by Jimmy Clark
“Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” (1 Corinthians 1:13). These three questions are set against the following background. “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. 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.” (1 Corinthians 1:10-12). The plea made by Paul in Verse 10 is fully supported by the three questions. All three questions are rhetorical questions having a negative answer. Consider thoughts from these three important questions.
The Question Over Division: “Is Christ divided?” The religious world is greatly divided, and many believe that such is acceptable to God. Jesus prayed for unity (John 17:20-21). Jesus died that believers might be united in His church (Matthew 16:15-23; Acts 20:28). The apostles worked that all who obey the Gospel have the same fellowship that they had with the Lord (1 John 1:1-3). It is human wisdom that created the problem of religious division. The inventions of creeds outside the Bible, organizations unsupported by the Bible and doctrines contrary to plain teaching of the Bible have made the sects that abound. Since there is only one Lord (Ephesians 4:5) there is to be only one body (Ephesians 4:4).
The Question Over Devotion: “Was Paul crucified for you?” Paul supplied his name to the question to squelch any thought of devotion made to him (or to any other person). All glory and honor are to be given exclusively to the Lord. The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross places all devotion to the Lord. Paul wrote in the second letter to the Corinthians, “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” (2 Corinthians 5:14-15). Paul made that personal application, where he stated, “the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20). Paul was converted to Christ, not mere men.
The Question Over Discipleship: “Were you baptized in the name of Paul?” Jesus said to the apostles, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 28:19). When many Corinthians were baptized as is recorded in Acts 18:8, they did not become disciples of Paul, but they became disciples of Christ. The Lord himself said to Paul about the apostle’s stay in Corinth, “Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.” (Acts 18:9-10). Everything about baptism unites the penitent believer with Christ, not any other. One’s old man is crucified with Christ (Romans 6:6). One is buried with Christ into His death through baptism into death (Romans 6:4). One is raised with Christ out of the watery grave (Romans 6:4-5). Baptism moves one into Christ (Galatians 3:27).