1 Corinthians 1:1-17 Divisions among the Church

Around A.D. 56 the apostle Paul wrote a letter to the church in Corinth, a Greek city between Asia and Italy. Troubled by immorality and division the Corinthian church was in need of rebuke and guidance. Paul would deliver both in this epistle which he wrote during his missionary journey in Ephesus.

1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes, 2 To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours: 3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 1:1-3)

First the apostle begins with a customary greeting indicating Sosthenes, formerly the chief ruler of a Corinthian synagogue now a Christian convert was with him as he wrote this letter.

4 I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. 5 For in him you have been enriched in every way—in all your speaking and in all your knowledge— 6 because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you.” (1 Corinthians 1:4-6)

Paul shares how he praises God for the grace given to the Corinthians by Jesus Christ. The apostle mentions the fact Christians in Corinth, through faith in Christ, were “enriched” (from the Greek “ploutizō” which means to be made wealthy).

7 Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8 He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.” (1 Corinthians 1:7-9)

Having been blessed with the Holy Spirit, members of the Corinthian church were equipped and armed to battle evil until Jesus’ return. On this day, all believers will be found blameless in the eyes of God. Until then and since all sin and fall short of the glory of God, Christians should be on their guard knowing temptation will continue to surround us until Jesus is revealed.

10 I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.” (1 Corinthians 1:10)

Paul now addresses the divisions within the Corinthian church calling on believers throughout the region to unite and focus on advancing the gospel rather than waste energy battling with each other.

11 My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.” (1 Corinthians 1:11-12)

The apostle uses a specific location where division had been witnessed as some believers would choose whose preaching they would adhere by.

13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul? 14I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so no one can say that you were baptized into my name. 16 (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.)” (1 Corinthians 1:13-16)

Pointing out the fact division was not of Christ, Paul calls on believers to unite and follow Jesus because all were baptized in His name, not Paul’s. though Paul did baptize a handful of Christians, he did so in Jesus’ name not his own hence the need for believers throughout Corinth to follow Christ and avoid division.

17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.” (1 Corinthians 1:17)

Paul’s mission was to be a preacher to the Gentiles. He not only knew this but embraced it as he faced persecution and eventually, imprisonment in Jerusalem and Rome where he was eventually martyred.

Relying on the power and love of God, the apostle Paul pressed on as he preached the gospel in plain, simple words that would glorify the cross instead of complex philosophical terms that might confuse his audience. Let us pray!

Father God;
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Paul,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.

Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.

God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.

May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.

We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.

Praise God,
Amen!

This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre
Email: DanielStPierre@ThriveThroughChrist.com

Posted in Bible Studies.