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Wednesday: Schism in Corinth — 17 Comments

  1. What is the cause of division in the early Corinthian church?
    They forgot Christ who is the author and finisher of faith.
    The church began following human founders and thus the church lost its power to influence the world.
    People began following the reformers and lost the focus on sola scriptura
    Thus the reformation lost its power to lighten the world.
    When we were given the message righteousness by faith, we targeted the messengers and effectively shed darkness to the message thus delayed the coming of the Lord.
    Where is our focus today?
    What is our message? Jesus. Jesus alone.
    Believe justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ's righteousness alone is the gospel.

  2. “Paul reminds the Corinthians that Christians are called to follow Christ, not a human being-however talented or gifted or called that person may be.”

    Would Paul similarly remind us today that Christians are called to follow Christ, not a denomination - however called that denomination may be?

    • 100% Agree. Denominations pushes as away from our savior. There is church pride instead of pointing the Glory to Christ. Jesus saves those who believes him not a denomination.

    • Phil, I'm of the opinion that the problem is the people and not the denomination/grouping, for if we truly follow Christ we shall not err.

  3. Again even is this particular lesson we find that TRUTH is what really unites is in Christ!! I quote"

    "Christian unity finds its source in the truth as it is found in Jesus Christ and Him crucified, and in no one else, no matter how “worthy” a mentor or preacher or leader that person might be."

    It is ONLY the LOVE of the TRUTH that will truly bind us together as one! Christ prayer in John 17 is we are to be ONE as He and the Father ARE ONE! Is there ANY difference in what THEY believe?

    • Daniel, consider this: Jesus said "I am the truth," and the Apostle John tells us "that God is love," and that certainly includes Jesus Christ.

      While your argument that propositional truth is the basis of unity sounds good on the surface, it is a fact of history that this belief lay at the basis of all persecution, including the RC Inquisition. And human nature has not changed. Each person or group of persons will have their understanding of propositional truth, and if we take this as the basis of unity, we will either have many groups, each with their belief systems (as we do now), or we will have one group in the ascendancy that will attempt to force others into line in the name of unity.

      Consider that Christ said, "By this shall all know that you are my disciples - that you love one another." Thus the question comes whether we can be united in love even while we hold to differing ideas of propositional truth. I invite you to consider the historic Jerusalem Council recorded in Acts 15. How did the early Christian church maintain unity? Was it by ensuring that they all believed the same, or not? Is there such a condition as unity in diversity?

      Please consider that the Holy Spirit led in the Jerusalem Council. Are we today willing to be led by the Spirit, or do we favor the use of some kind of coercion to ensure unity in the church?

      • Inge I had a hard time with understanding propositional truth. I better understand it after reading your blog and Dan's several times. Then using the defination: A propositional function in logic, is a sentence expressed in a way that would assume the value of true or false, except that within the sentence is a variable (x) that is not defined or specified, which leaves the statement undetermined. And going back and re-reading the blogs. I believe you are right letting the Holy Spirit lead. And seeking unity out of deversity, is the answer. I have found that, the fruit of righteousness is sowen in peace by those who make peace. James 3:18. Those who make peace I believe, garner unity.

      • TRUE unity can ONLY be based upon "the LOVE of the TRUTH." When we as a people are NOT singing off of the same sheet we breed confusion. Let me give you an example of why I say that.

        Some years ago during a Sabbath School discussion our head elder and head deaconess had a disagreement over the lesson. We had a family of visitors sitting in the back. During their "discussion" I sat there KNOWING this was NOT good! Well when the class was over that family left. They told the person that had invited them "We will not be back. You people don't know what you believe!"

        Here is a quote from today's lesson, Oct 16th.

        “God is leading out a people to stand in perfect unity upon the platform of eternal truth. … God designs that His people should all come into the unity of the faith. The prayer of Christ just prior to His crucifixion was that His disciples might be one, even as He was one with the Father, that the world might believe that the Father had sent Him. This most touching and wonderful prayer reaches down the ages, even to our day; for His words were: ‘Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word.’”

        “How earnestly should the professed followers of Christ seek to answer this prayer in their lives.” - Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 17.

        Believe me I understand what this is really about. Every since the 1950's we, as a church, have gradually been divided into factions, each believing what they want. Believing "what is right in their own eyes." Not much of a witness to the world.

  4. The people in Corinth were forming cliques each with a different leader. This seems to imply that each leader was teaching different things. Do we know what each taught? Could it be the issues that Paul brought up in the rest of the letter?

    Why did he say be of the same mind and judgement? what is the difference between the two? Is one understanding and the other opinion?

    Was it that each had a different spiritual gift or mission for different sections? Peter to the Jews, Paul to the Gentiles, Apollo according to one commentator " There was a second party, grouped round Apollos. This learned and eloquent Alexandrian had come to Corinth after Paul left, and what Paul had planted he so successfully watered that many seemed to owe everything to him. Until he came and fitted the Gospel into their previous knowledge, and showed them its relations to other faiths, and opened up to them its ethical wealth and bearing on life, they had been unable to make full use of Paul’s teaching. He had sown the seed in their minds; they had owned the truth of his statements and accepted them; but until they heard Apollos they could not lay hold on the truth with sufficient definiteness, and could not boldly act upon it. The teaching of Apollos was not opposed to Paul’s, but supplementary of it"
    Then there were a group who only followed the Gospel spoken directly by Christ, not any further light given by Paul or others.

    If these thought are correct, each group getting stuck only as far as God had revealed to their leader, not allowing for any further progressive revelations. Sounds like the origin of the many Protestant Denominations.

    How do we get to be of one mind and judgments without accepting unbiblical beliefs?

    • Agree. We have a same challenge as well. We have another light in our church. EGW writings(spirit of the Prophecy).

      We are limited to the revelations of Ellen white. We have put her writings part of the fundamental beliefs of the church. Not Writings of Apostles of the early churches have been elevated that way. Even on Baptizing Members people have to vow their belief on the spirit of the prophecy. Its time to allow Holy Spirit to Guide us.

      • Eric, believing in the Spirit of prophecy is one thing. Believing EGW had the spirit of prophecy is another. I believe both, but while I preach and believe in the Spirit of prophecy I have to let people follow the Bible methods for testing a prophet so they can decide for themselves if Ellen White had the gift of prophecy.

    • We are facing the same challenge like other denominations on following leaders/ Founder’s revelations. We have Ellen White “spirit of the prophecy”

      Our unity should be under Christt like not for revelations of Apostles on Ellen G white and the likes.

      Holy spirt will bind us together with the Love of God.

  5. I want to thank Devaraj for those comments, I truly believe because we are a lot visual, we want a sign, or a person to follow that we can see. Then we put that person in Christ's place. We have to be careful not to let the devil do us like that we should follow our leaders as they follow Christ and not as they are Christ. I don't believe we have really delayed Christ coming, was the flood delayed? No not at all, there is an appointed time, we have a job that we must continue to do, so that others can be saved, also, We should work as if today is the day He will come, to save souls. No man knows the day or the hour, so we should occupy until He comes. Let's follow Christ, as the Holy Spirit leads us, and pray and fast, and we should never go wrong.

    • Paul in one of his letters admonished the brethren to follow him as he followed Christ. I believe that the problem was, as it is today, preachers and leaders are exalted above Christ. This was the underlying problem in the Corinthian church which led to the division and chaos. We are in danger of having this same spirit within our church if we do not allow the Holy Spirit to lead us as we journey on this pilgrim pathway.

  6. Good lesson:

    Conventional minded, people/pastor followers..sometimes called preacher parrots.

    "Ministers Not to Be Idolized—

    There can be NO STRONGER evidence in churches that the truths of the Bible have not sanctified the receivers than their ATTACHMENT to some FAVORITE MINISTER, and their unwillingness to accept and be profited by the labors of some other teacher who is sent to them in the providence of God. The Lord sends help to His church as they need, not as they choose; for short-sighted mortals cannot discern what is for their best good. It is seldom that one minister has all the qualifications necessary to perfect any one church in all the requirements of Christianity; therefore God sends other ministers to follow him, one after another, each one possessing some qualifications in which the others were deficient." 6 BC 1086


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