Cross Words: Unity (1 Corinthians 1:10-17)
Topic: Sermons Passage: 1 Corinthians 1:10–1:17
We’re continuing in our new sermon series on 1st Corinthians this week and we’ve come to 1 Corinthians 1:10-17. This is an interesting text, especially when you remember that the Apostle Paul has been writing words of thanks to God concerning all that he sees God doing in the midst of this church in Corinth. And it all seems well and good, until you get to verse 11, "For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you. " Uh Oh. That doesn’t sound so good. And I imagine as this letter was being read, that a sudden chill begins to steal through the congregation … and every head turns to glare at Chloe and her household as they studiously stare at their shoes and try to sink as low in their chairs as they can go. It doesn’t take much imagination to sense that must have been a tense moment for the church in Corinth. And I’m guessing it made for a tense week, a tense month, and a tense semester. I’m so glad there’s never any tension in our church (he says, rolling his eyes). And yet, certainly one of the greatest threats to the church, both then and now, are times of discord, division, and disunity. It’s hard to pray with people you’re mad at, isn’t it?
Last week I told you that this small church was not only struggling with harassment from outside, but was fairly dysfunctional on the inside. Paul addressed the issues of division and disunity, sexual immorality, the meaning of marriage, gross idolatry, people demanding their rights at the expense of others, the necessity of serving and encouraging one another, confusing worship, and serious doubts about the faith. And now Paul takes on the first of these issues – division and disunity – and he does it by refocusing the people on Jesus. You see, the problem of disunity is only solved with the Gospel of Christ. Paul, being wise and gracious, deals with each of these issues by reminding them of their salvation, earned by Christ on the Cross. And so I’ve entitled this series “Cross Words” and each week we’ll look at a key word from the text that makes us refocus our hearts and minds on Christ and the Cross. And this week that word is “Unity.” So how do we get unity, how do we lose unity, and how do we get unity back? All important questions. We’ll tackle them this Sunday. See you then, Dr. Dave