Unity In The Cross

Pastor Kevin Rutledge - 4/28/2024 10:00 AM

In this week's passage, Paul addresses a church founded by exiles from Rome due to their beliefs. Initially united in suffering, they later fractured over claims of spiritual superiority based on baptismal lineage, reflecting worldly hierarchies. Paul's letter rebukes this, urging unity: "I appeal to you...that all of you agree...and that there be no divisions among you." Yet, is this unity merely ideological alignment or deeper?

Today, amidst widespread church divisions, even within denominations, Paul's words resonate. We're reminded that unity isn't uniformity of thought but a commitment to shared purpose in Christ. As we navigate our own fractured ecclesiastical landscape, let us heed Paul's call to unity, embracing diversity within our faith communities while remaining steadfast in our collective mission.


  • First Reading: Psalm 98:1-5
  • Second Reading: Acts 18:1-4, 1 Cor. 1:10-18
View Order of Worship View Message Transcript View Small Group Discussion Guide

This Week's Reading Plan

Day: Reading:
Monday An Appeal for Unity: 1 Corinthians 1:10-18
Tuesday Paul Proclaims the Word: Acts 18:5-11
Wednesday Dragged before Gallio: Acts 18:12-17
Thursday Paul Leaves Corinth: Acts 18:18-23
Friday God is the Source of Life: 1 Corinthians 1:19-31
Saturday Eating the Lord's Supper: 1 Corinthians 11:17-26
Sunday The Greatest of These Is Love: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

This includes only the sermon portion of the service.

Reflections and Caring Conversations

Please use the prompts and prayers below to aid you in your devotions for this week.

  • Day 1: Unity in Christ

    Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:10-17

    Devotional: As Paul appeals to the Corinthians to agree with one another and to be perfectly united in mind and thought, we too are called to lay aside our differences and embrace the unity that we have in Christ. Our baptism unites us, regardless of who led us to faith. Today, let's reflect on the ways we can strengthen our bonds within the body of Christ, focusing on our shared faith rather than our differing leaders or denominations.

    Prayer Focus: Ask God to help you see past the labels and divisions within the Christian community and to foster unity based on the common ground you share in Jesus Christ.

    Day 2: The Mosaic of Fellowship

    Bible Reading: Romans 12:4-5

    Devotional: Just as our bodies have many parts, each with a unique function, so it is with Christ's body, the church. We are many members but one body, and each of us belongs to one another. Consider today how the diversity of gifts and perspectives within your church community can enhance your collective worship and service to God.

    Prayer Focus: Thank God for the diversity within your church and pray for guidance on how you can contribute to the body of Christ with your unique gifts and talents.

    Day 3: Love as the Bond of Perfection

    Bible Reading: Colossians 3:12-14

    Devotional: As God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, we are instructed to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Above all, we are to put on love, which binds us all together in perfect unity. Meditate on how you can demonstrate these virtues in your interactions with fellow believers, especially those with whom you might disagree.

    Prayer Focus: Pray for an outpouring of love in your heart, that you may see and treat others with the grace and patience that Christ shows you.

    Day 4: Embracing Liberty in Non-Essentials

    Bible Reading: Romans 14:1-4

    Devotional: In matters of personal conviction that do not compromise our core faith, we are encouraged to welcome those who may be weak in faith without quarreling over disputable matters. Reflect on the non-essential beliefs or practices that may differ among believers and how you can maintain fellowship without judgment or contempt.

    Prayer Focus: Ask God to help you discern between essential and non-essential matters and to give you the strength to accept others in love, just as Christ has accepted you.

    Day 5: Transcending Division with Peace and Love

    Bible Reading: Ephesians 4:1-6

    Devotional: As we are urged to live a life worthy of our calling, with all humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another in love, let us make every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as we were called to one hope. Let this truth guide your interactions and help heal divisions within the Christian community.

    Prayer Focus: Pray for the peace of Christ to reign in your heart and in your church, that you may be an instrument of unity and reconciliation in a world that desperately needs the love of Jesus.