sent Jesus to die for all men so that all men could find the truth under one faith, one church, one Lord, one Spirit, one baptism, one hope, and one God. Denominations are by definition divisive and condemned by God. Let all men stand on the name of Jesus Christ as Lord and King and speak where the Bible speaks or speak not at all.