Divisions in the Church

This entry is part 208 of 371 in the series Inquiring Minds

What is the meaning of 1 Corinthians 1:10?

Paul begins First Corinthians by dealing with the divisions that are forming in the church. Of all the churches he founded, this one gave him the most headaches. They were constantly writing to him and asking him to answer questions that arose in their city and churches.

Before the letter of First Corinthians, the Corinthians sent Paul a letter asking him questions. Every so often you hear Paul move to a different subject in the book. He is answering questions from that letter that we do not have.

Perhaps the question for this section went something like, “Which apostle should we follow? Some of us think we follow you and others think they follow Apollos, an evangelist that visited Corinth regularly, or who else should we follow?”

Of course, the super spiritual Corinthians said that they didn’t follow anybody but Jesus. All of these different godly people involved in their foundations and growth had people following them. The church is not designed to follow human leaders. Christ is the head of the church.

So Paul wrote to them and told them to stop dividing themselves based on who to follow. The fact is that all of the godly people that were sent to the Corinthians had something to contribute to the church. But they’re so busy with squabbles and power struggles that they probably missed a lot of what God was trying to do among them.

So Paul wants them to stop dividing themselves over which Christian leader of the day is most popular among them. Instead they were to submit themselves to Christ. It wasn’t about their spiritual fathers, the people who brought them into the faith. The Christian faith has always been and will always be about unity in Christ.

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