|1 Corinthians 1
WHAT UNITES US: CHRIST
1 Corinthians 1:10-17
1. The Exhortation (1:10).
A congregation needs harmony as it focuses on its unitary purpose.
Internal strife detracts from this unitary purpose.
2.The Problem (1:11-12).
Multiple planters and tillers offer an opportunity for jealousy and division.
We boast about or exalt the qualities of one over another.
We attach ourselves to "leading lights" because of qualities of possibilities we see in them.
3. The Solution (1:13-17).
Christ is the solution.
Christ has been crucified for us (the gospel proclaimed)
We have been baptized in the name of Christ (the gospel obeyed)
This unites us, and nothing should divide those whom Christ has united.
Questions for Discussion in Groups (Leaders of Groups):
1. What tensions threaten the unity of the Corinthian church? What sort of credetianals or reasons would some Corinthians have offered for following Paul, Peter or Apollos? Who was Apollos, for example (cf. Acts 18:24-19:1). What might each group have found to boast about "their" leader?
2. Is the one who says "I follow only Christ" (with an impliedů"and you don't") just as sectarian as the one who says "I follow Apollos"? Or is that implication fair?
3. What kind of harmony and oneness does Paul expect in order for the Corinthians to obey his command here? Does Paul expect conformity and agreement in all particulars (e.g., 1 Corinthians 8:7-13)? How does the second paragraph point us to the kind of unity Paul expects?
4. How does Paul undercut these divisions? What two questions does Paul ask to redirect us to true unity? How are these two questions foundational for Christian unity?
5. Do we understand what these two important truths mean? What does it mean that Christ died for us, and that we were baptized in his name?
6. Does it sound strange that Paul was happy he had not baptized many in Corinth? Why is Paul glad he did not baptize many?
7. Does Paul mean that preaching the gospel is more important than baptism? Does he mean to say that baptism is unimportant?
8. Why does Paul fear will detract from the power of the gospel? Why does he express this fear here in connection with these divisions in Corinth?
9. How may we at the Cordova church apply Paul's exhortation to unity? How can we maintain the unity of this congregation? Upon what must we focus? How do we keep that focus? How does this focus prevent attitudes such as "I follow Apollos"?
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