I Corinthians 1:10-17
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)
- Naming them
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.