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Bible Gem 311 - The Quarreling (1 Cor 1:10-16)

April 7, 2019

I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose. 

For some members of Chloe's household have told me about your quarrels, my dear brothers and sisters. 

Some of you are saying, "I am a follower of Paul." Others are saying, "I follow Apollos," or "I follow Peter, " or "I follow only Christ." 

Has Christ been divided into factions? Was I, Paul, crucified for you? Were any of you baptized in the name of Paul? Of course not!

I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 

for now no one can say they were baptized in my name. 

 (Oh yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas, but I don't remember baptizing anyone else.) (1 Cor 1:10-16)



One of the problems going on among the Corinthian Christians was quarrels and factionalism. Clearly while Paul was in Ephesus he was kept in touch with what was happening back in Corinth. The prime source in this case seems to be Chloe’s household (house church perhaps). The factionalism was formed on the basis of who baptised them, who brought them to Christ, who they were following. I am part of Paul’s group. I’m a follower of Apollos. The “I follow Christ” comment is part of this factionalism as well. Paul is not using it as the overall statement which covers everyone, inferring none follows anyone person in particular but we all follow Christ. That is not the intention. He is including the Christ group as one of the factions. How sad for factionalism to have descended that low. We all do it in some way or other. I am sure you have come across comments from super spiritual people which while intended to lift them above the rest and out of the factionalism, instead places them fairly and squarely in the midst of it. “Has Christ been divided into factions?” Paul says. No way. 


One of the strong reasons for factionalism appears to be who baptised who. I was baptised by Paul. I was baptised by X. Let’s face it the same thing goes on today in churches. Some only want the pastor to pray for them, or baptise them. No one else will do. We have this sense that I must be ministered to by a “name person” - A person who is noteworthy or famous or an up-front-person. Little do we realise when we do that we betray our heart and our motives. The person doing the ministering is nothing; the Lord Jesus Christ is EVERYTHING! Never detract from His name. It matters not who baptises you, it matters in whose name you are baptised. Let’s get our theology right. 


Paul wracks his brain to think of who else he might have baptised. Why waste his time with such trivial pursuits? He is making sure his statement about who he baptised is correct. If is it not correct then it adds further fuel to the factionalism fire. How sad that we descend to such petty, pointless arguments.  But sadly it is often a feature of the body. The body of Christ is one; we ought to be united. Paul says we are baptised into Christ, He is the head of the body. All other arguments and comments are superfluous. 


This was a huge issue for the Corinthian church. It is no less of an issue for us 21st Century Christians today. Let’s learn the lesson and move on. We are one, we are meant to be one and united in Him. Let be the body we are meant to be. You and I know Paul has more to say about this later in Corinthians. It is a huge issue. When we can be one the world will take note. 



You may not be to the other side yet; Life is what you do in the meantime.


Don’t put a question mark where God puts a full stop.


Always Be Willing To Surrender Your Emotions The Moment You Discover The Facts - Rick Warren


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