1 Corinthians 1:10-28
Paul speaks to the early church about divisive matters. From this Scripture passage, it is clear that they have taken their eyes off the Cross of Christ.
The Cross Is a Symbol of Faith: vv. 10-17
I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. 11My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12What I mean is this: One of you says, I follow Paul; another, I follow Apollos; another, I follow Cephas; still another, ÒI follow Christ.
13Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul? 14I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15so no one can say that you were baptized into my name.16(Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) 17For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospelCnot with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
1. The Cross reminds us of forgiveness . Mark 11:25
2. The Cross reminds us of faithfulness . Luke 24:47
The Cross Is a Symbol of Strength: v. 18
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
1. The Cross verifies and divides .
2. The Cross saves and separates .
The Cross Is a Symbol of Wisdom: vv. 19-21
For it is written: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.
20Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.
1. Human reasoning cannot comprehend the Cross. 2 Corinthians 5:21
2. The sacrifice on the cross defines GodÕs love . 1 John 4:10
The Cross Is a Symbol of Unity: vv. 22-23
Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,
1. It compels the church to focus .
2. It calls the church to evangelize .
The Cross Is a Symbol of Hope: vv. 24-28
but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.
26Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised thingsÑand the things that are notÑto nullify the things that are,
1. Healing from sickness and sorrow . Isaiah 53:4-5
2. Reconciliation through peace . Ephesians 2:14-16
3. Freedom from the penalty of sin. Galatians 6:14
4. Victory over darkness and evil . Colossians 2:15