A Divided Church?

KEY VERSE: “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” —I Corinthians 3:11

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: I Corinthians 1:10-15; 3:5-15

NO MATTER how beautiful and structurally sound a building might be, if it is not set upon an adequate foundation it will not last. Cracks will soon appear, floors and walls will warp, the roof will sag, pieces will begin to fall, and the once stately monument of man’s craftsmanship becomes unusable, an abandoned eyesore, fit for destruction. How important is a solid, unmovable foundation, one that is level and square, adequate to sustain that which is built upon it through many passing generations. Just such a sure and everlasting foundation has been laid for us upon which to build our structure of faith in God and his promises. The Apostle Paul tells us in our text, that foundation is Jesus Christ.

Enlarging upon this illustration, the apostle wrote, “Ye are God’s building,” emphasizing that each of the Lord’s consecrated children is constructing upon this solid foundation a structure of character acceptable to God.

The meaning of this illustration is stated in other words by the Apostle Paul when he wrote, “If any man be in Christ he is a new creature.” How does one come into Christ? First we must know about Christ and of his fundamental part in God’s plan of salvation. We must recognize that as an expression of the love of his Heavenly Father, and of his own love, Jesus laid down hi: life as a ransom, a substitute for: the forfeited life of Adam and the race that was condemned through Adam. This means the recognition of Jesus as our Redeemer, the foundation laid for our salvation.

To understand what Christ ha done for us, and to believe it wits our whole heart, results in a tremendous change in the viewpoint and direction of our lives. The apostle again explains it this way: “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.”

Being ‘in Christ’ as members of his body, we are ‘new creatures’. This does not merely refer to the putting away of the sins of the flesh; it means that we have been begotten by God’s Holy Spirit, and are being developed as new creatures, to be divine members of God’s household. In the setting of our Key Verse, Paul likens this work to that of building upon the foundation of Christ with ‘gold, silver, and precious stones’, representing the valuable truths and precious promises of his Word. “Ye are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus into good works,” the future works of blessing all the Families of the earth.—Eph. 2:10

One of the essentials for Christian growth is faith in the invisible things of God. The brethren in Corinth to whom, Pail was writing were having, trouble along this line. He said hey were carnal—that is, earthly or human in their viewpoints. As a result they were putting too much dependence on visible human leaders—one saying, “I am of Paul and another I am of Apollos.” Servants in the church have their place; certainly the apostles did. But Paul, as a mature Christian, realized that the Corinthians could only appreciate the tangibility of those things they could see, such as the human leaders to whom they had attached themselves. This situation promoted the spirit of rivalry and division.

Here is pointed up the fact that how we build on the foundation provided is important. He says they were trying to build with hay, wood, and stubble—along human lines expressing the spirit of the flesh—with a heart attitude that would not stand the test of God’s judgment. Paul knew that building toward real unity would have to be founded upon recognition of the invisible leadership of Christ and God. “Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.”—I Cor. 3:6

“Whether Paul or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; and ye are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.”—vss. 22,23

Dawn Bible Students Association
|  Home Page  |  Table of Contents  |