Divisions in the Church (1 Cor 1:10-14,21)

Paul thanked God for the good things he saw in Corinth, but then he had to tell them that some things were wrong. There were divisions in the church and some of them were following one man and some another. This was the result of pride in human wisdom.

Paul heard that there were four divisions in the Church, each group boasting about a human leader. Some said they were followers of Paul, so he explained that this was wrong. Paul wanted the Corinthians to agree to allow no divisions among them, and to be perfectly united in their thinking. Paul appealed to them to all think the same things. They were proud and Paul reminded them of the Lord Jesus Christ who took a low place (Phil 2:2-8).

Paul heard from people in the family of Chloe that the Corinthians were quarrelling. We do not know who Chloe was, but the members of her family were not afraid to openly tell the truth about the assembly at Corinth. Paul could plainly say who had told him. This is important, we should not say anything bad about others unless it is true, and be willing to let them know who said it.

Their quarrels produced divisions. The Church became four groups, each of which took a special name. Some said they belonged to Paul, some to Apollos, some to Cephas. It was very bad to follow these human leaders, but the other group was worse still. They took the name of Christ for themselves, as if the other Christians did not really belong to Him! Paul was a great teacher, Apollos was a great speaker, Peter was at first the leading apostle, but it was wrong to divide the assembly in this way.

Paul asked them three questions, all had the same answer: No. Christ is not divided and no group of Christians should say that they are the only ones who belong to Christ. Christ died for us, all of us, not just for Paul or any other man. The Lord commanded us to baptise believers in the name of the Lord Jesus (Acts 19:5). The believers in Corinth were baptised, but certainly not in the name of Paul (Acts 8:8).

More about the division in Corinth. Paul began in 1:10 to speak about the divisions in Corinth. The believers thought it was a mark of their wisdom to choose human leaders and take the name of an apostle as a name of part of the church. Paul has explained that human wisdom has no place in the church. Now in chapter 3 he continues by saying that the believers were not mature, that Paul and Apollos were simply servants of God, His people, that everyone is building on the foundation and is responsible to the Lord as to how he acts in the church.

Bro James Mwanda Kambobe (Mansa, Cameroon)

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