Today in 1 Corinthians 1:9-13, we see one of my favorite passions of Paul. Paul is huge on the unity of the church. Listen to what he says here, and then we’ll talk about what is happening:
9 God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 10 Now I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in agreement and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same purpose. 11 For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there are quarrels among you, my brothers and sisters. 12 What I mean is that each of you says, ‘I belong to Paul,’ or ‘I belong to Apollos,’ or ‘I belong to Cephas,’ or ‘I belong to Christ.’ 13 Has Christ been divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
This is the way it worked in Paul’s time. Preachers in churches weren’t sent by the conference nor were they called by the local church. There were wandering itinerant preachers that came to the town and to the church, stayed for a while, and then moved on to the next town and church. And they would have been followed by another preacher in much the same way.
So the same church, over a period of time, would have had several preachers come through and teach. And that’s what has happened here in Corinth. There have been several preachers come through, and the loyalty that the members of the church have towards their “favorite” preacher is one of the many things that is dividing the church.
That is why Paul reminds them, none of the preachers that they know has divided for their sins. They were not baptized in the name of any of these preachers. They were called into salvation by God, not by any human. Now God may have used that human, but that person was not the cause of their salvation.
God is the one calling us into salvation and God is the one that is saving us.
Not any human.
I think for us today, this is an important reminder. We all have our preferences and our favorites. We all have things that impactful to us. We have a preacher that really speaks to us. Or a style of worship that truly touches our heart or a hymn that really impacts us. Or a denomination (or local church) whose theology and structure that we like. And these things are all wonderful. I am the same way.
But the danger is this. When we allow these things to divide us as believers. Just because you or I have something or someone that is the way that we prefer it, doesn’t mean that someone that has a different favorite preacher or style of worship is not our brother or sister in Christ.
Because we aren’t saved by preachers or styles of worship or denominations or anything such as that. We are saved by Jesus.
So, if you are believer, then you are family. We can’t allow these things to divide us. We are one. And the world needs us to be one.
Let us love each other, even when we disagree over these things. Because the love that God has placed in our hearts must be bigger than any of this!
As followers of Christ, let us love!
If you’d like to be added to my devotional list, shoot me an email, and I’ll add you!