1 Corinthians 1:10-17 ESV
10 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. 11 For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. 12 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.” 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so that no one may say that you were baptized in my name. 16 (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas. Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) 17 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.
I.THE CROSS IS GREATER THAN ITS COMMUNICATORS (10-17)
A.It’s about the cross of Christ, not riding the coat tails of Christ, or anyone else.
B.The church is centered on & thrives because of its powerful message, not gifted messengers.
C.Preachers are sent by God to the church to preach, not build followings for themselves.
II.THE CHURCH IS TO BE ONE HEARTBEAT (10-17)
A.The church is to be in agreement & one in understanding and in purpose.
B.Oneness does not mean dull sameness. Unity is not the same thing as conformity. (Rev 5:9; 7:9-10, Eph 3:20)
C.Dividing over doctrine is inevitable. Dividing over style and preference is indefensible.
D.Since Jesus cannot be split, neither can His church.
III.LOVE, NOT POWER, AS THE GREATEST VIRTUE (10)
A.Paul models the unity he wants the church to seek.
B.Love and truth are not on opposing sides.
C.Inside the church, that Christ is honored in our love of one another, not who is in charge, is what counts.
1.Church fractures are the result of losing missional focus.
2.Comparisons lead to competition, which are the result of forgetting our Gospel identity.
3.Unity flourishes in the church when love and grace are the dominant culture of a church rather than pride and power.
4.To follow Christ is to follow the way of the cross.
1 Corinthians 1:18-31Wisdom & Power in Reverse at the Cross