1st Corinthians - Wayne Barber/Part 12 | John Ankerberg Show

1st Corinthians – Wayne Barber/Part 12

By: Dr. Wayne Barber
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By: Dr. Wayne Barber; ©1998
Paul is talking to a body of believers he loves, a body of believers that he, through the Holy Spirit’s power in his life, started and initiated there at Corinth. When he tells them, “be made complete” it has the idea of repairing something, mending something. It also has the idea here of fitting something together so that it comes back into unity and oneness.

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1 Corinthians 1:10

Division Among God’s People

Division among God’s people is the problem Paul is dealing with in the first six chapters of 1 Corinthians. The whole book of 1 Corinthians has to be looked at through this grid of the first nine verses. Let’s make sure we have down what it means to be a member of the church of God. If you tell somebody you’re a believer, this ought to be in your life. If it’s not in your life, something’s upside down. Go back to where you departed, get it right, and go on. Things will shape up like they ought to be. But there are certain things that have to be there if you’re a member of the church of God. So, what are they?

First of all, we found that the church of God is God’s possession. That’s the easiest one of all of them. Secondly, we learn from verse 2 also that the church of God has but one purpose, to be set apart unto His purpose. Then, we’ve seen that thirdly, the church of God has a predictable behavior. The fourth characteristic of the church of God is totally proficient in Christ. There’s nothing we lack in Him. Fifthly, from verse 7 we learn that the church of God has a promise for the future. Then the sixth thing that we looked at is that the church of God has the privilege to partake of Christ.

That’s what the church of God is. That should be the predictable behavior of those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. If you get this out of kilter, that’s when everything gets confusing and chaotic in your life. That’s when division comes. That’s when everything turns upside down. The church of Corinth was upside down. This is right side up. That’s what he’s trying to say to them.

Let me just put it another way. I know many people who do not live under the authority of the Word of God and are not accountable to anybody but themselves. They live as if they can call their own shots. If you’re not living about His purposes and you’re living about your own, you’ve chosen your purposes above His and somehow you’re rearranged the priority here. If you’re living with confidence in your own creative flesh ability instead of being predictable to depend upon God in everything, if you’re living as if you’re lacking instead of living in the sufficiency of Christ, if you’re living in your own temporary goals in life rather than in the coming promise of the Lord Jesus, you see you’re living temporarily with temporary goals rather than the eternal goal of His coming for you and one day what that will be. If you’re living instead of partaking Him, you’re finding fellowship outside of Him and His people, then look out. You’re upside down. If you’ll come back to that grid, it will get you right side up. That’s what Paul says to begin the letter to make sure the church of Corinth knows how they’re supposed to be living.

Now he’s about to address the way they are living. One is going to be such a contrast to the other. I was at a conference and a lady came to me and said, “You know, the longer I’m in the Word of God, God just gets bigger and bigger, but His Word, even though it’s richer and richer gets smaller and smaller.” I said, “What do you mean by that?” She said, “The more I study, the more I see that God says the same thing over and over and over and over again.” Whether it be in the Old Testament, whether it be in the Gospels, whether it be in the Epistles, it’s always the same thing. He wants us to lovingly surrender to Him, to be about His purposes, to live in His sufficiency and not our own, to look forward to His coming.” You see, that’s just the bottom line. It’s what almost everything in Scripture points to. It’s Christ. It’s not us. I have to believe that. It’s like a well that has no bottom. That truth is still there. No matter how you come at it, it’s there. It’s not like it says seven different things in the Word. Is says the same thing seven different ways. You just keep seeing it and seeing it and seeing it.

A Plea for Unity

Well, division among the people of God, division in the church, this is what we’re dealing with. This is where Corinth was when the apostle Paul wrote this letter. First of all I want you to see a plea for unity in the church of Corinth. Verse 10 says, “Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree, and there be no divisions among you, but you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment.”

Now that word “exhort” is a very important word. It’s the word parakaleo. It has the idea of coming alongside someone, to comfort them. He’s going to rebuke them from verse 10 on. Well, he does but he does it in a very loving way. He’s not doing it to repel them. He’s doing it to attract them back to where they ought to be. He’s not trying to overlord them in any way. Remember Paul started that church. He’s coming alongside them and saying, “Guys, I’ve got something to tell you and I want you to sense the warmth from me. I want you to understand that I really do love you. But I want to come alongside you now to help you understand some things.”

That word “comforter” is also the word used for the Holy Spirit of God. It’s a tender but a firm word. In other words, if the rod of correction has to be in my life, I’m thankful it’s in the hand of One who loves me and gave Himself for me. If He’s going to come alongside you through the people and the Word He uses, thank God that it’s with love that He does that. He beckons us back to where we ought to be. He wants to turn the church back right side up.

He said, “Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,…” Now, again, that’s that comprehensive name of Jesus. We’ve seen it earlier. It’s the name of the Lord Jesus Christ by which and through which the apostle Paul gets his authority. In other words, he’s saying, “I couldn’t tell you how to live. I’m not coming into your life to play God. But in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ I come alongside you.” It’s His name that gives him the authority. It’s His name that can get it done. As a matter of fact, it’s His name that makes them automatically have a responsibility to listen to what the apostle Paul is trying to say. “I come to you in the character of Christ. I come to you representing the name of Christ. I come to you as an apostle of Christ.”

You see the idea here. It’s just like a loving parent coming to a child who’s been rebellious. He’s coming alongside them but he’s got some tough things that he has to say. “Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree,…” Now the King James translates that “speak the same thing.” That doesn’t really give you the idea here. It’s taken out of the Greek political life and it means that you be at peace with one another. That’s what he’s saying. “Hey, come on, folks, be at peace with one another.”

Don’t you want to do that sometimes? Just stand up and shout when people are arguing and fussing and quarreling and conflicting and all this kind of thing and say, “Time out! Be at peace with one another.” That’s what he’s saying to them. Be at peace with one another. Make up your differences. By the way, that would be a good word for us. Wouldn’t it? If there’s conflict in your life, make up your differences. Be at peace with one another.

He’s not saying to say the same thing. The churches would say, “Uh-huh, see there. Everybody comes together. We all say the same thing.” That’s what they’d take it to mean. That’s not at all what he’s saying. He’s saying, “Come on, guys. Make up your differences. Be at peace with one another.” This is seen in the following phrase. He just continues to explain himself. “Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree, and there be no divisions among you.” You see, you can’t be at peace if there are divisions among you. He knew that there were divisions at Corinth so he’s easing into it. He’s making a plea for unity before he starts addressing the disunity.

The word “divisions” is the word schizo. It’s the word that means to rend or to tear something in half, to rip something in half, to divide something. As a matter of fact, let me just give you a few verses here where it’s used and you might get a visible picture of what the word has to be. Matthew 27:51 says, “And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom, and the earth shook; and the rocks were split.” Torn in two, that’s the word. In Luke 5:36 says, “And He was also telling them a parable: ‘No one tears a piece from a new garment and puts it on an old garment; otherwise he will both tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old.’” That word “tear” means to rip. It’s an aggressive, abusive type of thing. In John 21:11 we read, “Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three, and although there were so many, the net was not torn.” That’s the same word.

So you get the idea of something that’s ripped, something’s that’s just grabbed and rent asunder. In Acts 14:4 you see the word “divided.” It says, “But the multitude of the city was divided; and some sided with the Jews, and some with the apostles.” So you see a ripping apart of a fellowship of people there: some siding this way, some siding that way. Acts 23:7 says, “And as he said this, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and Sadducees; and the assembly was divided.”

So when you get the word “division” it’s not just something that suddenly happens. It’s something that’s ripped, something that’s torn apart and it’s something that’s damaged as a result of that. He says, “I don’t want you to have any divisions among you. I want you to make up your differences. I want you to have peace with one another.”

Then he adds this phrase in verse 10. He says, “Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree, and there be no divisions among you, but you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment.” Now this is when he begins to show what his intention is. He’s given the grid in verses 1-9. Now he’s saying, “I want you to be made complete.” He’s talking to a body of believers he loves, a body of believers that he, through the Holy Spirit’s power in his life, started and initiated there at Corinth. “Be made complete” is the word katartizo. It’s the word that has the idea of repairing something, mending something. It also has the idea here of fitting something together so that it comes back into unity and oneness.

Have you ever worked on a jigsaw puzzle? I’m talking about the ones with thousands of pieces in it. One of the things you do is put all the ones of darker color over here, and the ones of lighter color over here, and the ones with blue and the ones with yellow. You try to separate the pieces before you start the puzzle. You put them in these different little piles and even though they look divided what you’re going to do is you’re going to start pulling from each one of these piles. Even though it is all divided before you start it ends up being united when you finish. Each one of those pieces, though different, can be fitted together.

The apostle Paul is saying to the church of Corinth, “I’m not asking you to be clones of each other. I know that you’re different.” He addresses the different gifts of the body in chapter 12: “I know that you’re different but come on, man, make peace with one another. Come out of your little groups over here. Come back together and fit the way God wants you to fit. Be made complete. Be mended. Be healed.” That’s what he’s saying to them. The same thing anybody would say to a group of people he loves, that he knows have been ripped apart and torn apart because people won’t live verses 1-9. They won’t live under the lordship of Jesus Christ. They become a cancer in the body and would rather divide than unite, you see. So he pleads for them to do that.

This is the same word that’s used in Hebrews 11:3. This is a key verse to understanding this word katartizo. What does it mean? It says in Hebrews 11:3, “By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God.” That word “prepared” in the New American Standard is this word. And the word for “worlds” is ages, the ages of time. What he’s saying is that the ages of time have been fitted together by the very word of God. What is it that fits man together? It’s that very same word, folks, that fits us together. When we get up under the word and the will of God, it fits us back together like we ought to be and all of a sudden the division stops and they’re healed. All of a sudden people come back to unity. That’s what he’s praying for. And the Word is what draws them back. You come back up under the authority of the lordship of Christ, under the authority of His Word, and God fits us into His Word. That’s what he’s saying here. Be fitted back together. You’re divided. You’re broken up. You’re ripped asunder.

Now the next two phrases in verse 10 continue to add to the thought. He says, “in the same mind and in the same judgment.” “In the same mind” means with the same understanding. “The same judgment” means to have the same discernment that affects the same character. Now, again, what is it that fits us? Look over in 1 Corinthians 2:16. We have something that if we submit to, will immediately produce the unity that’s already there. It brings it back. It’s something that when you get up under it, it gets in you and you’re fitted into the Word. That’s what happens. He says, “For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he should instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.” We have the Word of God ourselves. We have the Holy Spirit of God who gives us the wisdom from the Word. And so, when you’re fitted back together, it takes the Word to do that, just like the Word fitted the ages together. The Word fits us back together.

Drop down to verses 11 and 12. “For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you.” Now look at this. “Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, ‘I am of Paul,’ and ‘I of Apollos,’ and ‘I of Cephas,’ and ‘I of Christ.’” Now think with me for a second. What is Paul saying here? “Guys, be fitted back together. Don’t be fitted into my mind, be fitted into Christ’s mind. Be fitted back up under the authority of His Word, fitted into that which God has taught you. No difference. Don’t be fitted into Paul’s mind. Don’t be fitted into Apollos’ mind. Don’t be fitted into Cephas’ or Peter’s mind. But be fitted back where you need to be, in the mind of Christ.” Get men out of your focus and get Christ into your focus. That’s what Paul is saying.

See, what’s happened is they have gone after these people who mean much to them, with good intentions, and as a result of that have excluded one another because, “You’re of him, but I’m of him.” It’s brought a division right down the middle of the body of Christ.

Paul is not saying, “Say the same thing. Wear the same clothes.” Thank God, he’s not saying that. He’s not saying that at all. He’s saying to be controlled by the same hand. Suppose I played a middle C on the piano. Some people think that’s what Paul is saying. Everybody be the same. Everybody be the same. Would that ever get monotonous after a while? So I add another note. Then I add another. Oh, that’s better. Oh, that’s better. I wouldn’t be playing the same note because every note was different, but every note was be played by the same hand.

That’s what Paul’s saying. Come back to the place where you’re played by the same hand. In other words, you’re controlled by the same Master. You’re fitted in to the mind of Christ, not the mind of man. You’re fitted back where you ought to be. Let the Word of God put you back together because you’re a disjointed group. Make peace. Settle your differences, come back together and let God play your life. Let Him rule your life. Come back to the lordship of verse 2. Understand who it is that owns you, purchased you, and bought you. Start living that way. Then immediately you’ll discover the unity that’s already been there. You see, it’s not at all that we have to be the same. It doesn’t even mean that we have to agree on everything the same in the sense that we’re all studying and growing, etc. But we do agree that this is God’s Word and there are certain things that hold us together. That’s what Paul’s recalling them to so that they can have the oneness in the body.

In Ephesians 4:3 the apostle Paul says something. He says, “being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Paul does not say, “Produce it,” Paul says, “Preserve it.” We can’t produce it. We’ve tried it and it never works. I don’t have to be in your house or even know your name to be in oneness with you. If I’m walking right with God (1 Cor. 1:1-9) and you’re walking that way with God, you and I are already one because the unity’s there. We don’t work toward it. We come from it, you see. He’s saying, “Folks, come on back to that which draws you together. Fit yourself into the mind of Christ. Let Christ fit you back together. Let Him make the puzzle make sense instead of being provided with schisms there amongst you.”

Well, what a beautiful picture of how God can always bring that unity back into His people. It’s there. He can just manifest it if we’ll come to Him.

I was in a meeting in another state and they had been having quite a bit of trouble. Two members of the staff had resigned. I knew there were problems when I got there, because neither one of the two came to the meeting although both were friends of mine. What does that tell you? That tells you there are hard feelings. That tells you they’re not going to come because there are some really bad things that have happened. I want you to know that while I preached the Word that week, we didn’t address the problem. We just addressed the Word, and the Word addressed the problem. As we were going through it that week God put on my heart, “Don’t you go in and address anything because you don’t know. Just go in and teach.” So I decided to teach Judges. That’s what I did, and one guy told me at the end of the week, he said, “You must have talked to somebody.” I said, “I didn’t talk to anybody. Why?” He said, “You just about addressed every single thing we have been through for the last six months but you did it through the book of Judges.” I said, “Now, I didn’t do that. God’s Word did that.” But under the teaching of the Word that week we saw people break and come back together. It’s amazing.

That’s exactly what Paul’s saying. You come back into unity. You be fitted back together. Let there be no divisions among you. This is not what I’m looking for in you. I want to see that oneness. It’s a plea for oneness in the church of Corinth.

The Problem of Disunity in Corinth

The second thing I want you see is the problem of disunity in Corinth. You see, even though he pleads for it, he knows it’s not there. Now we’re going to address a little bit more fully what we read a moment ago. This is the problem they’re having. He addresses it just about all the way through chapter 6. In verse 11 he says, “For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you.” Imagine this. This is the church of God at Corinth feuding with one another. How does it hit you when you hear about some church that’s split again? They’ve had another fight in the business meeting, and they’re feuding with one another. Well, that’s exactly what’s going on here. I want to tell you. Flesh is flesh. It doesn’t matter if it’s in their day or in our day. It’s the same thing and when a person gets his life out of synch and stops living surrendered unto Christ, automatically he becomes the instrument of division in the body, you see. Flesh is just flat out flesh.

Here’s the church of God at Corinth fighting with one another. Peter had to address the same thing in 1 Peter when he says, “Hey, I want to remind you of something.” Peter had to remind the most persecuted believers in all of Asia Minor. You can find that in the whole New Testament. He had to remind them. “Get your eyes back on the Lord because, evidently, something’s going on in your relationship.” He had to remind them of that. They couldn’t grow until they made their relationships right with God and with one another.

Verse 11 says again, “For I have been informed concerning you.” Now that means it’s not heresy. It means it’s not secondhand. He knows for a fact this is going on. This is not some rumor that Paul picked up on and then lambastes the church for. He knows firsthand from a person by the name of Chloe. We don’t know exactly who that was but it had to have been a prominent member of that church who either wrote him or came and told him of what was going on there. She tells of the quarrels that are among the people. Later on he talks about others who have informed him so it’s not just this person. Others have brought the news to him. But he knows. He says, “This is what has been going on. I know this for a fact. There are quarrels among you.”

The word “quarrels” is a stronger than the word for “division.” It is eris, and it’s found in some strange company. You don’t want to ever have this. It’s something that’s inside first but it’s being manifested on the outside. When people are conflicting kind of folks and contentious kind of people, quarreling kind of people, what they’re doing on the outside is symptomatic of what’s going on on the inside, you see. That’s what the word has to do with.

Let me show you some of the company it keeps. It’s not real good. In Romans 1:29 we read, “being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil, full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips.” That’s a great family of words to be involved in. Galatians 5:20 says, “idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions.” Look at the company it keeps. It’s a flesh word. So whenever we become contentious with one another, it’s very obvious that one or both of us have stepped outside the grid of 1 Corinthians 1:1-9. Somehow we’re not living up under the lordship of Christ and somehow we have allowed the flesh to dominate. And when the flesh dominates this is what’s produced. It won’t be just quarreling. It will be other things that will go along with it as a result of not living what Paul has already said the Christian life was all about.

We know the strife was that they were lining up behind individual leaders in the church. Verse 12 again, says, “Now, I mean this.” In other words, this is what I’m saying. It’s a fact that each one of you say that “”I am of Paul, I am of Cephas, and I of Christ. Now, some people would say that this is the cause of the problem. They chased after men. That’s their whole problem. No, I don’t agree with that. I think it’s a symptom of the problem. I think their whole problem is they’ve stepped out of line with that grid we’ve already formed in the first few verses and as a result of that they start chasing after men instead of after God.

He says, “Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying,…” Now it’s natural to be close to somebody who has ministered to you. Some people, though, take it to an extreme. The apostle Paul started the church, so naturally they would be close to him. Isn’t that right? But the apostle Paul reprimands them for putting him above Apollos who was the second pastor. He says, “Don’t do this. This is not what you’re supposed to be doing. You’re supposed to be following after Christ to let His mind fit you back together. Don’t put me on a pedestal. Don’t do that with men.”

When I was in another church that I pastored, I was told how much the former pastor had visited. Most of the time people compare pastors with a pastor they had before or with the pastor in their life who has ministered so much to them. They keep waiting for somebody to come in and clone him and be that way to them again. They don’t realize that every pastor is gifted differently, called differently. Everything’s different in the body of Christ. Well, when I got there they told me that he visited the shut-ins every single day. But then there was one statement that was made to me. “His sermons weren’t much. He didn’t teach us much but, boy, he sure did love us and he sure did visit us. He sure did come by when we were ill,” or whatever.

Well I’m a little bit different cut. “I came in a little bit different way. I felt like I loved the people by spending my time in the Word. When I got in the Word, then when I stood up before them, I had something to say. I loved them through the gift that God had given me to love them and I would teach them. That’s the way I’ve always looked at it. But they couldn’t stand that. And as a result of this first pastor, there was a division that began to grow in our church. Some were of him, but some of the newer ones were of me. Automatically there was a division in our fellowship every time we would come together.

That’s exactly what Paul’s talking about. Now, folks, I want to tell you something. If you’ve got somebody on a pedestal who’s ministered to you in the past, get them off that pedestal and put Jesus up there where He belongs, because it can divide and conquer a church if you’re trying to measure everybody the same way. You see, that’s the whole problem he’s dealing with here. Some are of Paul, some are of Apollos, the next pastor who came along. I wonder what Apollos did that Paul didn’t do that made these be after Apollos instead of after Paul, the greatest missionary in the New Testament. I felt better, by the way, when I read that. Even he had that problem.

But then he mentions another group here that I think to me is the problem and that is, “and I of Christ.” Now, how do you handle that phrase? Is he saying, “Some of you really are of Christ and these are the ones. You ought to be following after Christ instead of following after mere men”? That’s an idea, but I don’t think that’s what the text is saying. He mentions the “I of Christ” in the same censure that he mentions the other three. So it seems to me like what he’s saying is that you’re the toughest ones to reach. Some of you are saying, “Yeah, they’re after these mere men; we’re after Christ and if you’re not like us. We’re excluding all the rest of you.”

By the way, do you know anybody that way, who says, “I am of Christ.”? Do you know anybody like that? I have a relative that way. As a matter of fact, he told me one day that since we didn’t do it the way he did it that I’m going to Hell. That’s what he said. Well, bless his heart. When we get to Heaven one day there’s going to be a fence built around these folks and Saint Peter’s going to say, “Shhhh, don’t speak loudly because they think they’re the only ones up here. Shhh.” And we’re all going to walk by, you know, and enjoy Heaven for a million years while they’re over here with a fence around them thinking they’re the only ones up there. I am of Christ, real exclusive. You say, “Wayne, how can you draw that conclusion?” Well, there may be a reason. Look over in 2 Corinthians 10:7. There’s a group of preachers who come along and they’re trying to exclude Paul as even being worthy or of any value whatsoever. I want you to see this and how Paul deals with them.

In 2 Corinthians 10:7 he’s dealing with a group of preachers who is just trying to exclude him altogether. They’re very exclusive people. People of the flesh are always that way. They’re divisive, contentious and exclusive. He says, “You are looking at things as they are outwardly. If anyone is confident in himself that he is Christ’s, let him consider this again within himself, that just as he is Christ’s, so also are we.”

Paul is beautiful the way he handled it. He didn’t handle it on the same level they were handling him. He just sort of very kindly said, “Now, go back and rethink this thing now because just as you’re in Christ, so also we are in Christ. Quit excluding us because we’re not doing it the same way you’re doing it.” Who were these people? Well, we don’t really know but they could have been some of the legalists in that day. Paul understands this and simply says, “Hey, guys, I just want to tell you. You go back and rethink this thing because just as you’re in Christ, so we also are in Christ.” He’s not mean at all. He’s very kind but just drives a nail right there where it ought to be, you see.

Go back to Acts 21:20-21. We find a situation where there were new believers who were Jewish but they stuck with the Law. They could be these people he’s talking about. I don’t know. It says, “And when they heard it they began glorifying God; and they said to him, ‘You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed, and they are all zealous for the Law.’” Wait a minute, now. Whoa. They have believed and they’re all zealous for the Law. They have been told about you, Paul, that you’re teaching all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, and you’re telling them not to circumcise their children or to walk according to the customs. In other words, they’re still hung up under Law. They haven’t moved up under grace yet. The apostle Paul constantly had to deal with people like this. But they always wanted to exclude Paul because when you’re that immature, you’ll try to exclude everybody else. Perhaps that was what was going on in Corinth, that kind of division, that kind of thing. “I’m of him. I’m of this other. I like what he says. I’ve got all of his tapes. I bought all of his books.” Tape-ites and book-ites, you know, instead of “I am of Christ and of His Word and I just want Him to dictate in my life His will and I want to line up under it and fit where I belong in the body of Christ.”

Many times we think these other people aren’t even believers. Yeah, they’re believers. They just may not be where we are. The way Paul treated them was precious. They could have been the ones he’s talking about. They could have been the very ones he’s mentioned that had come into this church back in chapter 1. The point is whether you’ve been ministered to by Apollos or you’ve been ministered to by Paul, or you’ve been ministered to by Christ, don’t put them up here. Put Christ up here. And as you put Christ up here, back where He belongs, get up under His will and up under His word. Then He will cause you to fit in the body where you belong. You can even tolerate and accept others who are different who won’t tolerate and accept you. But there can be peace and unity in the body one more time.

Something had drawn a great division in the body there of believers at Corinth, a schism. They had been ripped and rent and torn. The fellowship had been totally devastated because somebody wasn’t living under the grid of verses 1 through 9. Paul says, “Please, I’m begging you. I’m pleading with you. Please settle your differences. Have peace among you and let God fit you back where you belong so that you can be one together and enjoy the unity that He has.”

One of the things I’m discovering by going to different denominations is that denominations aren’t bad. They’re different but just not really bad. Everybody hates denominations. Well, it’s not necessary to hate them. If you become nondenominational, you’ve just become the denomination of the non-denomination. Did you know that? Where are you going to go that you’re not going to be a denomination? One of the things I’ve discovered is if we’re looking at Christ and not them and their denomination or us and our denomination, we’re just looking at Christ, it’s amazing how many people of other thoughts that you can begin to have fellowship with and the unity that God will give to the body.

If you look at all the things that you have different, look out. Look at Christ and let Him fit you together. Now there are going to be places where doctrine will divide you. I don’t have a right to divide but the doctrine will. It will divide you at times. But you see, when it comes to contentiousness and quarrelsomeness and these kinds of things, that’s what Paul’s dealing with. That’s flesh. And he says, “Men, get back up under Christ. Get back up under His Word and just let Him fit you where you belong so that the big puzzle that’s been in different blocks of pieces, now, can come together and make sense. This is the body of Christ. Now I know that you are my disciples because you love one another.”

He’s going to deal with this for quite. If you’ve got a problem with somebody who you’re excluding, look out. Look out. You may not be focused on the One you need to be focused on. All of us do it. I’ve done it many, many times. You have to be so careful and let God bind you together. We sing that song, “Bind us together, Lord. Bind us together.” That’s a great song because we can’t bind ourselves but He can bind us if we’ll let Him have control in our life one more time.

Read Part 13

Dr. Wayne Barber

Dr. Wayne Barber

Wayne has taught the message of “Living Grace” around the world. He is president, founder, and principal speaker of Living Grace Ministries and Senior Pastor of Woodland Park Baptist Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He learned to exegete Scripture by studying for 10 years with Spiros Zodhiates, one of the leading Greek scholars.
Dr. Wayne Barber

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