|1st Corinthians 1:10-15
The Household of Chloe
“Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye
all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that
ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of
the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say,
that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas;
and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye
baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you, but
Crispus and Gaius; Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own
name.” (1 Corinthians 1:10-15 KJV)
Paul, by the authority and power that had been granted to him by Jesus
Christ as an apostle, pleads with the church at Corinth. As brothers in
Christ, and subject to the authority of Jesus as Lord and the Christ, he
appeals to them in heart and soul to listen attentively and respond warmly.
Speak the same thing. There should be a unanimity of speech that would
betray them as being of the same body. Everyone should be on the same
page. Everyone should be singing the same song, although they each have
their own voice and style.
No divisions. Divisions for whatever reason are unacceptable. Whether it is
for race, class, social status, nationality, etc. divisions are unacceptable.
Parties, cliques, denominations are unacceptable.
Perfectly joined together. The tops of most tables are made of multiple
boards. They are joined by any number of methods so that it is difficult to
impossible to tell where they are joined together. That is how Christians are
to be joined together, seamlessly.
The same mind. Everyone should be on the same page. As a husband and
wife are one, so Christians should be one – seeking the same objective,
having the same goal in mind. It does not mean losing individuality.
The same judgment. No two people will agree on anything, unless one does
one the thinking for both of them. Yet, it is possible for two people to be of
the same judgment, by speaking the same things in speaking as the oracles
of God. If the answer to questions is book, chapter and verse – it is written –
the answer will always be the same.
I am of … The brethren at Corinth were divided into parties, dependant upon
there favorite preacher. Some called themselves after Paul (I am of Paul),
some called themselves after Apollos (I am of Apollos), some called
themselves after Cephas (I am of Cephas), and some called themselves after
Christ (I am of Christ). No matter who the preacher is, even if he is an
apostle or inspired of God, it is wrong to call yourself after him.
Now, if it is wrong to call yourself after an apostle or inspired evangelist,
would it not be wrong to call yourself after others, especially uninspired
men? The same is true if one is named after a movement. Whether
Methodist, or Baptist, or Catholic, none of the appellations which give
homage to human movements are acceptable. That would include either a
Restorationist, or a Campbellite.
Is Christ divided? Is Jesus divided into different parts? Is one arm one place,
another arm another place, one leg another place, the other leg another
place, the torso another place, and his head at a different location? The
question is a matter of absurdity to make a point. Jesus is not divided, and
neither should we be. If the church is the body of Christ, it is undivided. It is
not an amalgamation of denominations. There is one body, one church.
Was Paul crucified for you? No matter who it is, only Jesus was crucified for
us. John and Charles Wesley (Methodism) were not. Robert Smythe (Baptist)
was not. The Universal Bishop of Rome, a.k.a., the Pope, (Catholic) was not.
Paul was not. Apollos was not. Cephas was not. We should wear the name of
the one who died for us. We should wear the name of Christian.
Were you baptized in the name of Paul? “In the name of” is a phrase which
means “by the authority of.” The name on a credit card means you are
purchasing in that name. Jesus has authorized us to be baptized for the
remission of sins (Acts 2:38). The baptism of Jesus, where is it from? From
Paul? From Apollos? From Cephas? Or from Jesus? Is it from Methodism?
From Baptistism? From Catholicism? We are baptized in the name of Christ,
therefore we ought to call ourselves Christians.
There are no hyphenated Christians.
In a focus group in high school, back in 1971, one of the questions we
discussed was what we were religiously. There were Roman Catholics,
Greek Orthodox Catholics, Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, Buddhists,
Agnostics, Atheists, Reformed Jews, Conservative Jews, etc. When they
came to me, I said I was a Christian. Immediate the question was asked,
“What kind of Christian?” In view of the answers that had come before me,
it was a reasonable and expected question. But, in the intervening years I
have not been able to improve upon the answer. I said, “I am merely a
Christian. I follow Jesus, and Jesus alone. I do not follow after any concepts
of man. My loyalty belongs to Him, and to Him alone.”
Where does your loyalty lie?