Imagine a group of people that find great joy in being together, who work hard at resolving differences, with their minds are set on the same things as they live in harmony with one another. Sound enticing? That is what the church is intended to be. We are to be a group of believers that enjoy being with one another. That’s why Paul tells us to be of one mind. The Holy Spirit is the one who brings unity to the church. He takes a diverse group of people and transforms them into a unit that is of the one mind, on the same page.
Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.
Paul’s endings to his letters are always packed with final instructions he uses to remind the church. They are words we can take to heart and apply to our walk with Jesus. Like a parent who wants to squeeze the last few words in hopes that they will stick. To the Corinthians, he is urging unity for a group that is fractured into many camps. Unity is manifested in several ways. First, the group is full of joy. Second, they strive for restoration. Finally, they encourage one another. These make the group to be of one mind and to live in peace.
Filled with Joy
These last words are to a church he has fought the good fight over. He tells them to rejoice! They have so much to rejoice over. They have received the salvation of Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit is moving in the church. Rejoice is just giving God back praise for the joy He has put in our hearts. It is thanking Him for all that he has done. This is something we need to learn how to do, especially when we don’t feel like it. A Church that is marked by rejoicing will be one that has their eyes focused on the right things.
He also tells the church in Corinth to strive for full restoration. There has been division in the church for a long time, and he implores them to keep working at reconciliation until they are fully restored. We can apply this to our families as well. Never stop working towards making things right. Notice Paul says “strive.” He understands that full restoration isn’t going to happen anytime soon. It takes time and requires endurance. If there are broken relationships in your church, begin to pray for God to bring about restoration. When the opportunity comes, do the hard work to make things right.