After he founded the church in Corinth, Paul the Apostle received word that there were quarrels and divisions among the people over silly things. So he wrote to address this struggle, pointing the people back to Christ.

1 Corinthians 1:10-18

I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.
Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, so no one can say that you were baptized in my name. (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Big Idea

Sometimes we become dissatisfied with the church, so we try to recall the “good old church days.” But the reality is that the people of the church, since coming together 2,000 years ago, have always had their differences. The great thing about church is that it’s founded on Jesus’ grace and sacrifice.

Application

Our differences vary. We sometimes disagree with people of other faith traditions about the way to baptize or how to take communion. Sometimes we disagree with those within our own church walls over things like the best time to have church or the style of the worship music. These things don’t matter. What matters is that we are all bound together by one Head: Jesus Christ. So let us throw off all of the differences we think we have and focus on the message of the Cross.

Further Resources

Map of Ancient Corinth

Digital reconstruction of the Temple of Aphrodite

Paul in Corinth — Acts 18
Church history on the introduction of new denominations (the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, The Lutheran Church [Protestant Reformation]. the Methodist Church, then the United Methodist Church, etc.)

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