Explore God's Word Daily

A daily blog on Christianity.com

Multiplying divisions

 

 

Division causes conflict, suffering and sadness. Division in the church is even more tragic, since it goes against Christ's desire that His people enjoy "complete unity" (John 17 v 23). So how can a church stay united?

Know Christ

Read 1 Corinthians 1 v 10-16

  • - What do the Christians seem to have been arguing about (v 11-12)?
  • - What point do you think Paul is making in verse 13?

Corinthian culture exalted particular orators, and argued over which was best--not so different from celebrety culture today. This promotion of one personality over another had permeated the church, and it was obscuring the uniqueness of Christ, the only Person who had been "crucified for you" (v 13).

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TIME OUT

How does, or would, this mistake look in your church today?

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Accept foolishness

Read verses 17-25

  • - What is the gospel message about (v 17-18)?
  • - What are the two responses to this message (v 18)?

What the world rejects, the church exalts. The world did not, and does not, know that it needed God to become a man and bear our sins by dying the death of an outcast traitor. Yet this is the heart of Christianity! So if a church begins to peddle a message that pleases the world, of course the true gospel will be de-emphasized, compromised, even replaced.

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APPLY

  • - Do you expect the world to think you wise, or foolish?
  • - Are you prepared for people to be offended by what you believe about the cross?

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Remember Humility

Read verses 26-31

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TIME OUT

  • - What does your culture say are the most important qualities in someone?
  • - What does your culture say it is acceptable to boast about?

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In Corinth, status came from being known as wise, or powerful, or from a good family.

  • - What status did the church members have (v 26)?
  • - Why did God choose to make them His people (v 27-29)?
  • - So what is the only thing a Christian can say is great, ie: boast about (v 31)?

When your boasting is only about what someone else has done--how the Lord Jesus has died for you--it is hard to get proud and defensive and divisive

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This devotional is taken from Explore—a daily Bible-reading devotional from The Good Book Company which enables you to engage with Scripture and which will encourage, equip and inspire you to live for Christ. Explore features contributions from pastors such as Dr Timothy Keller, Mike McKinley and Tim Chester.

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About Explore God's Word Daily

Explore God's Word Daily helps you open up the Bible to be refreshed and encouraged in your walk with God. "Explore" is the daily Bible-reading devotional from The Good Book Company (www.thegoodbook.com). Contributors include: Dr Timothy Keller, Senior Pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York; Mike McKinley, Senior pastor of Guilford Baptist Church; Tim Chester, author and pastor of Crowded House, Sheffield, UK; Mark Meynell, Senior Associate Minister at All Soul’s Langham Place, London, UK. Editors: Tim Thornborough and Carl Laferton.

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