Divisions 1 Cor. 1: 10-17 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
There were contentions in Corinth, as there are, commonly, in other churches, sad to say. Some folks in Chloe’s house reported the problem to Paul. The reasons for contention in Corinth are, generally, the same reasons men in other churches have problems with each other. So, he dealt with these root issues early in his letter.
Men divide up over:
Differences – 1 Cor 1:10-11 – different minds, different judgments (Eph 4:2-6; Phil 2:1-3; Col 3:12-14). These differences are carnal (1 Cor 3:3-4). Some areas of disagreement: personal convictions, desire to control the money, desire to control the pastor, desire to run the church, desire for personal recognition, desire for a ministry, ad so forth. Men are prone to split. Some division is good, if it’s over doctrine and sin, for instance, Rom 16:17 and 1 Cor 5.
Preachers – 1 Cor 1:12-13 – Dr. Ruckman made these observations about these men. Paul – following Paul only [hyper dispensationalists], emphasizing Paul to the exclusion of all else. Apollos – Orthodox Jew (Acts 21:19-22, 28). Peter – whom Catholics regard as the first pope. Christ – like the Church of Christ. And today, if you believe the King James Bible is the word of God you might be called a Ruckmanite. If a man is truly following Christ (“I of Christ”) he can follow any of these men Paul listed.
Baptism – 1 Cor 1:14-17 – Paul thanked God he hadn’t baptized them so they wouldn’t say that he baptized in his own name. That’s all. He wasn’t deemphasizing or excluding baptism. He baptized. However, the Lord didn’t send him to baptize. He was called to preach the gospel. In addition to preaching the gospel, he also wrote, he also dealt with problems in the churches, he also taught, and so forth.
The divisions over baptism are obvious. Some believe in infant baptism, like the Roman Catholic Church. They teach that those who have been baptized as babies will go to heaven. Some, like the church of Christ, believe that water baptism is essential for salvation. In other words, they don’t baptize babies but they believe you can’t go to heaven without being baptized in water. The truth is that water baptism is commanded by the Lord but that it follows salvation. Consider that in the book of Acts, those who first believed were then baptized in water. The Philippian jailer is a prime example. Some, like Baptist briders, believe that water baptism is for believers only, but that you must be baptized by them, even if you have already been baptized scripturally by someone else. Divisions!!
Those Paul baptized that he could remember were Crispus, who was the chief ruler of the synagogue (Acts 18:8), Gaius, who was Paul’s host (Rom 16:23), the household of Stephanas, who we’re the first fruits of Achaia (1 Cor 16:15).
The gospel – 1 Cor 1:17 – The gospel is defined as the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus in 1 Cor 15:1-4. Paul referred to the gospel as “my gospel” in Rom 2:16, for instance, because, in addition to the gospel of 1 Cor 15, he was given revelations concerning the body of Christ, the indwelling of the Lord, spiritual circumcision, Spirit baptism and so forth, that were not known until they were revealed to Paul.
Paul preached repentance toward God and faith toward Jesus Christ in Acts 20:21. He elaborated on repentance in Acts 26:20. He preached faith toward Jesus because we are saved by the faith of Christ (Gal 2:16). He preached the Kingdom of God (Acts 20:25) rather than the kingdom of heaven. He warned against making the cross of none effect by preaching with wisdom of words (clever words that have no effect). The cross is essential to salvation in that we die so that Christ can live his life in us (Rom 6:6-12 and Gal 2:20). As a side note, Jesus warned against making the word of God of none effect through tradition (Mk 7:13).
Conclusion: It is of utmost importance that we keep our minds on Christ and maintain the unity of the Spirit and charity which is the bond of perfectness. We are different people with differing gifts, but we are members of the same body (1 Cor 12:12-27).