Tag: divisions

Avoid These “So-Called” Christian Sayings (Volume I)

Now, by way of disclaimer, let me say that there are situations where the sayings may apply. The purpose of this exhortation, however, is to address the times in which people often apply these sayings in places where they should not.

He’s not anointed” – This saying may also take the form of the following expression, ‘He doesn’t have the anointing.’ The idea being – the person who is speaking or singing or preaching doesn’t have, according to the person making the statement, the power of the Holy Spirit working through them. This saying is incredibly problematic because it is almost always slung from one Christian at another, and, according to the New Testament every Christian is anointed.

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Cross Centered Solutions

How would you have responded to the sectarianism that plagued Corinth? This issue was so potent that Paul addressed it twelve verses into 1 Corinthians saying,

Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” (1 Cor 1:12)

Perhaps some said, “I’m sticking with Paul. After all, he rebuked Peter and set him straight so I will be his disciple.” The Apollos crowd might have responded by saying, “Have you heard Apollo’s speaking ability? He is not only eloquent, but he is mighty in the Scriptures! Surely the anointing of God rests more mightily upon him.” To which Cephas’ crowd might have said, “Don’t forget to whom our Lord said, ‘You are Peter (Petros) and upon this rock (petra) I will build My church.’ Granted, Peter may have had his ups and downs but he is our guy.” And then the Christ-crowd might have responded by saying, “I’m not following any of those guys; I’m just gonna follow Jesus.”

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How a Local Church Won’t Stand (1 Corinthians 1:10-13)

10 Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11 For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you. 12 Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? (1 Cor. 1:10-13)

Jesus said that a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand (Mk. 3:24); and likewise, we can infer that a local church divided against itself cannot stand either. Apparently this was one of the primary reasons for which Paul wrote to the church at Corinth – to exhort them that there be no divisions among them (1 Cor. 1:10b; 3:3-4; 11:18). Therefore, Paul’s first bit of gracious, Christ-centered pleading came in the tenth verse of the opening chapter. The address was serious – he exhorted them by the “name of our Lord Jesus Christ”; and yet, he was tender – he called them “brethren.” And he charged them to (a) have no divisions among them and (b) to be of the same mind (vs.10b). This didn’t mean that everyone’s opinions on every conceivable topic had to be unanimous; rather, their love for one another and Christ was to preserve unity even amidst differences and diversity. In fact, the word translated “perfectly joined together” in the NKJV is the Greek word katertismenoi and it is the same word used to speak of the disciples mending their nets (Mt. 4:21; Mk 1:19). In other words, Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wanted the rips in the fabric of the local church repaired.

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Would You Give Thanks for the Corinthian Church? (1 Corinthians 1:4-7)

Would you regularly give thanks for the church at Corinth? I don’t think that many Christians who are familiar with the problems mentioned in 1 Corinthians would. Granted, I may be wrong; but don’t forget – there were a lot of problems in Corinth! Division, lawsuits among brethren, the toleration of sexual immorality, the abuse of Christian liberty, the mistreatment of the Lord’s table, and the misuse of spiritual gifts, are just some of the problems found among them. Yet despite that abbreviated list of infamy Paul could speak honestly under inspiration of the Holy Spirit and say,

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