Summary: 5 MAJOR REASONS WHY GOD CALLED US: I. The first reason is UNITY (1:10-12) II. The second reason is DIVERSITY (3:4,6) III. The third reason is OPPORTUNITY (3:5)
CALLED BY GOD
1 Cor. 1:9-12, 3:4-8 NASB
The Corinthians self-image was of a spiritually mature congregation, endowed with all the spiritual gifts they needed, well taught and self-sufficient. In fact they were quite similar to many churches today, particularly those of an evangelical persuasion, let me say. They thought their learning and their experience of the gifts of God made them better than others. But as Paul looks at them he says "Mature? No!"
5 MAJOR REASONS WHY GOD CALLED US HERE
I. The first reason is UNITY (1:10-12)
Psalm 133:1-2- How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!
And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Col. 3:14
The story is told about a man who survived for twenty years on a deserted island. When they found him they were astonished to see all that he had created. Left to his own, he had created a self-sufficient habitat with everything he needed to live comfortably.
As they toured the island they noticed all the impressive structures he made. In one corner of the island was a grand building overlooking the lagoon which he called, “Home.” Across the lagoon was a tall white building with a spire that reached up to the sky. ETC.
There’s a certain degree of truth to that story. It captures the spirit of Christian individualism. Our culture does not encourage commitment - not in marriage, not in the workplace and certainly not in the church. We live in a world where the only thing most people are willing to commit to is having things their way.
That was the problem at the church in Corinth. One group of people valued the leadership of Paul. They would say, “Paul is our man. He started the church. We like the one who started it all!” Another valued the gifts of Peter over Paul. They felt Paul was inferior. They claimed Peter is the “Rock.” “Why would you listen to anyone other than the man upon whom Jesus said He will build His church?” Yet another said, “You all have it all wrong! Apollos is the real man. He is cultured, he is an Alexandrian! He is gifted in ways Paul and Peter could never imagine.”
No, the people of Corinth allowed personal preference to get in the way of unity. The rescuer asked, “What’s that building?”
It’s a common but sad story. Churches all over the country are torn apart, not by issues of doctrine or theology, but the color of the carpet, the style of music or personality conflicts. And in the process the church stops being the church and looks more like a country club; a place where people gather together because of their similarities, they all cheered for the same leader. And in other ways they became more like a city council meeting; a place where everyone is intent on protecting their turf at all cost. “Oh,” the castaway said, “that’s my church.”
I am of
Matt. 12:25 “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.”
Every kingdom, city, country, home, church, etc. divided against itself will be ruined or will fall.
UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL is a song by a man named John Dickinson in what is called “The Liberty Song” (1768). “Then join hand in hand, by uniting we stand, dividing we fall.”
Christians have differences of opinion about many things but they must work together as best for Christ.
The Lord’s church must be known for her love, not her fighting.
John 13:35 “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Maxwell Perkins, editor, once wrote, "One of my deepest convictions is that the terrible harms that are done in this world are not done by deliberately evil people... They are done by the good people--by those who are so sure that God is with them. Nothing can stop them; for they are certain that they are right.”
One of the reasons for fighting in our churches is that certain people think they are always right about everything and they become very legalistic about it. “It’s my way or the highway!”
Story: A man who couldn’t swim went fishing with his friend and after awhile caught a really big fish. He was so excited about catching such a big fish that he leaned too far over and fell into the water. “Help! Save Me! Help! Save Me!”
His friend reached out and was going to grab him by the hair and get him into the boat. But the man’s toupee came off and he slipped back into the water. He came up again and yelled, “Help! Save me!” This time his friend grabbed him by the arm. As he pulled on his arm, it came off because it was an artificial limb. The man continued to kick and thrash around. The friend reached out and managed to grab a leg and as he pulled on it, it came off. It was a wooden leg. As the man continued to splash, calling out for help his friend disgustedly said, “How can I help you if you won’t stick together?”