Today we are reading from 1 Corinthians 1: 10-17:
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? 14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so that no one can say that you were baptized in my name. 16 (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to proclaim the gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its power.
Today in our Rooted, we will start looking at 1 Corinthians. It is one of the great books in the Bible and let me tell you one thing that I really like about it. If you think that your church is imperfect or that things aren’t just right, take a look at Corinth.
Tons of division, discord, so much. And yet in the midst of all of this God still worked in a mighty way in this church. This church was far from perfect. Yet God moved. God worked. God did great things in them and through them. God was at work in Corinth in mighty ways.
Today we see these problems and divisions playing themselves out. One of the many things that they fussed about was who their favorite preacher was. We see this playing out, Peter, or Apollos? Who was the best, who was their favorite?
Paul reminds them that it doesn’t matter who their favorite preacher was. What matters is the cross of Christ. That is the power of our faith, the power of churches, the power of our lives. That is the cure for divisions within our churches. When we focus on ourselves, our wants, our preferences, our desires, our “stuff” then we will be divided.
We will be divided because we will all have our favorites. None of us will be alike. And honestly, that’s ok. Diversity is good. It’s good for us to think differently. It makes us stronger.
But we’ve got to focus on the cross. We’ve got to focus on Him. If we focus on our differences, it will destroy us. If we focus on Him, we will find life.
Today, let’s look for common ground. Let’s not assume the worst in each. Let’s focus on the Gospel. And I can promise you, if we do things, even if we don’t agree, we will find a way through our divisions.
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