4 Aug. 1 Corinthians 1:10-17

4 Aug. Paul calls for unity among the believers in Corinth

"I beg you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that all of you agree with each other and not be split into groups."

"I beg that you be completely joined together by having the same kind of thinking and the same purpose. "

"My brothers and sisters, some people from Chloe's family have told me quite plainly that there are quarrels among you. This is what I mean: one of you says, 'I follow Paul'; another says, 'I follow Apollos'; another says, 'I follow Peter'; and another says, 'I follow Christ'."

"Christ has been divided up into different groups! Did Paul die on the cross for you? No! Were you baptised in the name of Paul? No! I thank God I did not baptise any of you except Crispus and Gaius, so that now no one can say you were baptised in my name..."

"Christ did not send me to baptise people but to preach the Good News. And he sent me to preach the Good News without using words of human wisdom so that the cross of Christ would not lose its power."

          (1 Corinthians 1:10-17)



Paul was horrified to hear from a member of Chloe's family that the new believers in Corinth were splitting into small groups based on the version of the Good News they'd heard either from Paul himself (see Acts 18:1-8), from Apollos (see Acts 18:24-28) or from Peter (see Acts 2:14-42).

He would be even more worried to hear today that some Christians regard themselves first and foremost as Baptists, Methodists or Catholics and only secondly as Christians.

And what about quarrels? Do we quarrel over when to baptise the children of Christian parents? Whether it's Biblical to baptise by full immersion or by sprinkling with water? Whether we believe the bread and the wine represent or actually become the body and blood of our Lord? Do we think we've got the only correct answers?

Paul didn't say, "I'm right, and Apollos and Peter are wrong". Instead, he begged the believers NOT to split into groups where following Peter, Paul or Apollos got in the way of serving and worshipping Jesus Christ as one family of believers: "I beg that you be completely joined together by having the same kind of thinking and the same purpose."

We've been very fortunate to travel widely and to worship with Baptists in Romania, with Catholics in Lebanon, with Pentecostals in Australia, and with Orthodox Christians in Greece and Turkey. We've not always understood the local language or the local traditions and customs, but we've been thrilled to join together in worshipping our Lord and Saviour with fellow Christians - who have welcomed us as members of the same family.

So why not visit a church of a different denomination or tradition while you're away on holiday? Or why not try visiting some different churches in your home area, and get to know how other local believers worship, pray and live out their Christian lives?

The photo (by Bgabel) shows the Roman Agora at Corinth, with the ancient Greek citadel of Akrocorinth in the background. You can read more from Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/the-holy-spirit-helps-us…/

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