10Brothers and sisters, I encourage all of you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to agree with each other and not to split into opposing groups. I want you to be united in your understanding and opinions. 11Brothers and sisters, some people from Chloe’s family have made it clear to me that you are quarreling among yourselves. 12This is what I mean: Each of you is saying, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,”[b] or “I follow Christ.” 13Has Christ been divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in Paul’s name? 14I thank God that[c] I didn’t baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius 15so that no one can say you were baptized in my name. 16I also baptized Stephanas and his family. Beyond that, I’m not sure whether I baptized anyone else. 17Christ didn’t send me to baptize. Instead, he sent me to spread the Good News. I didn’t use intellectual arguments. That would have made the cross of Christ lose its meaning.
SIN DIVIDES the BODY of CHRIST
When we are selfish, quarrel, live in strife, hold onto anger, want to control God, become greedy, feed our addictions, gossip and become envious we are tearing apart the body of Christ. Every time we do one of these things we rip the body a little more. Every lie, every sinful thought, every unkind word, every selfish and inward act of thoughtlessness shreds the body to pieces until it is in a bloody heap on the floor at our feet. Christ came so that we may die to SELF and LIVE in HIM. We are to abide in HIM in all things. We are to edify the body of Christ- to build one another UP, not tear each other down. The things that we do and say are not Christ-like. We are the reasons why other people do not want to be Christians. Shame on us.
We are called to speak the Truth in love. This doesn’t mean to gloss things over or to tell the other person what we think they want to hear. It means we are to care enough about someone else to be honest in speaking God’s Truth in a loving, respectful, caring, kind manner. It means taking yourself out of the mix and replacing you with God. It means doing what God wants and in order to do that you must, must, must know the scriptures. You must pray, study and listen. Our God is the Creator of order. He created the universe in 6 days and rested on the 7th. There was an order to that creation. It is there for a purpose. To show us how to do things.
All throughout the scriptures there are examples of order and of chaos. The chaos happens when people try to play “God.” Remember in Exodus when Moses was on the mountain top and he left Aaron in charge? Well, the people got restless and they took matters into their own hands. They told Aaron to make an idol out of gold. So he did. When Moses came down from the mountain he asked Aaron about it and Aaron said, “ they made me do it.”
I find this highly amusing. We are still like this today. The devil made me do it. Well the devil doesn’t make you do anything unless you LET him! YOU have to give the devil permission to use you. You have all the power you will ever need to rebuke the devil and that is in Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior. Sometimes we forget that though. Like Aaron we blame our stupidity on others.
The state of the church is in disarray, confusion and chaos. Any church, anywhere has issues. Satan is busy at getting a toe hold in wherever he can. BUT, we have the power of Christ on our side to change things. All it requires are willing hearts and for our hearts to be in line with Gods. We are to put off our selfishness and power struggles with other people. We don’t have any power on our own-we just think we do. Scripture says we can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us. ( Phil 4:13)
Do you believe it?
I believe when we take ourselves OUT and put GOD in and we begin to see and hear what others are really saying then, and only then, can we repair the body of Christ. It takes intentional effort and we are called to listen with Godly ears and not our own ears. People speak and act through their pain in ways that they may not even realize and most often it comes across as anger, judgment, disappointment, criticism, etc.. When we get to the root of the problem it is there that we find that precious, all consuming gift of forgiveness.
It’s a bittersweet place to be and if you’ve never been there, trust me, all that heartache is worth it. Once forgiveness sweeps over you you are a changed soul. Changed from the inside out. It takes forgiveness to get to heaven…
….and THAT’S the best place you can be!