Summary: Message covers some interesting topics: the issue of division within the church, the issue of praying to saints or claiming prestige by belonging to the thinking of a certain important person, and the issue of having your own Mars Hill experience
A HOUSE DIVIDED CANNOT STAND
*Main information for this lesson is once again taken from the following source.
Bertolini, Dewey & Larry Richards. 1 & 2 Corinthians: the Smart Guide to the Bible series. Thomas Nelson Press, GRQ Incorporated, 2009.
INTRODUCTION: ABRAHAM LINCOLN
It’s been 150 years now since Abraham Lincoln uttered the famous words, A house divided against itself cannot stand when addressing the issue of slavery prior to his Presidential run, and 150 years later the same can be said of churches that are not of clear thought and mind.
The Corinthian church was obviously split in a number of different ways, and had to deal with tons of serious issues, this lesson will continue to deal with a number of the issues, for some of those issues are still having to be dealt with today.
BIBLE VERSE: 1 Corinthians 1:10-11
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. For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you.
ISSUE #1: DIVISION
Evidently, there was something going on inside “Chloe’s household,” evidently Chloe was a prominent church member and whatever this action is it was enough to cause an uproar in the church (and it must have been pretty bad from my point of view, for if the Corinthian church said nothing about a person getting drunk at the Lord’s Table, than whatever the issue inside of Chloe’s household must have been severe).
What were the problems?
A) The church was divided doctrinally (the were no long speaking the “same thing” so there was a doctrine error going on).
B) The church was divided organizationally (the translated “divisions” comes from the Greek word schisma which means a tearing of a piece of cloth, sort of like tearing the church body in two).
C) The church was divided organically (no longer were they perfectly joined together, a medical term for a broken bone).
HOW GOOD IS A RUNNING BACK WITH A BROKEN LEG?
HOW GOOD IS A DUET IF ONE OF THE SINGERS IS SINGING OFF KEY?
HOW GOOD IS A LONG SLEEVE SHIRT IF ONE OF THE SLEEVES HAS BEEN RIPPED OFF?
The answers are obvious, but the word pictures describe the state of the church caused by divisions among them.
ON A YOUTH LEVEL: HOW TO IF FIX A DIVIDED RELATIONSHIP?
Youth leaders: please let the youth talk a bit here, their wisdom is probably as good as anyone’s. But after the conversation ceases, I do have a basic step by step answer for it (not that it will work in all circumstances, but I would hate to ask the question and not provide an answer).
A) Explain what you did to cause the division in the relationship. Let the person know what you were thinking and why you did. You may have been right or wrong, keep in mind, you do not have to have been wrong to explain actions that hurt a relationship.