Summary: Every family, every organization and every movement struggles with the problem of internal divisions. Not only is there division on the outside, but there is division on the inside of the Church. God does not want us to be divided. We must be united as
Every family, every organization and every movement struggles with the problem of internal divisions. Not only is there division on the outside, but there is division on the inside. Many internal conflicts result from a struggle over control. I’m here to let you know this morning that if everyone would learn to give the Lord control for whatever they are responsible for, many internal divisions can be eliminated. Without the Lord’s leading, there will always be divisions.
This church at Corinth was in a sad state. The fellowship among believers had deteriorated to such a degree that it was about to crumble and collapse. There was severe division and dissension in the ranks; there were verbal accusations, differing of opinions, competitive positions, power struggles, envy, grumbling, complaining, murmuring, quarreling, attacking and gossiping. Believer stood against believer, and there was no give in any corner. In other words, nobody wanted to give in. Everybody wanted their own way, and nobody could see the other person’s point of view.
Disaster was about to strike; the church was divided and a severe spit was threatened.
This was the first problem that Paul had to deal with. Paul had to deal with it first because the bible says, a house divided against itself cannot stand. There were other problems in the church, other matters that had to be handled, but the people could not handle them unless the people were brought together in one spirit and mind.
The ministry and mission of the church could not effectively go on until the people stood together.
The worship service was affected, the evangelizing ministry was affected, the prayer life of the church and individuals were affected, and their spiritual growth was affected simply because of the divisions that existed in that church.
Divisions were caused by believers following different leaders. In all of this, the people were guilty of putting the messenger ahead of the message. They were being selfish and creating a “Me and My Church” rather than “A Jesus Church.”
The church had split over who the leader should be – Paul had to bring them back to who the leader really was. “It’s the Lord Jesus!” He is the head of the church. Jesus said upon this rock I will build “My” church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
This Corinthian church had formed cliques around certain men of the church. In one group were the proud pupils of Paul. In another group were the adorning admirers of Apollos. Then there were some who liked Peter, or Cephus, and like always there were those who claimed to be on nobody’s side and they believed that they were the only true followers of Christ.
Division within the church is one of the most serious problems a church could ever face, if not the most serious. Divisions can devastate the church’s fellowship, the church’s worship, the church’s mission and witness to the world unless it is solved quickly.
No matter how much a church has going for it, division can render it ineffective. The word di-vision is made up of the prefix “di” which means two. That’s where we get the word divide which means to split in 2.
That’s where we get the word divorce which means to make 1 into 2. That’s where we get the word dialogue which means 2 people speaking. In other words division means double vision.
Double vision can be dangerous. If you are seeing two of everything you need to make a trip to the eye doctor. If there are two visions in the church, then there needs to be some spiritual doctoring.
As an apostle, Paul was giving the Corinthians strong advice and recommendations. He is urging them to act upon the preaching and teaching that he has already given them. In a very serious manner, Paul says, “Now I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in agreement and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same purpose.
This church was strong and mature, but it had problems. It was wrecked by divisions. The members of the church were fighting with each other. There were those who were backbiting and backstabbing others who didn’t agree with their point of view. There were people who were murmuring and complaining because things weren’t exactly how they would like them to be. There were those who weren’t worshipping because the preacher they wanted was not up preaching. Although they were in the church, the church was not in them. This was a sign of spiritual immaturity among the members of the church.
Paul urged this church that all of you be in agreement and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and with the same purpose.