God's Word for Today 1 Corinthians 1
Paul did not preach one Christ, Apollos another, and Peter another. There is but one Saviour and one Gospel. How did the Corinthians create this four-way division? Why were there quarrels among them? One answer is that they were looking at the Gospel from a philosophical point of view. Corinth was a city filled with teachers and philosophers, all of whom wanted to share their wisdom.
Another answer is that human nature enjoys following human leaders. We tend to identify more with spiritual leaders who help us and whose ministry we understand and enjoy. Instead of emphasizing the message of the Word, the Corinthians emphasized the messenger. They got their eyes off the Lord and on the Lord’s servants, and this led to competition.
Paul will point out in 1 Corinthians 3 that there can be no competition among true servants of God. It is wrong for church members to compare pastors, or for believers to follow human leaders as disciples of men and not disciples of Jesus Christ. Paul used several key words in this section to emphasize the unity of Christians. He called his readers brothers, reminding them that they belonged to one family. He mentioned they were joined together like the parts of a single human body. They were also identified by the name of Jesus Christ. We do not know who the people were who belonged to “the house of Chloe,” Paul was the minister who founded the church, so most of the members would have been saved through his ministry. Apollos was a pastor/teacher in Corinth after Paul, Acts 18 tells us Apollos ministered in Ephesus, was taught by Aquila and Priscilla, and then came to Corinth and had an effective ministry. We have no record that Peter (Cephas) ever visited Corinth, but he must have, or people from Jerusalem and other places where Peter served had moved to Corinth. Each of these men had a different personality and a different approach to the ministry of the Word.
One laborer plows the soil, another sows the seed, a third waters the seed. As time passes, the plants grow, the fruit appears, and other laborers enjoy reaping the harvest.
No matter what work a person is doing for the Lord, he is still a part of the harvest. I Corinthians โครินธ์ 3:8-9 8He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor.
8คนที่ปลูกและคนที่รดน้ำก็เป็นพวกเดียวกัน แต่ทุกคนก็จะ ได้ค่าจ้างตามการ ที่ตนได้กระทำไว้
9For we are God's fellow workers. You are God's field, God's building.
9เพราะว่าเราทั้งหลายร่วมกันทำงานเพื่อพระเจ้า ท่านทั้งหลายเป็นไร่นาของพระเจ้า และเป็นตึกของพระองค์
Paul, Apollos, and Peter were not competing with each other. Rather, each was doing his assigned task under the lordship of Jesus Christ. Even though there is diversity of ministry, there is unity of purpose; and there ought to be unity of spirit.
It is not the human laborers that produce the harvest, but the Lord of the harvest. “God gave the increase. God has ordained that human beings should be His ministers on earth; but their efforts apart from God’s blessing would be failures. The Corinthians were proud of their church, and various groups in the assembly were proud of their leaders. But this attitude of being “puffed up” was dividing the church because God was not receiving the glory. The foundation is Jesus Christ. For more see www.wdbydana.com/sermon.html
May 23, 2012