1 Corinthians 1:10-20 KJV
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?
14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 lest anyone should say that I had baptized in my own name. 16 Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas. Besides, I do not know whether I baptized any other. 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.
18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”
20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
In this passage from 1st Corinthians, the apostle Paul addresses the issue of division within the church at Corinth. Paul begins with a passionate plea for unity among the believers. He appeals to them by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, emphasizing the significance of Christ’s authority in resolving conflicts.
Paul desires that the Corinthians “speak the same thing” and be “perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” This unity isn’t merely superficial agreement, but a deeper alignment of hearts and minds around the core teachings of Christ. It’s a call to set aside personal preferences and factions in order to uphold the unity of the faith.
Paul had learned about the contentions in the church from Chloe’s household. He addresses the divisive mentality that has emerged, where individuals align themselves with different leaders—Paul, Apollos, Cephas (Peter), and even Christ. This division based on human leaders threatens the unity of the church and distorts the focus from Christ Himself.
The apostle’s rhetorical questions are powerful reminders of the oneness of Christ and the nature of Christian baptism. Christ is not divided; He is the unifying force that brings believers together as one body. Baptism, administered in the name of Christ, signifies and delivers our incorporation into His body and identifies us as His followers.
In our biblical understanding, we emphasize the centrality of Christ’s redemptive work in our salvation. Our faith is built on Christ alone, and our unity is anchored in His person and message. We are baptized into Christ’s name, not into the names of human leaders or factions.
Therefore, we seek unity in Christ’s wisdom and love, focusing on His message rather than human distinctions. Through this unity, we reflect the reconciling work of Christ and bring glory to His name.
Let us pray: Lord, we pray that your grace may always go before and follow after us, that we may always be ready to do your good works; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.