Whether, then, it was I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed. (1 Cor. 15:11 NIV84)
Already in Paul’s time the church is caught up in discussions about doctrine and practices. Many of the letters Paul writes to the churches he started deal with such topics. We Christians today can get equally caught up in the swirl of those discussions and debates. But in this one little verse, Paul wants to make something very clear to his readers and to us: at the end of the day it is about the death and resurrection of Jesus. The message was the same whether you heard Paul, or Peter, Philip, Barnabas, etc. Each preached the same Gospel message. We have been redeemed by the death and resurrection of Jesus. He died bearing our sins and their consequences and rose victoriously from the grave to prove to us that we have been saved. It is this message that united all Christians. Please don’t miss this point! We spend way too much time talking about what divides us. What about what has united and empowered the Christian Church for 2000 years?
Let’s not miss the key point! As members of the body of Christ, we need to be united in furthering the growth of the kingdom of God by faithfully fulfilling the great commission. Each of us, from every denomination, should be united in “making disciples of nations…”. We are on a rescue mission to save the lost, the broken, and the dying. I’m all for healthy discussions and debates about doctrine and practice, but if our differences in those areas prohibit us from uniting around the great commission, then we become a hindrance rather than a help.
In our daily walk with Christ on this earth, let’s never forget the key point.