Summary: A study of the book of 1 Corinthians chapter 1 verses 10 through 17
1 Corinthians 1: 10 – 17
Not ‘Swayed’ but ‘Saved’
10 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. 11 For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you. 12 Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” 13 Is Christ 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 lest anyone should say that I had baptized in my own name. 16 Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas. Besides, I do not know whether I baptized any other. 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.
Have you ever attended a church where there is total harmony amongst all the people? You know no one who is causing problems by complaining or slandering someone else. If you attend such a fellowship, please let me know where this church is. I’ve got to come and see this for myself. I mention all of this in jest because I do not believe this condition can ever exist. Nevertheless this is something that we should continue to strive for as a body of believers. This problem has existed from the beginning of the church and still continues to be a major problem.
Paul begins this section by revealing his concern that the Corinthian’s are in danger of splitting up into different parties around the teaching of certain leaders. The people had started to take sides in who they thought was the best and most important teacher. This caused everyone to forget the most important and central truth of Christ crucified, the one fact which is central to the Christian message, and around which all should be united, and which points to the One Who alone, by means of what He accomplished there, is effective in bringing about salvation through the power of God. This is the very foundation of the Christian faith.
Paul is going to point out that the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ, has brought about the raising up of a wholly new situation. The world is now divided into two. On the one hand is ‘the natural man’, who is devoid of the Spirit, taken up with human wisdom, divided, rejecting God’s way, and who despises the cross. We see on the other side ‘the spiritual one’, who receives true wisdom from God, trusting fully in the word of the cross, enlightened, and becomes the temple of God indwelt by The Precious Holy Spirit.
The ‘natural man’ is the world in Adam, the first man, and as such earthy and without the Spirit and unable to discern the things of God, with no hope of the resurrection to life. The Spiritual One is the last Adam, the second man, the heavenly One, in Whom are found those who are heavenly, Who has given His Spirit to His own so that they might understand the things of God as manifested through the power of the word of the cross, and know the things that are freely given to them of God, and come finally to the resurrection of life.
Sadly though the Corinthian church, while having become a part of the second, are revealing themselves as still very much taken up with the first. They are divided, looking to earthly wisdom, arguing about different teachers as though they brought different messages. Boy O boy, have things not changed much since then.
Paul is going to tell them that they need to recognize that the teachers are in themselves nothing, ‘weak and foolish’ tools of God who must themselves account to God, whose task is to build on the One foundation which is Christ, for they are building the Temple of God, indwelt by the Holy Spirit. It is indeed the One Holy Spirit Who reveals through these teachers the crucified Christ and what He has done and is doing for them. For it is one Christ Who has been crucified and through Whom we are being saved.
I was watching this video called the ‘Elephant Room’ where a group of very popular Pastors had gathered together to discuss current issues within the church that exists today. I was shocked when they came up to the category of what they called ‘Campus Churches’. Here these guys have, in my opinion thought to highly of themselves. Because they think that they are God’s gift to the current Christian generation, they film themselves while they are teaching. At various locations people gather to watch these guys teach on a film screen. I think that there were 9 Pastors in this meeting and together they had around 90 campus churches. Are you kidding me? These guys cannot raise up some faithful men to go to another location and shepherd a flock. Does all spiritual wisdom abide only on them? All I can say is wow!