My Baptism Is Better Than Yours…

Today we begin a look at the first letter Paul wrote to the Jesus followers in the city of Corinth, known as “1 Corinthians”. If you are not familiar with the background of this letter, you can read it here: 1 Corinthians Background . Paul founded this church on his second missionary journey and it appears that while he is in Ephesus, he hears reports about some of the problems that are going on in the church in Corinth…church problems are not “new business” on the church’s agenda. This letter addresses some of those problems and though it was written almost 2,000 years ago, the principles behind the problems remain and so we can learn from them today as well. I believe that most chapters will require two days to talk about but we’ll see as we go.

One of the first issues that Paul addresses is “division by association”.  Let’s read what he writes 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? There are those who were causing division by claiming to be baptized by one person or another, insinuating that being baptized by Paul was better than being baptized by Apollos. Or that becoming a follower of Jesus under the teaching of Cephas was better than becoming a follower of Jesus under the teaching of Paul. This kind of division is nothing but selfish and prideful and Paul called it out. Unfortunately this sort of division has not gone away. Though I doubt too many people are prideful over who baptized them, Jesus followers still argue over the best or most spiritual denomination or beliefs. I’m all for a good debate about theological differences, but most of the time, those differences don’t have to cause divisiveness. Let’s pull together with Christ instead of pulling apart from each other.


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