1 Corinthians 1:10
I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree together, so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be united in mind and conviction.
Sermons
Apostolic Congratulation and WarningF. W. Robertson, M. A.1 Corinthians 1:4-13
Apostolic Thanksgiving ForJ. Lyth, D. D.1 Corinthians 1:4-13
Bearing Witness to the TruthR. K. Smoot, D. D.1 Corinthians 1:4-13
Christian ExcellenceJ. Willcox.1 Corinthians 1:4-13
Enriched by ChristMethodist Times1 Corinthians 1:4-13
Exemplary Gratitude and Precious ConfidenceD. Thomas D. D.1 Corinthians 1:4-13
Life Enriched Through ChristChas. Gore, M. A.1 Corinthians 1:4-13
Our Lord Jesus Christ IsClerical World1 Corinthians 1:4-13
Spiritual Riches by ChristJ. Cornford.1 Corinthians 1:4-13
The Blessings Which the GospelC. Simeon, M. A.1 Corinthians 1:4-13
The Enriching Power of GodN. Schenk, D. D.1 Corinthians 1:4-13
The Grace and Gifts of GodT. H. Barnett.1 Corinthians 1:4-13
The Power of UtteranceH. E. Channing, D. D.1 Corinthians 1:4-13
Utterance and KnowledgePrincipal Edwards.1 Corinthians 1:4-13
Christian BaptismF. W. Robertson, M. A.1 Corinthians 1:10-16
Contentions in the ChurchJ. Lyth, D. D.1 Corinthians 1:10-16
Division in the Church Contrary to the Spirit of ChristJ. Lyth, D. D.1 Corinthians 1:10-16
Divisions in the ChurchA. F. Kirkpatrick, M. A.1 Corinthians 1:10-16
Divisions, How to HealW. Baxendale.1 Corinthians 1:10-16
Is Christ Divided InW. W. Wythe.1 Corinthians 1:10-16
Is the Christ Made a ShareCanon Evans.1 Corinthians 1:10-16
Jesus the Only Saviour of MenCanon Liddon.1 Corinthians 1:10-16
Like-Minded1 Corinthians 1:10-16
Paul's ModestyProf. Beet.1 Corinthians 1:10-16
Sects and PartiesJ. Lyth, D. D.1 Corinthians 1:10-16
Sects and PartiesJ. Lyth, D. D.1 Corinthians 1:10-16
The Apostle's View of Party SpiritDean Stanley.1 Corinthians 1:10-16
The Apostolical Exhortation to UnityJ. Lyth, D. D.1 Corinthians 1:10-16
The Differences Among Christians no Objection to ChristianityJ. Walker, D. D.1 Corinthians 1:10-16
The Dissensions of the Early ChurchJ. Lyth, D. D.1 Corinthians 1:10-16
The Evil and Danger of SchismT. Boston, D. D.1 Corinthians 1:10-16
The FactionsM. Dods, D. D.1 Corinthians 1:10-16
The Factious Affecting One Pastor Above AnotherT. Fuller, D. D.1 Corinthians 1:10-16
Unity of SentimentN. Emmons, D. D.1 Corinthians 1:10-16
Was Paul CrucifiedF. Tucker, B. A.1 Corinthians 1:10-16
Divisions in the ChurchE. Hurndall 1 Corinthians 1:10-17
Divisions in the Church CondemnedC. Lipscomb 1 Corinthians 1:10-17
The Factions At CorinthH. Bremne 1 Corinthians 1:10-17
The formative idea of the chapter is now brought into full view, viz. "There are contentions among you," and it is prefaced by the statement of a principle, to which St. Paul earnestly directs the attention of the Corinthians, viz. "that they be joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment," or "perfected together," the stress being laid, as before, on their corporate or organic character as a Church. These warring divisions were not matters merely or chiefly personal, but they involved the very heart and soul of the Christian community. No doubt their partisanship in the supposed interest of Paul, Apollos, and Peter, ay, of Christ himself, was very hurtful to them as individuals. But the point he urges is that their partisanship was a disjunction of their unity, and hence that this unity, which was designed to grow into perfection, was arrested by strife. And just here St. Paul strikes the great fact that men of the outside world judge of Christianity much more by the Church in its totality than by instances of individual character in the Church. History is full of exemplifications of this truth, from the times of Julian and Coleus to the age of Voltaire and Rousseau. Nor should this surprise us; for evidently there is a philosophy in it, however much the philosophy is abused by the wit and devices of men. Individuals are "members one of another," members of the body; but the body is the Church, and the organic life of the Church is the Divine witness to the glory of Christ made visible through the Church to the world. How quickly the apostle rises into fervid utterance, and how compact his words! "Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?" If his services to the Corinthian Church are to be perverted in this way, St. Paul can only thank God that he baptized but a few of them. At the moment, St. Paul hastens to assert his own high manhood by an utter refusal to be made an object of partisanship, and he does this in the only method possible to his argument, by confessing his obligations to Christ who had sent him "to preach the gospel." - L.







Now I beseech you... that ye speak the same thing, and that, there he no divisions among you.
I. WHAT IT INCLUDES — unity.

1. In confession.

2. In spirit.

3. In object.

II. HOW IT IS ENFORCED — by the name of Christ, implying —

1. His will.

2. His authority.

3. His claims on our love and obedience.

(J. Lyth, D. D.)

I. THE REASONS WHY CHRISTIANS SHOULD THINK ALIKE UPON RELIGIOUS SUBJECTS.

1. God has given them an infallible rule of faith. His Word contains a complete system of Divine truth. That being the case, there is a plain propriety in His requiring them to believe that it is a complete system, and also to believe all the particular truths which compose the system.

2. That rule of faith is sufficiently plain and intelligible to every capacity. All who are capable of knowing that they are the creatures of God are equally capable of knowing what He has required them to believe concerning Himself, their own character, their present situation, and their future state.

II. THE OBJECTIONS WHICH HAVE BEEN URGED AGAINST THIS UNPALATABLE DOCTRINE.

1. The great and visible diversity in the intellectual powers and external circumstances of Christians. But unity of sentiment does not require equality of knowledge. As one star differs from another star, so angels will differ from saints, and saints from each other in glory. But their difference in knowledge will not create any diversity of opinions respecting the same subjects. Saints will agree with angels so far as their knowledge extends; but so far as it fails, they will wait for further light.

2. The wide difference in the education of Christians. But since they have the Word of God in their hands, it is in their power to bring their own opinions and those of their instructors to an infallible standard, and to decide for themselves what they ought to believe or to disbelieve.

3. The right of private judgment. It is readily granted that every Christian has a right to collect evidence, and after that, to judge according to the evidence. But. he has no right to examine and judge under the influence of prejudice, and form his opinion contrary to reason and Scripture.

4. That in Romans 14. the apostle allows Christians to differ in their religious sentiments, and only exhorts them to view their difference with a candid and charitable eye. But this only applies to the Mosaic rites, which were things indifferent, and which might be observed or neglected under a sense of duty. But he reminds them that they must all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ, where their opinions as well as actions would be either approved or condemned.

III. THE TRUTHS WHICH NATURALLY FLOW FROM THE SUBJECT. If God does require Christians to believe alike upon religious subjects, then —

1. It is not a matter of indifference what religious sentiments they embrace.

2. They have contracted a great deal of guilt from age to age by embracing and propagating error.

3. Christians who are united in the belief of the truth have a right to blame those who think differently from them upon religious subjects.

4. There appears to be no propriety in attempting to unite them in affection, without uniting them in sentiment.

5. It seriously concerns all who acknowledge the truth and divinity of the gospel to use every proper method to become entirely united in sentiment.(1) For this purpose, therefore, let them freely and candidly examine the various points in which they mutually differ.(2) There are various considerations which urge Christians to cultivate a sentimental union among themselves.(a) It will directly tend to unite them in affection. We find that those who agree in art or science commonly feel a mutual attachment arising from their concurrence in opinion. And a unity of faith never fails to produce a mutual esteem and affection among Christians.(b) The sure word of prophecy predicts the future peace and harmony of the Church as resulting from the knowledge of the truth.(c) By uniting in sentiment, Christians will remove one of the strongest prejudices of unbelievers against the Bible.(d) They will strengthen and animate one another in promoting the cause of Christ.

(N. Emmons, D. D.)

Hardly five years had lapsed since Paul had first preached the gospel at Corinth, when he is constrained to write to his converts, now in the language of fatherly entreaty, now in the language of the sharpest rebuke, and that though he can still give thanks to God with unfeigned gratitude for the growth of their faith in Christ. What then is the fault which causes him such keen anxiety? It is not heresy, it is not apostasy, it is not open separation from the Church of Christ: it is a matter which we might be inclined to regard as far less momentous than any of these: it is the growth and spread of party spirit within their body. They are degrading the names of the apostles into watchwords of divisions. Christ is divided! indignantly exclaims St. Paul. You are rending His body asunder, you are severing the members which cannot exist in isolation. The harmonious combination of manifold parts, all subservient to one end and united by one Head; this is the essential idea of the physical body. The same law holds in the mystical body of Christ. Disregard the Divine order, and the result can only be death. This division into parties is no venial offence, no pardonable enthusiasm for the teachers whose names you thus dishonour: it is the ruin of the unity for' which Christ prayed, "That they all may be one." It is a work of the flesh: the outcome of the evil propensities of your unrenewed nature.

I. WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF PARTY DIVISIONS?

1. The ultimate cause lies, I believe, in a radical misapprehension of the nature of truth. God's truth is infinite. Man's mind is finite. It is in the nature of things impossible that we with our limited capacities should comprehend the whole of truth. All that we can do is to grasp some fragments, here a little and there a little: truth indeed sufficient for our personal necessities, if we seek aright in faith and patience, but immeasurably falling short of the reality. Our views of truth are therefore partial, disjointed; and it is inevitable that men with minds differently trained should apprehend different parts and different aspects of the truth. This variety is not of itself an evil. Far from it. Such different views are complementary, not antagonistic. As God's truth was revealed to man "in many parts and in many fashions," so only in "many parts and in many fashions" can it be grasped and interpreted by man. Only as the ages roll on, and each generation contributes its share towards the final result, are we slowly learning the grandeur of the gospel. Differences are not to be ignored or dissembled, but frankly acknowledged: "combination in diversity," it has been said, is the characteristic feature of the Church of Christ, and it must be the characteristic feature of every organisation which truly represents that Church. Combination in diversity is a characteristic feature of Holy Scripture. It needs the records of four Evangelists to give a true portraiture of the Son of Man in His earthly ministry. We are not to regard one as more faithful than another, not to take any one as in itself complete, but to find in the harmony of all the true delineation of that perfection which we can only realise by contemplating it in its several parts. St. Paul and St. James, St. Peter and St. John, each offer to us different aspects of the truth; one is the apostle of faith, another of works; one of hope, another of love; but if they have each some special grace or duty upon which they insist, it is not to the neglect or exclusion of other graces and duties: nor are we to pit them one against the other.

2. Thus we see that various schools of thought are necessary for the full representation of truth. They supply, moreover, "that antagonism of influences which is the only real security for continued progress." But schools of thought are painfully liable to degenerate into parties. We naturally and rightly concentrate our attention upon that fragment of truth which we have realised for ourselves to be true and precious: gradually we grow to think that this is the whole of truth. We divide the swelling river of truth into a thousand paltry runlets, and each cries, Come drink at my stream, for it, and it alone, is pure and uncontaminated. Well for us, then, if the water of life is not evaporated and lost amid the sands of the barren desert of strife.

3. For the next step is easy. We affirm that because others see not with our eyes, they are enveloped in the mists of dangerous error; resistance to their tenets becomes a duty, and in the fierceness of controversy charity is forgotten, and the party contentions of the Christian Church become a spectacle that provokes the scornful laugh of devils and moves our angelic watchers to tears. The absence of humility, the strength of self-will, the spirit that desires victory rather than truth, all contribute to the direful result, and the imperfection of our knowledge is perverted by our sinful folly into the source of incalculable mischief to ourselves and those around us.

4. Especially in days of revival of religious life is there danger of party contentions. Conviction is intense, enthusiasm unbounded, old truths are resuscitated, new truths apprehended, and each individual cherishes his own discovery, and proclaims it as the one vital element of truth to the exclusion of others in reality no less important.

5. The use of party phraseology, too, tends to accentuate the difference between various schools of thought. "By this means over and above all the real differences of opinion which exist, a fresh cause of separation is introduced among those who would perhaps be found, if their respective statements were candidly explained, to have in these tenets no real ground for disunion."

6. Extremes beget extremes: if one set of men form themselves into an exclusive party, with narrow views and aims, the almost certain consequence is that those who are of the opposite way of thinking will form a party to resist them. But it is a faithless expedient. "Through strife, and not by strife, the Church of God has passed upon her way."

II. WHAT ARE THE EVILS ARISING FROM PARTY DIVISIONS?

1. Party spirit causes the decay of spiritual life: for love is the breath of life, and where love is not, life must wither and die. But how can the gentle breezes of love co-exist with the fierce burning blasts of the sirocco of controversy? As each party circle moreover ceases to hold communion with its neighbours, and feeds more exclusively upon its own limited truths, there is peril that even these will grow to be lifeless, and become petrified into hard unmeaning formulas. Not loss of knowledge and narrowness of sympathy alone, but even death, may be the consequence of isolation.

2. Party spirit is a grievous hindrance to the growth of God's kingdom. This it is which breeds distrust between the clergy and the laity, and opens that gap which we are sometimes told is daily widening. When shall we learn that the kingdom of God does not consist in a phraseology, but in "righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost" ?

3. Party spirit is a waste of strength.

4. Party divisions are a stumbling-block to weak ,believers. What are we to think when we see men whose personal characters are equally estimable denouncing one another with unmitigated bitterness?

5. Party divisions are a laughing-stock to unbelievers. "See how these Christians love one another," is the scornful taunt. And thus we lose that testimony of an united Church which was the ideal contemplated by our Lord.

III. WHAT ARE THE REMEDIES FOR PARTY DIVISIONS?

1. The fundamental bond of religious unity is this: "Ye are Christ's." Not primarily in outward organisation, however valuable, not in creeds, however necessary, but in living union with our Head.

2. Another remedy is to be found in the frank recognition that in the Church of Christ variety is not only not wrong, but natural and necessary; because the views of any one individual or group of individuals can be at best but partial embodiments of the whole truth. When we maintain that our partial view is the complete and only true one, it is as if the dwellers in the valleys round some mighty mountain, a Mont Blanc or a Matterhorn, should meet and compare their ideas of its size and form: and because these ideas do not tally, and the outlines of its slopes and peaks and precipices are differently described by each, should forthwith deny the identity of the object of their argument; or impeach the veracity of their neighbours, and part with angry and embittered feelings.

3. A candid and patient examination of the views of those who differ from us will do much to moderate party spirit. Men of undeniable honesty, conscientiousness, zeal, holiness, differ from us. Why is this? They cannot be entirely in the wrong. No holy life is based entirely upon false premises. No system rests altogether upon a lie.

4. Once more, a remedy for divisions is to be found in practical co-operation wherever possible.

5. If controversy should unfortunately be unavoidable, as it may be on some occasions, and for some individuals, we must take heed that it is conducted with calm sobriety, temperate reason, and with the desire of truth, not success. But it is a perilous resource: far healthier for us if we can abstain from entangling ourselves in it. "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee."

(A. F. Kirkpatrick, M. A.)

Because —

I. CONTRARY TO THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST. Christ here by His servant —

1. Exhorts to unity in

(1)Confession;

(2)Spirit;

(3)Judgment.

2. Condemns all disunion.

II. INCOMPATIBLE WITH OUR OBLIGATIONS TO CHRIST. Divisions —

1. Arise from sinful attachment to persons, interests, or opinions.

2. Divide the body of Christ.

3. Transfer the honour due to Him to another.

(J. Lyth, D. D.)

An eminent preacher says: "I was walking some weeks ago in a beautiful grove, the trees were distant apart, and the trunks were straight and rugged. But as they ascended higher the branches came closer together, and still higher the twigs and branches interlaced. I said to myself, our Churches resemble these trees; the trunks near the earth stand stiffly and rudely apart; the more nearly toward heaven they ascend, the closer and closer they come together, until they form one beautiful canopy, under which men enjoy both shelter and happiness. Then I thought of that beautiful prayer of the Saviour, 'That they all may be one.' Those who have the Spirit of Christ, who go about always doing good, will be like-minded."

When so much had been done at Marburg to effect an agreement between Luther and the Helvetians, Zwingle and his friends, he magnanimously resolved that they should not make larger grants for peace, nor carry away the honour of being more desirous of union than he. He suggested that both "the interested parties" should "cherish more and more a truly Christian charity for one another," and earnestly implore the Lord by His Spirit to confirm them in "the sound doctrine."

(W. Baxendale.)

The Church of Corinth was now lying bleeding of her wounds, given her not by enemies, but by her own children. The apostle applies himself to the curing of this rent and broken Church in this most pathetic exhortation to unity. Note —

I. THE COMPELLATION, "Brethren."

1. A kindly compellation, whereby he endeavours to insinuate himself into their affections; for it is hard for faithful ministers to get people's affections kept where once divisions enter.

2. An argument for unity: he minds them that they are brethren; and it is a shameful thing for brethren to fall out by the ears (Genesis 13:8; Genesis 45:24).

II. THE OBSECRATION, "I beseech you, by the name," &c. Paul turns a petitioner for the Church's peace, and begs of them, as he did of the jailor (Acts 16:28), that they would do themselves no harm, but lay by the sword of contention; and that it might have the more weight, he interposeth the name of Christ. It is as much as if he had said —

1. As ye have any regard to the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, who hath so often enjoined unity and brotherly love to His followers, beware of divisions.

2. As ye love the Lord Jesus, as ye tender His honour and glory, let there be no divisions among you; for the name of Christ sadly suffers by your contentions.

III. THE MATTER OF HIS EXHORTATION.

1. He exhorts them to unity of principles, "that ye all speak the same thing"; for now some were crying one thing, some another, like that confused multitude (Acts 21:34), till some of them came at length to deny the resurrection (chap. 1 Corinthians 15.).

2. He dehorts them from schisms, which properly signifies a cutting in a solid body, as in the cleaving of wood. Thus the one Church of Corinth was rent into divers factions, some following one, some following another; therefore says the apostle, "Is Christ divided?" Where will you get a Christ to head your different and divided party? Through these divisions, it would seem, from 1 Corinthians 11:33, they had separate communions, they would not tarry for one another. The apostle also taxeth their divisions as carnal (1 Corinthians 3:3), where the word "divisions" properly signifies separate standing, where one party stand upon one side, and another party on another side — such dissension, wherein one separate one from another.

3. He exhorts them to amend what was amiss already among them in that matter, to be perfectly joined together, in opposition to their contentions and divisions. The word in the original is very emphatic, and signifies —(1) To restore disjointed members into their proper places again (Galatians 6:1). It is a metaphor from chirurgeons setting members or joints again.(2) To establish in the state to which a person or thing is restored; and so it denotes a firm union betwixt the members of that Church as a body, and withal he adds here the bonds of this union, the same mind, that is, the same heart, will, and affections, as the word mind is taken (Romans 7:25), and the same judgment or opinion anent matters; if the last cannot be got, yet the first may.

IV. FROM THE WORDS WE DRAW THESE FOLLOWING DOCTRINES:

1. That schism is an evil incident to the Churches while in this world.

2. That professors ought to beware of it, as they tender the authority and honour of our Lord Jesus Christ.

3. Where schism enters into a Church, there will be great heats, people contradicting one another in matters of religion.

4. That however hard it be, yet it is possible to get a rent Church healed.

5. That it is the duty of all Church members to endeavour the unity of the Church, and the cure of schisms; and particularly, it is the duty of disjointed members to take their own places in the body again.

6. That schisms, as they are grievous to all the sons of peace, so they are in a special manner heavy and afflicting to faithful ministers of the gospel of peace.

(T. Boston, D. D.)

It hath been declared.., by them which are of the house of Chloe that there are contentions among you.
I. HOW THEY ARISE. Out of undue attachments to persons or opinions.

II. HOW THEY SHOULD BE REPRESSED.

1. Not by seeking the triumph of one party over the other, or by the absolute sacrifice of private opinion.

2. But by exalting these points in which all agree, and cultivating one mind and spirit.

III. WHY THEY SHOULD BE REPRESSED — for the sake of Christ.

1. His body is one and undivided.

2. He was crucified for us.

3. We are baptized into His name.

4. None other has any claim upon us.

(J. Lyth, D. D.)

I. THERE WERE FOUR PARTIES IN THE CHURCH AT CORINTH.

1. Those who held by Paul himself. They owed to him their salvation; and having experienced the efficacy of his gospel, they thought that there was no other efficacious mode of presenting Christ to men. So probably they fell into the mistake of all mere partisans, and became more Pauline than Paul, and were in danger of becoming more Pauline than Christian.

2. Those who were grouped round Apollos, who watered what Paul had planted. He fitted the gospel into their previous knowledge, and showed them its relations to other faiths, and opened up its ethical wealth and bearing on life. His teaching was not opposed to Paul's, but supplementary of it; and 1 Corinthians 16:12 shows that there was no jealousy between the two men.

3. Those who gloried in the name of Cephas, the apostle of the circumcision, whose name was used in opposition to Paul's as representing the original group of apostles who adhered to the Jewish law. Extreme Judaizers would find in this party a fruitful soil.

4. That which named itself "of Christ." From 2 Corinthians 10:7-12:18, it would appear that this party was led by men who prided themselves on their Hebrew descent (1 Corinthians 11:22), and on having learned their Christianity from Christ Himself (1 Corinthians 10:7). They claimed to be apostles of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:13) and "ministers of righteousness" (1 Corinthians 11:15); but as they taught "another Jesus," "another spirit," "another gospel" (1 Corinthians 11:4), Paul does not hesitate to denounce them as false apostles.

II. THE APOSTLE HEARS OF THESE PARTIES WITH DISMAY. What, then, would he think of the state of the Church now? There was as yet in Corinth no outward disruption; and indeed Paul does not seem to contemplate as possible that the members of the one body of Christ should refuse to worship their common Lord in fellowship with one another.

1. The evils attaching to such a condition of things may no doubt be unduly magnified; but the mischief done by disunion should not be ignored. The Church was intended to be the grand uniter of the race; but instead of this, the Church has alienated friends; and men who will do business and dine together, will not worship together. Had the kingdom of Christ been visibly one, it would have been without a rival in the world. But instead of this the strength of the Church has been frittered away in civil strife. The world looks on and laughs while it sees the Church divided over petty differences while it ought to be assailing vice, ungodliness, and ignorance. And yet schism is thought no sin.

2. Now that the Church is broken into pieces, the first step towards unity is to recognise that there may be real union without unity of external organisation. The human race is one; but this unity admits of numberless diversities. So the Church may be truly one in the sense intended by our Lord, one in the unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace, though there continue to be various divisions and sects. As amidst all diversities of government and customs it is the duty of States to maintain their common brotherhood and abstain from tyranny and war, so it is the duty of Churches, however separate in form of government, to maintain and exhibit their unity.

3. There may be real union without unity in creed. This unity is desirable; and Paul entreats his readers to be of one mind.(1) True, the Church has gained much by difference of opinion. Were all men to be agreed there might be a danger of truth becoming lifeless for want of the stimulus, and doctrine has been ascertained and developed in answer to error.(2) But as a visitation of cholera may result in cleanliness, but no one desires that cholera may come; and as opposition in Parliament is an acknowledged service to the country, yet each party desires that its sentiments become universal; so, too, notwithstanding every good result which may flow from diversity of opinion regarding Divine truth, agreement is what all should aim at.(3) But what truths Me to be made terms of communion? The answer is, the Church of Christ is formed of those who are trusting to Him as the power of God unto salvation. He is in communion with all who thus trust Him, whether their knowledge be great or small; and we cannot refuse to communicate with those with whom He is in communion. No doctrinal error, therefore, which does not subvert personal faith in Christ should be allowed to separate Churches. Paul was contemplating Christ, and not a creed, as the centre of the Church's unity, when he exclaimed, "is Christ divided?" In all Christians and all Churches the one Christ is the life of each. And it is monstrous that those who are virtually united to one Person and quickened by one Spirit should in no way recognise their unity. It is with something akin to horror that Paul goes on to ask, "Was Paul crucified for you?" He implies that only on the death of Christ can the Church be founded. Take away that and the personal connection of the believer with the crucified Redeemer, and you take away the Church.

III. From this casual expression of Paul we see HIS HABITUAL ATTITUDE TOWARDS CHRIST.

1. He was never slow to affirm the indebtedness of the young Christian Churches to himself: he was their father, but he was not their saviour. Not for one moment did he suppose that he could occupy towards men the position Christ occupied. Between his work and Christ's an impassable gulf was fixed. And that which gave Christ this special place and claim was His crucifixion. Paul does not say, Was Paul your teacher in religion, and did he lead your thoughts to God? did Paul by his life show you the beauty of self-sacrifice and holiness? but "Was Paul crucified for you?"

2. It was not, however, the mere fact of His dying which gave Christ this place, and which claims the regard and trust of all men. Paul had really given his life for men; but Paul knew that in Christ's death there was a significance his own could never have. It was net only human buy Divine self-sacrifice that was there manifested. Through this death sinners find way back to God and assurance of salvation.

3. This unique work, then — what have we made of it? Paul found his true life and his true self in it. It filled his mind, his heart, his life. This man, formed on the noblest and largest type, found room in Christ alone for the fullest development and exercise of his powers. Is it not plain that if we neglect the connection with Christ which Paul found so fruitful we are doing ourselves the greatest injustice, and preferring a narrow prison-house to liberty and life?

(M. Dods, D. D.)

Paul denounces it as a sin in itself irrespective of the right or wrong opinions connected with it; and the true safeguard against it is the recollection of the great bond of fellowship with Christ which all have in common. "Christianus mihi nomen est," said an ancient bishop in answer to some such distinction; "Catholicus cognomen."

1. The first duty of the apostle was to lose himself entirely in the cause he preached. The most important details or forms were so insignificant in comparison that Paul spoke of them as though he had no concern with them. How often in later ages have the means and institutions of the Church taken the place of the end! Antiquity, novelty, a phrase, a ceremony, a vestment, each has in turn overbalanced the one main object for which, confessedly, all lower objects are inculcated. To all these cases the apostle's answer applies, "Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel."

2. The sin of the Corinthians consisted not in the mere adoption of eminent names, but in the party spirit which attaches more importance to them than to the great cause which all good men have in common. Even the sacred name of Christ may thus be desecrated; and as the apostle rebukes those who said, "I am of Christ," no less than those who said "I am of Paul," &c., so our Lord refused to take the title of "good" (Luke 18:19), and "baptized not, but His disciples" (John 4:2). If the holiest Name can thus be made a party watchword, if Christianity itself can thus be turned to the purposes of a faction, much more may any of its subordinate manifestations. The character of our Lord is distinguished from all others by the fact that it rises far above any local or temporary influences, and also that it has, for the most part, escaped, even in thought, from any association with them. So the character of the apostle, although in a lower measure, vindicates itself in this passage from any identification with the party which called itself after his name; and is a true example of the possibility of performing a great work, and labouring earnestly for great truths, without losing sight of the common ground of Christianity, or becoming the centre of a factious and worldly spirit.

3. It is by catching a glimpse of the wild dissentions which raged around the apostolic writings that we can best appreciate the unity and response of those writings themselves: it is by seeing how completely the dissentions have been obliterated, that we can best understand how marked was the difference between their results and those of analogous divisions in other history. We know how the names of and , of Francis and Dominic, of Luther and Calvin, have continued as the rallying point of rival schools; but the schools of Paul and Apollos and Cephas, which once waged so bitter a warfare against each other, were extinguished almost before ecclesiastical history had begun. Partly this arose from the nature of the case. The apostles could not have become founders of systems, even if they would. Their power was not their own, but another's. "What had they that they had not received?" If once they claimed an independent authority their authority was gone. Great philosophers, conquerors, heresiarchs leave their names even in spite of themselves. But such the apostles could not be without ceasing to be what they were; and the total extinction of the parties which were called after them is in fact a testimony to the Divinity of their mission. And it is difficult not to believe that in the great work of reconciliation of which the outward volume of the Sacred Canon is the chief monument, they were themselves not merely passive instruments, but active agents; that a lesson is still to be derived from the record they have left of their own resistance to the claims of the factions which vainly endeavoured to divide what God had joined together.

(Dean Stanley.)

I. THEIR MANIFOLD VARIETY occasioned —

1. By the peculiarities of human nature in general.

2. National differences.

3. Personal differences.

4. Attachment to individuals, as in the text.

II. THEIR UNITY still possible, there should be —

1. One language, one mind.

2. One judgment on fundamental principle.

3. Especially one faith in the crucified Jesus.

4. And one baptism into His name.

(J. Lyth, D. D.)

I. HOW THEY ORIGINATED.

1. In the disputes of the Jewish and Gentile Christians.

2. Hence one was of Peter and another of Paul — those of Christ and of Apollos appear to have been modifications of these.

II. WHO WERE THE PROMOTERS OF THEM?

1. Not Paul or Peter, &c.

2. Not the peaceably disposed, or those who loved Christ above all things.

3. But —

(1)Some who unduly idolised the human in religion.

(2)Ignorant persons, who had zeal without knowledge (Romans 10:2).

(3)Contentious persons, who would have their own way (Philippians 1:16).

III. WHAT WAS THE EFFECT?

1. Christ was divided.

2. His claims forgotten.

3. Some human idol exalted in His place.

(J. Lyth, D. D.)

Every one of you saith, I am of Paul... and I of Christ.
We may, and must, give a Benjamin's portion of respect to those who excel in age, pains, parts, and piety; but the lavishing by wholesale all honour on one, and scarce retailing out any respect to the other, is what Paul reproves.

I. THE MISCHIEFS THAT ARISE FROM THIS PRACTICE.

1. Dissention betwixt ministers. As the Grecians (Acts 6:1) murmured against Abe Hebrews, so ministers feel aggrieved that people pass them by unregarded. Perchance the matter may fly so high as it did betwixt Moses and Aaron (Numbers 12:2). It will anger not only Saul, a mere carnal man, but even those that have degrees of grace to say, "He hath converted his thousands, but such an one his ten thousands."

2. Dissension amongst people. Like the women that pleaded before Solomon (1 Kings 3:22), they contend "The living minister is mine; he that hath spirit and activity: but the dead minister is thine; he cometh not to the quick, he toucheth not the conscience." "Nay," saith the other, "my minister is the living minister, and thine is the dead one. Thy pastor is full of the fire, of ill tempered and undiscreet zeal; 'but the Lord was not in the fire': whilst my minister is like to a 'still voice'; staunching the bleeding-hearted penitent, and dropping the oil of the gospel into the wounded conscience."

3. Rejoicing to wicked men, to whose ears our discords are the sweetest harmony. Let not the herdsmen of Abraham and Lot fall out, whilst the Canaanites are yet in the land.

4. Great dishonour to God Himself. Here is such looking on the ambassador that there is no notice taken of the king.

II. TO PREVENT THESE MISCHIEFS, BOTH PASTORS AND PEOPLE MUST LEND THEIR HELPING HANDS.

1. I begin with the pastors.(1) Those who have the thickest audiences.(a) Let them not pride themselves with the bubble of popular applause, often as carelessly gotten as undeservedly lost. Have we not seen those who have preferred lungs before brains, and sounding of a voice before soundness of matter? Let princes count the credit of their kingdoms to consist in the multitude of their subjects: far be it from a preacher to glory when his congregation swells by the consumption of the audience of his neighbour.(b) Let them discourage immoderate admiration. When St. John would have worshipped the angel, "See thou do it not," saith he: "worship God." Know thou who lovest to glut thyself with people's applause, it shall prove at the last pricks in thy eyes and thorns in thy side — because sacrilegiously thou hast robbed God of His honour.(c) Let them labour also to ingratiate every deserving pastor with his own congregation. It was the boon Saul begged of Samuel, "Honour me before my people." And surely it is but reason we should seek to grace the shepherd in the presence of his flock.(2) I come now to neglected ministers, whilst others, perchance less deserving, are more frequented. Never fret thyself, if others be preferred before thee. They have their time; they are crescents in their waxing, fall seas in their flowing: envy not at their prosperity. Thy turn of honour may come next. One told a Grecian statist who had excellently deserved of his city, that the city had chosen four-and-twenty officers, and yet left him out. "I am glad," said he, "the city affords twenty-four abler than myself." And let us practise St. Paul's precept, "by honour and dishonour, by good report and disreport," and say with David, "Lord, here I am; do with Thy servant as Thou pleasest."

2. By this time, methinks, I hear the people saying, as the soldiers to John Baptist, "But what shall we do?"(1) Ever preserve a reverent esteem of the minister whom God hath placed over thee. For, if a sparrow lighteth not on the ground without God's especial providence, surely no minister is bestowed in any parish without a more peculiar disposing; and surely their own pastor is best acquainted with their diseases, and therefore best knoweth to apply spiritual physic thereunto. And as God's Word hath a general blessing on every place, so more particularly is it blessed to parishioners from the mouth of their lawful minister. Let not therefore the stranger, who makes a feast of set purpose to entertain new guests, be preferred before thy own minister, who keeps a constant table, feeding his own family. Wherefore let all the Ephesians confine themselves to their Timothy; Cretians to their Titus; every congregation to their proper pastor. As for those whose necessary occasions do command their absence from their flocks, let them see to it that they provide worthy substitates.(2) Let them not make odious comparisons betwixt ministers of eminent parts. It is said of both Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:5) and Josiah (2 Kings 23. 25) that there were none like them. The Holy Spirit prefers neither for better, but concludes both for best; and so amongst ministers, when each differs from others, all may be excellent in their kinds. As, in comparing several handsome persons, one surpasseth for beauty of face; a second, for a well-proportioned body; a third, for comeliness of carriage: so may it be betwixt several pastors. One's excellency may consist in the unsnarling of a known controversy; another, in plain expounding of Scripture; one, the best Boanerges; another, the best Barnabas: our judgments may be best informed by one, our affections moved by a second, our lives reformed by a third. Grant some in parts far inferior to others: was not Abishai a worthy captain, though he attained not to the honour of the first three? And may not many be serviceable in the Church, though not in the first rank?(3) Entertain this for a certain truth, that the efficacy of God's Word depends not on the parts of the minister, but on God's blessing, on His ordinance.

(T. Fuller, D. D.)

I. HOW FAR ARE THEY RIGHT? As far as they —

1. Stand upon the common foundations of Christ.

2. Busy themselves to save souls and not to make proselytes.

3. Esteem, love, and help each other.

4. Exhibit a holy emulation in exalting Christ.

II. WHEN ARE THEY WRONG?

1. When they exalt party names and differences above Christ.

2. When they are slavishly attached to their party, and make it the great object of their zeal.

3. When they note and despise others and exclude them from their fellowship.

4. When they seek to glorify their party above all others.

(J. Lyth, D. D.)

Is Christ divided?
Is He not a whole, but only a part co-ordinate with three others? Is He no longer the complete circle around which is assembled in its oneness the Corinthian Church, regarding Him from all sides as the One Saviour? but is He reduced to a single quadrant of that circle, the other quadrants being Paul, Apollos, and Cephas? If this be true the startling inference is that Christ, being a Saviour to His own, the other three leaders are subordinate saviours, each to his own adherents; and so I ask you, while I shrink from the thought (such is the force of the Greek), was Paul (to take as an instance the first named of the three heads) crucified for you? Or were ye baptized? &c. And yet this is the conclusion, absurd as it is monstrous, nay, blasphemous, to which you are drifting on the waves of party opinions and professions. Wherefore I beseech you, by that Name which is above every name, the Name of Him who is our Lord, who is the Christ, the one Saviour of all, that divisions die among you, and that union and harmony revive in the pure atmosphere of sameness of view and purpose, leading to sameness of confession. Another translation slightly diverging from the above, but finally converging with it in the same logical connexion is this — "Apportioned is Christ?" Assigned as a portion is He? The word "portion" here denotes relation rather to its own claimant or appropriator than to other co-ordinate parts. The claimant of Christ as its own portion exclusively is in this instance, of course, the last-named party of Christ. If this be the more correct rendering, an underlink of connection between "Apportioned is Christ?" and "Was Paul crucified for you?" must be mentally supplied; an intermediate flash of thought so obvious that time would have been wasted in wording it. This silent link is expressed by the clause in italics: if the Christ, the one Saviour, has become the heritage of one party, what is to become of the salvation of the other three? "Was Paul crucified for you," &c.

(Canon Evans.)

1. His person.

2. His offices.

3. His salvation.

4. His Church.

(W. W. Wythe.)

I. HOW IT IS THAT MEN COME TO DIFFER IN MORALS AND RELIGION. Almost every action, character, or doctrine, on which we are called upon to make up an opinion, is more or less complex; that is to say, has more than one side or aspect. It does not follow that one is true, and the other false: both may be true; that is, faithful representations of the same reality, only under different aspects. I am not aware of a single vicious action which was ever held as right, unless, in the circumstances, it really had a good or plausible side, on which alone, from some cause, it was contemplated, the whole action being judged by this one side. The same account is also to be given of the origin of most of our differences in religious doctrine when sincerely entertained. Take, for instance, what is perhaps the most fundamental difference of all, the different opinions which have prevailed respecting human nature. Who does not know that man actually appears under all these various aspects? — sometimes but little lower than the angels, and sometimes but little better than a fiend. Hence the most extreme and contradictory views on this subject are so far well founded as this, that they are faithful representations of real phases of human nature, the error consisting not in misconceiving some single phase, but in judging our whole nature by that alone. And so it follows, that what we call errors are not so much false as partial views of the reality.

II. Such being the origin and nature of most religious differences, it will next be in order to inquire ON WHAT GROUNDS THEY CAN BE REGARDED AS A REASON OR OCCASION FOR SCEPTICAL, CYNICAL, OR DESPONDING THOUGHTS. In the first place, do they afford us any reason or pretext for denying the trustworthiness or competency of the human faculties? Certainly not. Could we be induced to regard the object under precisely the same lights and aspects, we should doubtless see it alike; and better still, could we be induced to regard the object under all lights and aspects, we should doubtless not only see it alike, but see it as it is. Accordingly, the differences among Christians are not to be construed into evidence of the incompetency of the human faculties in themselves considered, but only of their partial application. When we begin our inquiries respecting any subject, we must begin, of course, by looking at it on one side: our views must be partial at first; hut it does not follow that they must always continue so. What, indeed, is progress in any inquiry but the gradual enlargement of our views? And hence the acknowledged fact, that thought and study, and a more generous culture, tend to dissolve differences and bring men together. To those, therefore, who think to find arguments for scepticism or despair in the divisions of Christians, and who are ready to pronounce the partial views which prevail as worthless, and mutually destructive of each other, the answer is plain. First, even the most partial of these views are worth a great deal; for they are partial views of an all-important truth, and as such contain much that is enduring and eternal. Again, as the error of these views grows mainly out of their being partial, it is one which must be expected to pertain to the first stages of every inquiry, but gradually disappear as the inquiry goes on. Finally, though the time may never come on earth when the multitude of partial views will be lost in a single all-comprehensive view, still this knowing "in part," and the trials and responsibilities which pertain to such a condition, may be essential to the discipline which is to fit us for that world, where "that which is in part shall be done away." Admitting all this, however, I ask, then, what there is in controversy — I do not say to condemn, for, considering how they are often conducted, there is enough in them, Heaven knows, to condemn, but to excuse in lookers-on either indifference or unbelief? Certainly of themselves they do not argue indifference or unbelief, but the contrary. An age of controversy is pre-eminently an age of faith; a man is not likely to dispute earnestly unless he believes in something, and attaches importance to it. Besides, how is it in other things? Name, if you can, a single interesting subject of inquiry which has not given occasion to controversy. The world is as much divided and estranged on scientific and political and philanthropic questions as on religious questions. But do men hence infer that there is no such thing as truth in any of these matters, or that we have no faculties to discover it? God forbid! Obviously, therefore, it cannot be controversy, as such, that is objected to in this connection, but something peculiar to religious controversy. First, it is said that controversy is well enough where it really has the effect to help forward the truth, or to diffuse and establish it; but in religion it does neither, leaving every question just where it found it. I reply, that even if this were so, it would not be to the purpose: it would follow, indeed, that controversy is of no use in religion, and ought to be avoided; but it would not follow that religion itself is of no use, or that controversy has made it of less use or less certain. But the whole statement is erroneous. Who has yet to learn the invaluable services of discussion and controversy in settling the laws of evidence on which the genuineness and authenticity of the Sacred Books depend, and the laws of interpretation by which their import is determined? To discussion and controversy we also owe it, that the Christian doctrines generally have been unfolded, cleared up, and re-stated. Again, religious controversy is objected to because of its asperities and spirit of denunciation, which on such a subject are peculiarly odious, creating in some minds an invincible disgust for religion itself. That religious controversy, even among Christians, sometimes assumes the character here given to it, I confess; but it is easy to see that it is not because Christians are Christians, but because Christians are men, having the weaknesses and imperfections of men. Once more. A vague notion exists, I believe, in some minds that the honour of God is somehow compromised by the disgraceful altercations to which Christianity has given birth. The fact that He does not interfere to suppress them creates a feeling of uneasiness and distrust, as if the revelation were not in reality from Him. Such persons would do well to remember that God gives us truth, as He gives us everything else, not to our acceptance, but to our acquisition. Even the truths of revelation are expected to do us as much good by exercising our fairness of mind, and our love of truth, in the acceptance and interpretation of His Word, as by the light they give. To the question, then, Which among the various partial and discordant views you are to adopt, this is my answer — Adopt your own; hold fast your own. Allowing others to have their views, be faithful and just to your own view; endeavouring, of course, to enlarge it from day to day, but adhering to it, meanwhile, and reverencing it, as one view at least of truth, and of that side of truth which is turned towards you, and which, therefore, you must be presumed to be most concerned to know. Above all, remember that, though we are divided, Christ is not.

(J. Walker, D. D.)

Was Paul crucified for you?
I. THE OCCASION OF THIS QUESTION — the divided state of the Church at Corinth. Mark the peculiar ground of contention (ver. 12). Paul was the founder of the Church; and some of the older members might naturally feel peculiarly attached to him. Apollos succeeded Paul — a man of more finished eloquence; and some, who joined the Church under his ministry, might, as naturally, become attached to him. Peter was especially the apostle to the Jews, and the Jewish converts would prefer him. Others affected to disparage all, and said, "We are of Christ." Surely it was a most unhappy state of things to make one preacher clash with another, and to appear to make any of them clash with Christ. So Paul says, "Is there a separate Saviour for each of the four parties? for that is what you seem to mean"; then adds, "Was Paul crucified for you?"

II. THE TRUTH INVOLVED IN THE QUESTION.

1. Some one had been crucified for them. That was a fact which none of their divisions could pretend to deny. But who was this crucified One? Was it Paul? No! It was the Master, not the servant. And Christ was crucified for us! He had no guilt of His own to suffer for. The poor thief at His side made this acknowledgment, and prophecy had explained it 700 years before — "He was wounded for our transgressions," &c.

2. And this was the most memorable fact in His history. To talk about the blood of Christ offends certain people's taste, and is out of keeping with their theology. But what is the theology of the Bible? The tabernacle and the temple ran with blood; for "without shedding of blood there was no remission of sin." So in the New Testament we read that our Lord "took the cup," and said, "This is My blood," &c. And Peter reminded his fellow-believers, "Ye were redeemed with the precious blood of Christ," and John wrote, "The blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son, cleanseth us from all sin." And the reason of all this is clearly given. Sin is a thing which a just and holy Ruler of the universe cannot pass by. It must be punished — if not in us, in another in our stead. And the grand message of the gospel is, that God has laid on Christ the iniquity of us all — so that "in Him we have redemption through His blood," &c. Now if this be so, the most memorable thing in the history of Christ is — that He "was crucified for us!"

3. Such clearly is Paul's teaching. Talk too much of the blood of Christ? (1 Corinthians 2:2). The theme distasteful and offensive? (Galatians 6:14; cf. 1 Corinthians 8:23).

III. THE FORCE OF THE QUESTION. What claim have I upon you compared with that of Christ? Notice the delicacy of the apostle's mind, He might have asked the same with regard to Peter or Apollos.

1. Paul had some claim upon them, for it was he who first brought the gospel to them. And what Corinthian believer but was bound to bless the apostle's name? And don't you sometimes bless it, English believer? Have you not felt that the Apostle Paul has been one of your best friends?

2. But now I hear him saying, "Don't talk of me — talk of nay Master. What claims have I upon you compared with His? It was not I that was your Substitute — I needed a substitute as much as you. You Corinthians talk of me and of Apollos as useful preachers. Who are we but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man. 'We preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord,'" &c. And so you Englishmen talk of me as one whom you are bound to revere and love. But look up immensely higher! up, where angels bow before a Lamb as it had been slain! There's your best Friend! Give Him your deepest reverence, your warmest love! "Was Paul crucified for you?"

3. The text is suitable, by way of warning, to these days when the tendency is to mingle Christ up with other famous teachers. And doubtless each of them has taught the world what had previously been forgotten. But can any Christian put them on a level with our Lord? I shudder at the thought! "Is Christ divided?" Is there one Saviour for the Chinese, and another for the Indian, and another for the Arab? Was Confucius crucified for sinners? — or Buddha? — or Mahommed? Nay, brethren! Stand fast in the faith. "There is none other name," &c. "Other foundation can no man lay."

(F. Tucker, B. A.)

This question was intended to startle Paul's readers. They had been split up into separate groups, designated by names representing ideas which ought never to be separated, viz., Christian freedom, Christian philosophy, Church authority and organisation, and personal devotion to Christ. But these Greeks carried their old mental habits into the Church. For ages they had identified each shade of opinion in philosophy with the name of an individual teacher. It was natural for them to look at Christianity as an addition to the world's thought, which admitted of being treated as other systems. Moreover, religion is differently apprehended and presented by different minds. The one Truth which Peter and Paul and Apollos preached was presented in different forms. The fault of the Corinthians lay in treating a difference in the way of presenting truth as if it were a difference in truth itself. To them Paul, &c., were the teachers of distinct religions. Nay, more, the holiest Name of all was bandied about among the names of His messengers. Hence the pain which finds vent in the question, "Was Paul crucified for you?" This question —

I. SUGGESTS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE DEBT WHICH CHRISTIANS OWE TO CHRIST AND THAT WHICH THEY OWE TO THE MOST FAVOURED OF HIS SERVANTS.

1. It was no slight debt which the Corinthians owed to the apostle — their conversion, their Church, their knowledge about subjects of the highest interest to man; his nature, God's nature and relations, and the eternal future. It was a debt which could never be repaid. But the apostle suggests its utter relative insignificance by his question, "Was Paul crucified for you?"

2. Not that St. Paul had taught the Corinthians the faith of Christ without suffering (1 Thessalonians 2:2; Acts 18:5, 6, 12-17). But all such sufferings had differed in kind from that which was glanced at by the question, "Was Paul crucified for you?"

3. His relation to Christ was altogether unlike that which existed between pupils and their Master, e.g., between and . To St. Paul Christ was not merely the author of Christianity, but its subject and its substance. St. Paul was not indeed crucified; he was beheaded some years later, as a martyr for Christ. But excepting the testimony which he thus bore to the truth he preached, his death was without results to the world. He was beheaded for no one. And had he been crucified at Corinth, the sin of no single Corinthian would have been washed away by his blood. Do, teach, or suffer what he might, he was but a disciple.

II. TELLS US WHAT IT WAS IN THE WORK OF CHRIST WHICH HAD THE FIRST CLAIM ON THE GRATITUDE OF CHRISTIANS.

1. Not His miracles. They were designed, no doubt, to make faith in His Divine mission natural and easy. They were more: frequently works of mercy than of power. They were acted parables. But others also have worked miracles. And the miracles of Christ have not touched the heart of the world more than His words.

2. Not His teaching. Certainly no human speech will ever say more to the conscience than did the Sermon on the Mount, or more to the heart than did the discourse in the supper-room. Yet He Himself implies that what He did would have greater claims on man than what He said.

3. Nor His triumph over death at His resurrection. Certainly that was the supreme certificate of His Divine mission. But the claim of the Resurrection upon our gratitude is so great, because it is intimately bound up with the tragedy which had preceded it.

4. But His Cross (vers. 23, 24; 1 Corinthians 2:2; Galatians 6:14), on which He reminds us of our utter misery and helplessness until we are aided by His redeeming might (John 15:13; 1 Peter 2:24; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Revelation 1:5; Romans 3:25; Ephesians 1:7; 2 Corinthians 5:18-20; Hebrews 2:17). To expand, connect, explain, justify these aspects of His atoning death is no doubt a labour of vast proportions. But in their simple form they meet every child who reads the New Testament, and they explain the hold of Christ crucified on the Christian heart. And we understand the pathos and the strength of the appeal, "Was Paul crucified for you?"

III. ENABLES US TO MEASURE THE TRUE WORTH OF EFFORTS FOR IMPROVING THE CONDITION OF MANKIND.

1. We may well thank God that He has put it into so many hearts to support institutions and enterprises so rich in their practical benevolence. But when it is hinted that efforts of this kind satisfy all the needs of man, we are obliged to hesitate. The needs of the soul are at least as real as those of the body. The pain of the conscience is at least as torturing as that of the nerves. The invisible world is not less to be provided for than the world of sense and time. We are sometimes almost pressed, in view of the exaggerated claims of a secular philanthropy, to ask whether this or that benevolent person was crucified for the poor or the suffering.

2. In like manner, when Renan tells that we should all be much better if we would give increased time and thought to the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, we naturally listen. That Marcus Aurelius was marked by eminent excellences must be frankly granted. But literary infidelity has done this man a wrong by the very excesses of his panegyric. For we cannot but ask whether his characteristic virtue was more than a social luxury; whether it had the slightest effect upon the degraded multitudes who lived close to his palace; whether it prevented him selecting as his colleague a worthless trifler, or from bequeathing his responsibilities to a profligate buffoon; whether it even suggested a scruple respecting his cruel persecutions of Christians. These are questions which history may be left to answer. And her judgment would make another question only more grotesque than profane — "Was Marcus Aurelius crucified for you?"

3. Yes; only One ever was crucified out of love to sinners, and with a will and power to save them. The faith which St. Paul preached protects society against dangers which are inseparable from human progress at certain stages. For this faith in Christ crucified addresses itself to each of those poles of society, which, when left to the ordinary selfish impulses of human nature, tend to become antagonistic. To the wealthy and the noble the figure of the crucified Saviour is a perpetual preacher of self-sacrifice for the sake of the poor and needy; and to the poor it is no less a perpetual lesson of the beauty, the majesty of entire resignation. Thus does the truth which is at the very heart of the Christian creed contribute most powerfully to the coherence and well-being of society; and we live in days when society is not able to dispense with its assistance.

(Canon Liddon.)

I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius.
This is a beautiful trait of Paul's character. Most preachers delight to take a prominent part in the public reception of their converts. But Paul saw the danger of this, as tending to exalt the preacher in men's eyes. He therefore purposely (ver. 15) and systematically placed himself on such occasions in the background .(cf. Acts 10:48). This he could well afford to do because of the greater honour, given to him, of preaching the gospel and thus leading men to Christ. He wished men to think, not of the successful preacher, but of Him whose professed servants the baptized ones were. How different was the aim of those who wrote Paul's name on the banner of their party! Paul thanks God for his own conduct. For every good action is prompted by God, and enriches the actor.

(Prof. Beet.)

contains two things: something on the part of God, and something on the part of man. On God's part it is an authoritative revelation of His paternity: on man's part it is an acceptance of God's covenant. In 1 Corinthians 10:1, 2 St. Paul expresses the meaning of baptism as symbolising discipleship. When the Israelites passed through the Red Sea they cut themselves off for ever from Egypt, so that, figuratively speaking, in that immersion they were baptized unto Moses, for thereby they declared themselves his followers, and left all to go with him. And so, just as the soldier who receives the bounty money is thereby pledged to serve his sovereign, so he who has passed through the baptismal waters is pledged to fight under the Redeemer's banner against sin, the world, and the devil. And so Paul argues thus: To whom were ye when baptized? To whom did you pledge yourselves in discipleship? If to Christ, why do ye name yourselves by the name of Paul? If all were baptized into that one Name, how is it that a few only have adopted it as their own? Upon this we make two remarks.

I. THE VALVE AND BLESSEDNESS OF THE SACRAMENTS.

1. They are authoritative signs and symbols. There is very much contained in this idea; e.g., in some parts of the country it is the custom to give and receive a ring in token of betrothal; but that is very different from the marriage-ring. It is neither authoritative, nor has it the sanction of the Church. It would have been perfectly possible for man to have invented another symbol of the truth conveyed in baptism, and then it would not have been authoritative, and consequently it would have been weak and useless.

2. They serve as the epitomes of Christian truth. Antinomianism had crept into the Roman Church. Paul meets this by an appeal to baptism (Romans 6:1-4). And again, in reference to the Lord's Supper, in the Church of Corinth that sacrament had become a feast of gluttony and a signal of division. This error he endeavours to correct by reference to the institution of the Supper itself: "The bread which we break, is it not the Communion of the body of Christ?" The single loaf, broken into many fragments, contains within it the symbolical truth, that the Church of Christ is one. Here, in the text, St. Paul makes the same appeal: he appeals to baptism against sectarianism, and so long as we retain it, it is an everlasting protest against every one who breaks the unity of the Church.

II. THE PECULIAR MEANING OF THE SACRAMENT. There are those who believe and teach that men are born into the world children of the devil, and who hold that the instrument for their conversion into God's children is baptism; and believe that there is given to the ministers of the Church the power of conveying in that sacrament the Holy Spirit, who effects this wondrous change. If a minister really believes he has this power, then it is only with fear and trembling that he should approach the font. But if this view be true, then the apostle thanked God that he had not regenerated any, that he had not conveyed the Spirit of God to any one but Crispus and Gaius, and the household of Stephanas.

(F. W. Robertson, M. A.)

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