What causes a community to become divided, even hostile toward one another?
“[A partisan spirit] serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions.”
Relational Problems in Corinth
Who informed Paul? Members of the house of Chloe (v.11)
Relational problems always occur, and they never get cleaned up unless somebody has the courage to take the heat for naming them.
Many times people focus on the process rather than acknowledging and dealing with the problem.
Do you have anyone from Chloe’s house in your life?
The surface problem named: Factions, divisions regarding personal preferences of teachers. (v12)
Backstory – the Apostle Paul’s teaching style
The deeper problem: Comparing Paul and his message to Sophists.
Sophists were celebrities of their time, who could impress and draw great crowds with their ability to communicate. (or perform)
Sophists built their own brand in order to gain wealth fame and honor. (status)
Paul: not a Sophist, not in competition with other teachers.
Paul’s message: finding unity in the way of the cross.
His message: “Is Christ divided?” – we cannot tolerate division.
i.e. Corinthian Baptism (was becoming a status symbol based on who you were baptized by)
Paul’s view of baptism: death to your ego
“Don’t you all know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?” (Romans 6:3)
The Secret of Community: Bring your relationships to the cross
What is looks like: Humility, self-giving, sacrificial love
Wherever there is brokenness, bring it to the cross.
Living under the cross: at work, at home, at school.
Be one of the people from Chloe’s house: Name the brokenness and confess whatever brand you’ve created.
The greatest power you have in your life is the power of the Cross.