THE ROOT OF DIVISIONS IN THE CHURCH
Paul founded the church in Corinth on his second missionary journey. Months after he left, arguments and divisions arose and some members slipped back into immoral lifestyle. Paul wrote letter to address the problems; to clear up confusion about right and wrong.
1 Corinthians 1:10-13 “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. For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you. 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”. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were you baptized in the name of Paul.?
To agree with one another, allows for no divisions and be perfectly united in mind and thoughts does not require everyone to believe exactly the same. There is a difference between having opposing viewpoint and being divisive. A group of people will not completely agree on every issue, but they can work together harmoniously if they agree on what truly matters – Jesus Christ is the Lord of all. In your church, speak and behave in a way that will reduce arguments and increase harmony. The problems in the church started as a result of favoritism for different preachers, because there was yet no written New testament, the believers depended heavily on preaching and teaching for spiritual insight into the meaning of the old testament. Some followed Paul, who founded their church, some who had heard peter (Cephas) in Jerusalem followed him, while others listened only to Apollos, an eloquent and popular preacher who had a dynamic ministry in Corinth. Although these three preachers were united in their message, their personalities attracted different people. At this time the church was in danger of dividing. By mentioning Jesus Christ ten times in the first ten verses, Paul makes it clear who it is all preachers and teachers should emphasize. God’s message is much more important than any human message. Paul wondered whether the Corinthians quarrels had divided Christ. This is graphic picture of what happens in the church(body of Christ).With the many churches and styles of worship today we could caught up in the same game of “my preachers is better than yours”. To do so would divide Christ again. But Christ is not divided, and his true followers should not allow anything to divide them. Don’t let your appreciation for any teacher, preacher, or author lead you into intellectual pride. Our allegiance must be to Christ and to the unity that He desires.
Let us look at the word “DIVISION”. “Di”means Two. Division to my own understanding means “divided vision”. Division starts with individual. The root of division originates from self ambition i.e I, ME, MYSELF etc. Until we work on ourselves personally by the help of the Holy Spirit, the purpose and plan of God for the church will not manifest. We must resist the language of Satan in the church which is “I”.
I am of Paul, I am of Apollos, I am of Cephas.
1 Corinthians 3:1 “And I brethren could not speak to you as to spiritual people, but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ.”
1 Corinthians 3:4 “For when one says “I am of Paul and another I am of Apollos” are you not carnal.
Paul called the Corinthians infant in the Christians life because they were not yet spiritually healthy and mature. The proof was that they quarreled like children allowing divisions to distracts them. Immature Christians are “wordly” controlled their own desires, mature believers are in tune with God’s desires. Being controlled your own desires will stunt growth.
Galatians 2:20 “ ‘I’ have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer, ’I’ who live but Christ lives in me and the life which ‘I’ live by faith in the son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.
Paul said ‘I’ have been crucified. The first ‘I’ there represents the old nature that must be crucified. It stated further, It is no longer ‘I’ who live but Christ lives in me, i.e the old nature was not only crucified but died. The unregenerated nature has perished, lit is Christ Spirit that now dwells in his spirit. Paul’s spirit is now controlled by the Holy Spirit.
Paul now said “The life which ‘I’ now live in the flesh, ’I’ live by faith in the son of God. The new ‘I’ has manifested in the life of Paul, which is the new man living in the will God. The first ‘I’ was controlled by Satan, while the second ‘I’ is controlled by God. Remember CHRISTAINITY IS NOT ONLY A CHANGED LIFE, IT IS ALSO EXCHANGED LIFE. Paul exchanged his old nature with the new nature by the power of Christ.
John 3:30 “He must increase, ’I’ must decrease. John said ‘I’ must decrease. The degree to which you submit yourself to God is the degree to which He lords over you.
Galatians 2:19 “For through the law ‘I’ died to the Lord so that ‘I’ might live to God.
Mark 1:7 “And he preached saying there comes after me who is mightier than ‘I’ whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose.
Luke 18: 9-14: Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others. Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God I thank you that I am not like the other men – extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collectors. I fast twice a week, I give tithe of all that I possess. And the tax collectors, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to even, but beat his breast saying God be merciful to me a sinner, I tell you this man went down to his house justified rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
The Pharisees did not go to the temple to pray to God but to announce to all within earshot how good he was, he began to boast of his strength,flesh cannot please God.
‘I’am not like other other people (self exaltation)
‘I’ fast twice a week (self righteousness). ‘I’give tenth of all my income. ‘I’ is Satan.
Isaiah 14:12-15 “How you are fallen from heaven o Lucifer, son of the morning? How you are cut down into the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart.
I will ascend to heaven.
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north.
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds.
I will be like the most High.
The fall of Satan, casting down and destruction all originated from self. The language of Satan is ‘I’ not the language of the God.
Isaiah 1:18 “Come let us reason together says the Lord”. God has called us unto Holiness not Hostility. The church has lost her language “Let us” which is the language o God.
Gen.11:7 “Come let us go down and there confuse their language,that they may not understand one another speech.
Jesus said I will build my church the gates of hell will not prevail. Gate of hell will not prevail. Amen.