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Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:10-13
The Sin of Division
1 Corinthians 1:10-17
1. The sin of division existed in the Corinthian church.
2. Some brethren use this as justification for not addressing and disciplining doctrinal and moral error in congregations today: Look at Corinth; have “always been differences and always will be.”
3. 1 Cor 1-4: The apostle Paul addresses the problem, rebukes the sin and exhorts the saints to be united in Christ.
4. Whenever division or its threat arises in a church this passage helps us overcome it, defeating Satan with the Lord’s strength (Eph 6:10).
I. AN APOSTOLIC PLEA FOR UNITY IN THE MIDST OF CONGREGATIONAL DIVISION, 1 Cor 1:10-13.
A. The Authority of Christ Demands Unity among Saints, 1 Cor 1:10, 2 (Eph 4:4-6).
B. The Spiritual Welfare of the Church Necessitates It, 1 Cor 1:11-13.
1. 1:11-12: Strife is carnality (sinful), 1 Cor 3:1-4; Gal 5:20-21.
2. The evidence of sin (division) was clear: (1) Faithful testimony, 1 Cor 1:11; and (2) Verifiable conduct, 1 Cor 1:12.
3. Pattern here for us to follow in first confirming division/error.
C. Christ is not Divided, 1 Cor 1:13; Jno 17:20-21.
II. BECAUSE WE ARE NAMED AFTER CHRIST WE MUST REMAIN UNITED IN HIM.
A. Christ was Crucified for Us, 1 Cor 1:13 (15:3; Rom 5:8; Gal 1:4; 1 Pet 2:24).
B. We were Baptized into His Name, 1 Cor 1:13 (Matt 28:18-19; Acts 2:38, into a relationship with Him, by His authority, cf. 1 Cor 1:9).
C. Therefore, We must not Divide and Align Ourselves after Men.
1. Denominationalism is wrong because it does just that.
2. Preacheritis will greatly damage a church, cf. 1 Cor 3:5-9.
3. Following men instead of Christ and His truth is sin, 1 Cor 4:6.
III. UNITY IN PREACHING AND PRACTICE (baptism), 1 Cor 1:14-18.
A. Paul’s Personal Relief, 1 Cor 1:14-16.
-Relieved he personally baptized only a few people in Corinth lest someone would say he was trying to make personal disciples.
B. As an Apostle, his Work was to Preach the Gospel, 1 Cor 1:17-18.
C. Paul was not Saying Baptism Is Unnecessary, 1 Cor 1:17.
1. Baptism is necessary to be saved, Mk 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Gal 3:27; 1 Pet 3:21.
-If he was denying baptism, then Paul
contradicted himself by baptizing people in Corinth! 1
Cor 1:14-16; Acts 18:8
2. His point: Who administered the baptism was inconsequential.
3. “Not...but” construction: Not only the first item -- baptizing --, but also (and with emphasis upon) the second item --preaching the gospel--.” 1 Cor 1:17
4. The “message of the cross” saves, not who baptizes us, 1 Cor 1:18; Rom 1:16.
5. The point of emphasis was being missed by the Corinthians:
-They were naming themselves after the person from whom they learned the gospel (or who had baptized them) and forgot it was their faith and obedience that made them disciples of Christ, bringing them into fellowship with Christ, 1 Cor 1:2, 9.
IV. WHAT WE MUST DO TO OVERCOME AND AVOID DIVISION, 1 Cor 1:10.
A. Speak the Same Thing: The Gospel of Christ, 1 Cor 2:1-5; 4:11.
-The basis of unity, Jno 17:21; Gal 1:6-9; 2 Jno 9-11)
B. Have the Same Mind: The Mind of Christ, Phil 2:1-5.
C. Have the Same Judgment: Use the Will of Christ to Determine Right and Wrong, cf. 1 Cor 2:14-16; Phil 1:9-11; 2 Tim 3:16-17.
D. “Grow Up” and be Mature in Christ, 1 Cor 3:1-3; Eph 4:11-16.
-Requires patient teaching and willing hearts to learn and correct.
E. Follow the Authority of Christ (revealed in the truth of the gospel) Instead of any Person, 1 Cor 1:10; 4:6; Col 3:17.
1. This local church can remain united in Christ: Scriptural unity it is a beautiful blessing from God (cf. Psa 133:1).
2. On the other hand, division is ugly: It destroys our influence, our example and our souls.