10 February 2015

1 Corinthians 1:10-19

"Has Christ been divided?" (v. 13)

Psalm: Psalm 106:1-8


We are fortunate to have information in the book of Acts about the church in Corinth. Acts 18 tells us that Paul went to Corinth and worked alongside some inhabitants, using his trade of tent making. He also made the most of his opportunity to talk about Jesus, reasoning with Jews and Greeks in the synagogue every Sabbath.

The same chapter also gives some background to Apollos (Acts 18:24-28) - a educated man who spoke with great passion and experience. It was up to two members of the church in Corinth to take him to one side and explain the way of God to him more accurately (Acts 18:26).

What is important to note is that Paul and Apollos were not rivals (the way Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 4:6 adds to this). Rather it was the people in the church who created factions under the banners of Paul, Apollos and Cephas. Paul is horrified by this, as he appeals to the recipients of the letter repeating for emphasis (v. 10), "all of you be in agreement", then for good measure "there be no divisions among you", before finishing "be united in the same mind and the same purpose".

He finished the passage for today reminding them of the power of Christ in terms of the cross - "to us who are being saved [the cross] is the power of God" (v. 18).

To Ponder

  • What unites you with others in your church? And what might divide you? What is the relative importance of each?
  • How do you enter into meaningful conversation with Christians from other denominations?
  • To what extend are denominational boundaries a help or a hindrance in sharing faith and supporting each other in their discipleship?
  • How would you describe the power of God?

Bible notes author

Ken Kingston

Ken Kingston preaches in the High Wycombe Circuit. He has worked for the Connexional Team since 1992 in a variety of roles and has been involved in 'Called by Name' and 'Time to Talk of God' amongst others.