1 Corinthians 1:10–17 (NKJV)
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?1 Corinthians 1:10-17
14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 lest anyone should say that I had baptized in my own name. 16 Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas. Besides, I do not know whether I baptized any other. 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.
Paul jumps from a warm greeting to a rebuke of the sectarianism that has been reported to him about the church of God at Corinth. He immediately declares that such division is not appropriate and not allowed any longer. The church is to operate in the same mind and the same judgment. This particular division is personal to Paul, as some say they follow him or else Apollos, one of his fellow missionaries, or Cephas, otherwise known as Peter, and some elevate themselves above the preacher-followers and say that they serve Christ. Paul asks about whether Christ is only the leader of part of the church, or if they were baptized in the name of any man? Paul makes it clear that he did not die for anyone. He points them all back to Christ, Who is the only true Leader, Redeemer, or Savior of the church. Paul sums up his thoughts by thanking God that he did not baptize but a few of them, because he did not want significance attached to his administering this sacrament or ordinance to any of them. He wants them to know that he preached the gospel, and that he pointed them to Christ. Christ saved them, not Paul, Apollos, or Cephas.
When men allow themselves to be deified, they take the focus off Christ and put it on themselves. When members of the body of Christ begin to deify their ministers, they elevate them to a position in which they cannot succeed. There is one God, one Lord, one faith in which we stand. Be sure that you do not get your eyes so focused on a human leader in a church that you forget to worship the One True God. When people come into your church, they should not be required to sit in a particular section or join a particular group in order to be accepted. There should only be one section, and that is the body of Christ. There will be time for particular ministries based on giftings and callings, and there will be a need for discipleship, but only one church and one leader, Jesus Christ. Don’t upset the apple cart with hero worship. Worship God alone, and let men and women be human only, not divine.
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