Working Together

Corinth witnessed in the fifty-second year of the Christian era the result of the Apostle Paul's preaching in the synagogues of that luxurious and profligate city. Paul's open declarations of the Christ as the Messiah had caused his expulsion from the synagogues, and the consequent formation of a small Christian society, known in sacred history as the church at Corinth. Through the healing ministrations of Truth, as presented by "the apostle of the Gentiles," the society expanded, soon gathering into its fold widely divergent classes of people, among whom the less intellectual predominated in the persons of Roman freedom and pagan Greeks; a Jewish element, not so numerous as the Gentiles, also became active in the church. After preaching in Corinth for a year and a half, Paul left the city; and during his absence the church divided itself into four parties, openly and bitterly opposed to one another. With his firm grasp of spiritual facts, Paul saw that no national, ethical, or philosophical appeal could harmonize such radically different mentalities; that the only hope of unity lay in brushing aside all human contentions, replacing them with an understanding of Christ and with obedience to the law of Spirit.

In his first letter to the Corinthians, the apostle dealt with the specific errors of theory and practice that threatened the well-being of the church he had so recently founded. To the Jews, the Greeks, and the Romans he had one word; and that was: Exalt the Christ in your thought; then the evils you have so flagrantly practiced will be destroyed, and you will be able to work together in spiritual harmony. In one brief sentence the apostle gave for all time and for all people the keynote of rational cooperation in these words: "We are labourers together with God."

To the one imbued with the thought that his work is directed and governed by God, the elements that make for destructive discord disappear. A close study of Paul's epistles convinces one that his exhortations are not confined to church activities, but are designed to apply as well to all work. The student of history, familiar with the mental status of the Jews, the Greeks, and the Romans at the middle of the first century of the Christian era, can scarcely doubt that a corrective for their conflicts would apply successfully to even the complexities of the present day.

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Spiritual Vision
July 14, 1923

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