By: Francis Banda
The apostle Paul was well aware of the problems the church in Corinth was going through and sets out to address this predicament by teaching the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven as was revealed to him by the blessed Holy Spirit of God.
The church in Corinth had a small Jewish presence within a majority Gentile population. Paul was faced with the task of contending with two extremes; superstitious Jews and the sinful nature of the Gentiles.
At the time, the church was disturbed and very much in a state of confusion as is the modern church with so many false teachings and fraudulent prophetic ministries.
In verses 1-9, Paul lays out his salutation to the Corinthians and thanksgiving to God. He constantly repeats the words “Our Lord Jesus Christ” because Christians are supposed to be united under one master, Jesus Christ the King.
All Christians are dedicated and devoted to Christ through our Baptism. If that is really our nature (dedicated and devoted to Christ alone), then everything in us should be under a strict obligation to be holy after the nature of our Father in heaven.
The Bible says Hear oh Israel, the Lord our God is one. Yes, we have the Godhead; God the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Godhead is ONE. The Father exalts the Son, and the Son exalts the Holy Spirit. There is neither confusion nor separation, Only Purity and Holiness.
Jesus Christ commanded us to be one just as He is one with the Father in heaven. The church today is as much, if not worse, divided in every aspect as was in antiquity. We have fallen so far away from the grace of God with our little squabbles and constant divisions. Our Father, Jesus Christ, is one with His Father in Heaven. He says to us, His Children, abide in me and I in you. How then will the Grace of God abide in us if we neglect His word at every turn?
In verses 11-13, Paul says, “It has 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. Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?”
Paul issues a stern rebuke to the church in Corinth for their discord and presumptions. Often times Christians forget their purpose on earth and our role in the ministry of Jesus Christ. We take our eyes off the mark, which is Jesus Christ, and focus on trivial earthly things. There is Perfect unity in the Godhead and so it will be in Heaven. There will be perfect unity in heaven and the closer we draw to heaven while we are here on earth, the closer we get to achieving perfection in Jesus Christ.
Amazing how easy it is to pervert and destroy the best things in this world. Paul taught and preached the simplicity and the foolishness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ but the principles were perverted and neglected by presumptuous followers, who broke into several contention camps.
Today, the church has broken into uncountable and divided denominations, all claiming to have the true message. There is only one who carries the true gospel and that is Jesus Christ. Man’s task is to follow, emulate, and strive to be like Jesus by totally submitting to His rule. The Devil has always sought to destroy God’s children. He endeavours to wreak havoc by setting a seed of division within the church.
From the days of Adam in the Garden of Eden, to the times of Jesus Christ and the present, the marauding hyena roams the earth looking for someone to devour and stirring up strife in the church is one of his many tactics.
Paul the apostle was an educated man. He was an orator and a philosopher after his teacher, Gamaliel. Gamaliel was an esteemed philosopher, orator, and member of the Jewish Council of elders; the Sanhedrin. Nevertheless, Paul, with all his knowledge and abilities said, “I count all things but DUNG, for the Knowledge and EXCELLENCE of Jesus Christ.” Preaching the plain message of the crucified Jesus was and is still by far the most powerful truth this world will ever know.
Paul was therefore, filled with pity for the Corinthian church in their discord and perversion of the simplicity of the greatest phenomena ever that graced the universe some 2000 years ago. The Knowledge of this world comes from the prince of the air. Remember Revelations 12:12, “Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.”
In Mathew 4: 1-11, we see the devil tempting the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us that the devil offered the world to our Lord Jesus Christ if only He bowed to the whims of the evil one. We have enough proof that he failed in this desperate act of futility because the Blood of the Lamb saves us from the depths of depravity and the shackles of sin, and through His resurrection, we are reconciled with the Father in Heaven; we are restored into His marvelous kingdom and made whole again.
It is imperative to understand that earthly kingdoms and principalities belong to the prince of this world. He is but a thief, a murderer and he comes only to loot, plunder, and eternally destroy what God loves. The fallen sows seeds of sin in golden jars that are attractive to all mankind so as to lure them to the burning inferno that was prepared for him and his minions. His is only Intellect, which he profusely showers on all who strive after knowledge and not wisdom, which comes directly from God.
In Summary, I would like to share this simple truth, as the truth itself is simply plain and straightforward. God uses ordinary men to do His work. Yes, Paul was rich, educated, had an esteemed position, and was held in high regard by most people. His father purchased Roman Citizenship from his purse, yet he was still an ordinary Jew whom God had chosen to win the mainly the gentile nations. Paul gave up himself. He sacrificed his position as a Pharisee, riches, family, friends, for the knowledge and excellence of a simple and plain truth that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.