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Summary: Paul addresses the divisions in the Corinthian church.


1 Corinthians 1:10-18

I. The Divisions of This Church.

A. The word division means to “rip” or “tear” (v. 10).

B. We might sum up the divisions in this way:

1. I follow Paul—This group may have taken the attitude that Paul started this church and he will always be our leader. These are the traditionalists.

2. I follow Apollos—These people may have put great emphasis on knowledge of the Scripture. Apollos was mighty in his use of the Word (Acts 18:24, 25). These may have been the Bible intellectuals.

3. I follow Peter—These may have put great emphasis on the church and were taking the attitude that Peter had been given the keys to the kingdom, instituted the church on Pentecost, and they would follow him. They may have been great “church” men without going further.

4. I follow Christ—These may have been saying, “We don’t need anyone or anything but Jesus.”

II. The Questions Paul Asked This Church.

A. Is Christ Divided? This means, “has Christ been split up with different parts given to different groups?” Would He want His body, the church, fragmented?

B. Was Paul crucified for you? Paul directs them to the cross. He focuses on the atonement.

C. Were you baptized into the name of Paul? They had been baptized into the name of Christ. In verses 14-17, Paul makes a statement that some had tried to downplay the necessity for baptism. Paul is not against baptism. They had been baptized. In all of this, the people were guilty of putting the messenger ahead of the message.

III. The Significant Facts Paul Gave to This Church.

A. We could obscure the message of the cross by flaunting our own intellect and eloquence (v. 17). Paul depended on the simple message of the cross even though he had great intellect.

B. The message of the cross is absolute foolishness from the standpoint of the world (v. 18).

1. Message doesn’t refer to the preaching, but to the fact.

2. Foolishness is from the root word for “moron,” “dull” or “stupid.”

3. Power is from the word for “dynamite.”

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