GO Marching on Series – 1 Corinthians 1:10-16
Intro: The Devils joy is division in the church; and I believe he is doing a great job at it. This is not anything new in the church. The church at Corinth was in a sad state. The fellowship among believers had deteriorated to such a degree that it was about to crumble and collapse. There was severe division and dissension in the ranks: verbal accusations, differing opinions, competitive positions, power struggles, envy, contention, grumbling, griping, complaining, murmuring, quarreling, attacking, and gossiping. Believer stood against believer, and there was no give in any corner. Disaster was about to strike; the church was divided and a severe split was threatened. The church of Corinth has all the makings of a top rated reality show. This is the problem that Paul addresses in these next 7 verses of chapter 1. This is a very common issue in the church today, it is a virus that is out of control, the church of Corinth as well as churches today must find a way to work together and be unified. “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism.” Ephesians 4:4-5 “All for one & one for all!” IF THE SAINTS WANT TO MARCH ON they MUST become one!
Text: 1 Corinthians 1:10-16 (NKJV)
“Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11 For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe's household, that there are contentions among you. 12 Now I say this, that each of you says, "I am of Paul," or "I am of Apollos," or "I am of Cephas," or "I am of Christ." 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 lest anyone should say that I had baptized in my own name. 16 Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas. Besides, I do not know whether I baptized any other.”
To all be one we must understand Paul’s Plea:
1. The Plea: Vs. 10 “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”
If you have been a part of a church for any length of time at all, you have probably ask yourself the question; “why can’t we all just get along?” I believe Paul must have thought that. Division within the church is one of the most serious problems a church can face, if not the most serious. It can devastate the church's fellowship, worship, mission, and witness to the world unless it is solved quickly. Paul knew this so he sought to solve the problem immediately.
There is a plea from Paul; He says, "I beseech you." The word "beseech" means to call to one's side. Paul says, "I call you to my side; come, let's share together, talk the matter over. I ask, plead, beg—hear what I have to say." He pleads with them to consider their love for Christ. They must do away with their divisions and be unified once again—for the sake of Christ. For Him and His cause they must obey Him and be united in one spirit and one mind. The plea was simple; quit using the tongue to stir dissension and division. Let’s not be a divisive church. There is no need to be seen fuming and fighting, let us focus on peace, love and being on mission in our community.
The plea was to be "perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” “Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous.” 1 Peter 3:8
To all be one we must avoid contentions:
2. The Contentions: Vs. 11 “for it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe's household, that there are contentions among you.”
A community loves to talk about a church with contentions. My thought on this topic which I believe comes with much experience; is teach discipleship… The church was arguing and splitting into groups, contending and quarreling over something. There was a severe strife between factions and cliques in the church. Contention is one of the terrible "works of the flesh."
There was an article from the “Christianity Today” magazine dated June 3, 1977 the topic was Hospitality and Churches: Singer John Charles Thomas, at age sixty-six wrote to syndicated columnist Abigail Van Buren: “I am presently completing the second year of a three-year survey on the hospitality or lack of it in churches. To date, of the 195 churches I have visited, I was spoken to in only one by someone other than an official greeter—and that was to ask me to move my feet.” I think contentions can be avoided if we would take the time, make an effort to get to know the person we might be sitting next to?
To all be one arguing doesn’t work:
3. The Argument: Vs. 12 “Now I say this, that each of you says, "I am of Paul," or "I am of Apollos," or "I am of Cephas," or "I am of Christ."
For my entire ministry I have seen and have heard of other Christians who had left a church because of the pastor? I don’t get it, are we there to worship the pastor or to praise God?
The argument Paul had in the Corinth church was he thought they were focusing on the wrong things: Practically everyone was exalting some former minister over the other ministers of the church. There was the problem in preaching ability and style. There was no difference in the messages preached by Paul and Apollos. They both preached the gospel of Christ, but there was a difference in their style of preaching and ministering. Apollos was an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures. Paul was not a great speaker; consequently, some belittled Paul as a preacher and surrounded Apollos. They failed to see God's distinct call and gifts to each minister.
Paul was a small-framed missionary, gifted in the understanding of the Scriptures and gifted as an administrator in church order. Both gifts, although not so much out in the forefront of public recognition, were of huge value. Paul excelled in strengthening believers, in growing disciples, and in establishing churches. There is a good possibility that the Apollos party began to intellectualize and socialize Christianity, to turn it away from the doctrine of salvation in Christ, and to deemphasize the utter necessity to walk in Him day by day. Some believers preferred that the traditions and rituals be stressed more, and that Paul's emphasis upon doctrine, salvation, and the daily walk of the believer be stressed less. The two groups began to gather around the name of the two apostles and form cliques.
This all came down to some Christians thinking they were more spiritual than others, they thought they were more mature when in reality they weren’t. The Corinthians considered themselves to be so advanced in maturity that it gave them a privileged position. They set themselves up as the judge of others. They took God's authority. They took it upon themselves to judge teachers, to judge the wise and the unwise, to establish moral standards, and to judge the gifted and their gifts.
“We who are strong must be considerate of those who are sensitive about things like this. We must not just please ourselves. 2 We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord. 3 For even Christ didn’t live to please himself. As the Scriptures say, “The insults of those who insult you, O God, have fallen on me.” Romans 15:1-3 (NLT)
Finally to all be one stay away from cliques:
4. The Cliques: Vs. 13-16 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 lest anyone should say that I had baptized in my own name. 16 Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas. Besides, I do not know whether I baptized any other.”
Paul presents three short questions to reveal the critical nature of divisive cliques. Cliques strike at the Person of Christ or His Lordship, at the crucifixion or death of Christ and at the baptism or witness of the believer. A clique always thinks it is right, no matter how divisive its position is, and it wants its way—too often at any cost. A clique dethrones Christ. It sets itself up as the Lord, as the persons who are able to judge what is right and wrong for the church. A clique attempts the impossible: it tries to divide Christ, to take Christ over to its side. A clique often claims that Christ supports exactly what the clique is doing.
Jesus Christ cannot be divided. There is only one Lord, only one Person who is called the Lord Jesus Christ. He is not two persons. He nor His will can be split into two divisive cliques. He is one Person and He has one will.
Believers do not owe their allegiance to preachers and leaders of cliques; they owe their allegiance to the Lord Jesus Christ. It was Jesus Christ who died for us, not preachers and leaders of churches. Therefore, we are to obey and follow the will of Christ as dictated in Scripture, and we are to support the servants of the Lord whom He places in our midst to minister to us. The Lord places a particular minister in our midst because he has a unique gift to offer to the church and ministry—a very special contribution that is needed during a particular time.
We started with this verse let’s end with it: “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism.” Ephesians 4:4-5
Conclusion: What is a saint supposed to do? “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:3-5
Following: Someday, watch a stream of ants stretching between their anthill and a food source. Some will be going to pick up their load; others will be returning to deposit their prize in the recesses of the anthill. The whole process will be very organized, very precise. Then ask yourself, “Why are these ants so organized in their task?” The reason is that ants are good followers, each dependent on the ant in front of him to lead him to the food supply. Because each ant follows the other, there is a straight line between the anthill and the food—no wasted energy, no unnecessary detours. There is a lesson in that for would-be disciples.
If the saints want to march on, truly be all for one & one for all than: FOLLOW!
“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” James 4:10
In : Sermon
Tags: "saints go marching on series" "book of 1 corinthians"
blog comments powered by Disqus