1 Corinthians 1:12-13 (KJV)
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 think too many forget that this passage is written to a single local church. To apply it to an imaginary invisible universal church may seem to be the easiest, but it is by no means the most accurate interpretation. This church was facing division. These people within it were claiming unholy loyalties. Paul meant to put an end to it.
Paul’s central argument was this, “…was Paul Crucified for you?” Paul had come to Corinth to establish that church. He had preached the gospel that led to their salvation. He had taught and trained them in the truths associated with their faith but he was not the One who had died, was buried and rose again for them.
And neither were any of their other heroes.
- Case closed
- Slammed shut
- No more argument
Jesus Christ alone was their Saviour and to Christ alone they must give allegiance.
Interestingly, there was a dividing faction in the church that did claim, “I am of Christ”. The context demands that this group, though sounding holy, were equally in the wrong.
John Gill writes concerning those who claimed “I am of Christ“,
“They were for Christ without his ministers; they were wiser than their teachers; they were above being under any ministrations and ordinances; as the others attributed too much to the ministers of the Gospel, these detracted too much from them, and denied them to be of any use and service. Some persons may be, in such sense, for Christ, as to be blame worthy; as when they use his name to deceive men, or divide his interest.”
Our loyalties belong strictly to Christ who will always lead us to,
Hebrews 13:17 (KJV)
Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
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1 Corinthians 1:12-13 Case Closed
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