1 Corinthians 1:10-17

I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, so that no one may say that you were baptized in my name. (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas. Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

Observation

  • Paul appealed to the Corinthians in the name of Jesus Christ.
  • Paul appealed that they all agree.
  • Paul appealed that they be united in the same mind.
  • Paul appealed that they be united in the same judgment.
  • Chloe’s people had told Paul the Corinthians were arguing among themselves.
  • The Corinthians were dividing among schools i.e. Pauline, Apollos, Cephas, Christ
  • Christ is not divided.
  • Paul was not crucified for the Corinthians.
  • The Corinthians were not baptized in the name of Paul.
  • Paul is not sure who all he baptized but it was not many.
  • Paul baptized Crispus, Gaius, and the household of Stephanas.
  • Paul is glad he did not baptize many so that they could not say they were baptized in Paul’s name.
  • Christ did not send Paul to baptize.
  • Christ sent Paul to preach the gospel.
  • Paul did not preach eloquently.
  • If Paul preached eloquently the power of Christ’s cross would have been emptied.

Interpretation

This is a great text regarding Christian unity. It places the church corporately and us individually under great conviction.

What does Paul require regarding Christian unity? First he would have the Corinthians join together in one mind. Second, he would have the Corinthians join together in one judgment. Third, He would have them declare they were in agreement.

When Paul says they should be united, the word he uses καταρτίζω which means: to repair or adjust: – fit, frame, mend, perfectly join, prepare, or restore. The same word is used in Mark 1:19. James and John were together in the boat mending (καταρτίζω) their nets.

Paul is not saying the Corinthians could not hold different opinions. They were fighting and arguing among themselves. By saying they are to be united, Paul is saying, they are to be joined together. They are to work together. They are to join together just as members of the body are joined together. Each part is different. Each part plays its role. Each part joins with the others to make a whole. Unity is not sameness. Unity is cooperation.

The Corinthians were to be united first in the mind, that is understanding, and second in judgment, that is purpose or will.

An Application

Paul is saying that we are to work together in our understanding and purpose. What is our understanding? It is not that one is a Baptist, one a Methodist and another Presbyterian. And let us not forget Lutherans. We are Christians. Luther nor Calvin, nor Wesley died for us. Christ died for us. We are not baptized into any denomination. We are baptized into the Kingdom of God.

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