1 Corinthians 1:1-17 (NIV)
1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes, 2 To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours: 3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4 I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. 5 For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge— 6 God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. 7 Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8 He will also keep you firm to the end so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
A Church Divided Over Leaders
10 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. 11 My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.” 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so no one can say that you were baptized in my name. 16 (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
Have you ever been part of a church that is divided?
Lord, thank you for the diversity of people. We each have different skills, opinions, ideas, beliefs, and priorities. Diversity adds a wonderful variety to life. Diversity can also increase complexity and conflict. When this conflict occurs in the church, it can be damaging to the church and to our witness to the world. All Christians are loved by you even if they have different opinions and approaches in worshiping and serving you. Unity is at the core of our faith. There is unity in the Trinity. Jesus, You died to bring reconciliation and unity. You died for every Christian in the world, of every church and denomination. We are unified by Your grace. Your Holy Spirit lives in each of us. Although one day we will be completely united with You, we now have a common hope in You. Bring us together in the hope of Your everlasting kingdom. Let us look forward to the time when all people will kneel at Your throne. Allow all Christians to overcome differences with a common love and purpose to serve You and each other as we worship in Your name together. May we be brought to complete unity in order that the world will believe in you. Amen