Summary: Second in a series in 1 Cor focusing on the first of three cures for disunity in the church. Keeping our eyes on Jesus and Him crucified.

Chico Alliance Church

March 2, 2003

Pastor David Welch

“The Priority of Christ and the Cross”

I Corinthians 1:10-31


Address and Introduction (Greeting and Thanksgiving) 1:1-9

I. Reproof for fleshly behavior 1-6

A. Reproof concerning divisions 1-4

B. Reproof concerning disorder 5-6

II. Response to questions and issues 7-16

A. Concerning Marriage 7

B. Concerning Liberty and things sacrificed to idols 8-11

C. Concerning the Lord’s Supper 11

D. Concerning Spiritual gifts 12-14

E. Concerning the Gospel 15

F. Concerning the Collection 16:1-4

Conclusion 16:5-24

The spiritual position of the Corinthian church in spite of their substandard practice

1. They belonged to God

2. God made them special (sanctified) in Christ

3. God invited (called) them saints (special people).

4. God united them with other saints who called on Jesus.

5. They all called on the name of the Lord.

6. God granted grace in Christ Jesus.

7. God enriched them in Christ.

8. They were anxiously awaiting Christ’s return.

9. God confirmed them blameless to the end by His faithfulness

10. God called them into FELLOWSHIP (intimate unity) with His Son.

Having reinforced their place in God’s heart and home, Paul launched into his reproofs.

He reproved them for their fleshly behavior which manifested in disunity and disorderly conduct.

Sensuality and disunity go hand in hand when we allow the flesh to dictate our behavior.

For I am afraid that perhaps when I come I may find you to be not what I wish and may be found by you to be not what you wish; that perhaps there will be strife, jealousy, angry tempers, disputes, slanders, gossip, arrogance, disturbances; I am afraid that when I come again my God may humiliate me before you, and I may mourn over many of those who have sinned in the past and not repented of the impurity, immorality and sensuality which they have practiced. 2 Cor. 12:20-21

Paul’s first reproof addressed a problem with cliques in the church resulting in disunity.

Disunity is nothing new among people in a self-focused world.

It is not how God planned things to operate.

The Bible has a great deal so say about disunity and strife.

God creates us for unity and community.

Jesus prayed for unity in His High Priestly prayer.

There are six things which the LORD hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him:

Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, a false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers.

Proverbs 6:16-19

Better is a dry morsel and quietness with it than a house full of feasting with strife. Proverbs 17:1

The beginning of strife is like letting out water, so abandon the quarrel before it breaks out. Pro 17:14

An arrogant man stirs up strife, but he who trusts in the LORD will prosper. Proverbs 28:25

And knowing their thoughts Jesus said to them, "Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself will not stand. Matthew 12:25

For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. Galatians 5:14-15

If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another. Galatians 5:25-26

So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another. Romans 14:19

The sad thing is that the church has become known for divisions and splits and fighting and strife more than the unified community to which we have been called.

Cartoons (2)

Unity among diverse people demonstrated the glory of the Gospel.

Paul took four chapters to deal with this problem in the Corinthian church.

In these four chapters Paul outlines the cure for disunity in the church.

The appeal looks something like this: Diagram

Opening appeal for unity

The Biblical foundation for unity

Focus on the priority of Christ and the cross

Focus on the power and wisdom of the Spirit

Focus on the partnership of the body of Christ

The Final Appeal for unity

Today we will examine the opening appeal and the call to a renewed focus on the priority of Christ.

I. Reproof for fleshly behavior 1-6

A. Reproof concerning divisions 1-4

1. Opening appeal for unity 1:10-17

a) Encouraged them to unity 1:10

Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment. 1:10

Paul exposed the issues and highlighted his ultimate goal at the very outset of his appeal.

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