Sunday, November 23, 2014

Paul's Epistles - 1 Corinthians Part 2 – Division over Leaders

Paul's Epistles - 1 Corinthians
Part 2 – Division over Leaders
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org

INTRODUCTION
We have just finished looking at the first epistle of Paul, Romans, which was written to the Christians in Rome in February of 58AD.

We now turn to the second of the epistles authored by the Apostle Paul, I Corinthians.

The church in Corinth was founded by Paul after he worked there for 18 months. (I Corinthians 4:15; Acts 18)

Last week we spoke about Paul's Introduction to the letter.

Today we will read about division in the congregation over the leaders within the church.



SCRIPTURE REFERENCE I Corinthians 1:10-17
10 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters (believer's), in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. 11 My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas (This is Peter)”; still another, “I follow Christ.”
13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul?14 I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so no one can say that you were baptized in my name. 16 (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.





                   I.            BELIEVER'S MUST BE IN AGREEMENT
a.      In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ
                                                                         i.      He begins by proclaiming WHO is the Head of the Church
                                                                      ii.      Invoking Jesus' full title.


b.     Agree with one another in what you say
                                                                         i.      Speaking directly about "who" is the head of the church.
                                                                      ii.      It's not Paul, nor Peter as some denominations teach, rather, it is the one who was crucified for our transgressions, the Lord Jesus Christ.


c.      There must be NO division among you
                                                                         i.      You MUST be united in mind and thought
                                                                      ii.      In regards to Christ and the Cross
                                                                   iii.      Without doubt, the Lord Jesus Christ IS the head of the church, and the work of the Cross is the ONLY object of our faith.



               II.            NO QUARRELS AMONG BELIEVER'S
a.      Paul then mentions where he received these reports
                                                                         i.      This is to show that he knows of what is going on, and is not just mentioning these things in passing.
                                                                      ii.      The debate centered on disagreements concerning the Cross.


b.     One says he follows Paul, another Apollos, another Cephas (Peter), and another Christ


c.       In effect, the last group was saying they did not need a preacher at all, because they had Christ.
                                                                         i.      If one did not need a preacher, the Lord would not have the Spiritual Gift of Preaching and Teaching.

                                                                      ii.      Remember, the Spiritual Gifts are for the encouraging, uplifting and strengthening of the Body of Christ, which all followers of Christ belong.

                                                                   iii.      But we do NOT follow the preachers and teachers...the Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of the Body of Christ, and the one who was crucified for our sins, and the only one you can be baptized in to receive the promise of the Father in Heaven, which is the Holy Spirit.



            III.            IS CHRIST DIVIDED?
a.      Paul wants to get everyone's understanding on the same page.
                                                                         i.      We must all agree, the Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church

                                                                      ii.      We must all agree, the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified for our sins

                                                                   iii.      We must all agree, we can only be baptized into Jesus

                                                                     iv.      These are non-negotiable, if you are to say you are a member of the Body of Christ.


b.     Was Paul crucified for you?
                                                                         i.      Were you baptized in the name of Paul?


c.      Paul was thankful he only baptized a few
                                                                         i.      Then they would not run around saying they were baptized in his name.

                                                                      ii.      If water baptism was not simply symbolic, but essential to salvation, it would not make sense that Paul had blatantly announced that he had only baptized a couple people during his ministry.


d.     "Christ did not send me out into the world to baptize" (this presents what we may call a Cardinal truth of doctrine), but to preach the Gospel
                                                                         i.      In the Great Commission Jesus commands that we go into the world preaching the Gospel, baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (not water), then teach them to obey all that Christ's commands.

                                                                      ii.      The scriptures reveal Paul's calling in the Book of Romans

                                                                   iii.      Paul was called to preach the Gospel of salvation to the Gentiles who had never heard the name of Jesus.

                                                                     iv.      The Gospel is the manner in which one may be saved from sin.


e.      Preaching the Cross, not in wisdom & eloquence
                                                                         i.      Lest the cross be emptied of its power.

                                                                      ii.      Intellectualism is not the gospel.

                                                                   iii.      This tells us that the Cross of Christ must be the emphasis of the message, and the message must be simple in terms, because the road to salvation is simple to understand.



CONCLUSION

Paul makes it clear, as far as the leadership of the Body of Christ, the leadership of the Church is concerned, it is the Lord Jesus Christ, and no one else.

Not Paul, not Peter...but Jesus.

We, as a congregation, must be in full agreement that;

                                                                         i.      The Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church

                                                                      ii.      The Lord Jesus Christ was crucified for our sins

                                                                   iii.      We can only be baptized into Jesus

                                                                     iv.      If you are to say you are a member of the Body of Christ.



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