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Is Christ Divided?

by Bernie Parsons

Is Christ Divided?

I Corinthians 1:10:“Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”

Sadly, many who call themselves Christians see no problem with the situation the Apostle Paul condemned. They see no problem with speaking different things, having divisions, and having differences in mind and judgment. In fact, many seem to thrive on the strife and the confusion that results from division in the church. 

I Corinthians 1:11-13 “For it hath 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?”

Do you realize that most differences in what we know as Christianity stem from people following the doctrines and commandments of men, and those traditions that get handed down as gospel truth? In discussing a difference of understanding on a particular subject recently, a brother told me that I needed a good book on hermeneutics. After I looked the word up—it means “interpretive”--I realized that I already had a Good Book—the Bible, and it tells me in: 

II Peter 1: 16 “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

17: For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

18: And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.

19: We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

20: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

Maybe we ought to concentrate a little harder on the Good Book and a little less on hermeneutics, a Western philosophy named after the Greek god Hermes. It might leave less open to private interpretation.

I Corinthians 1:14 "I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius;

15: Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.

16: And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.

17: For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect."

A division crops up right here because some of my friends following man-made religions quote this verse as proof that Paul was “not in the baptizing business”. Taken in context, Paul was saying that he was glad that folks didn’t follow him instead of Christ, as they might have done had he himself done all the baptizing personally. It wasn’t that baptism wasn’t occurring, it’s just that Paul left it to the other brethren to do it.

I Corinthians 1:18 "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

19: For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

20: Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

21: For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” 

We see in our culture today a denial of Christianity. The liberal folks in our culture say that God is dead, Jesus is a myth, and that we are all just soul-less human animals. Man’s wisdom says that the universe started with a big bang, and man evolved from a conglomeration of chemicals that got struck by lightning. We in the so-called “Western world” pattern our thinking after the Greek philosophers.  Foundationalism and Hermeneutics by Kelley L. Ross, Ph.D.  “The "hermeneutic cycle" is the process by which we return to a text, or to the world, and derive a new interpretation--perhaps a new interpretation every time, or a new one for every interpreter.” Issues In Hermeneutics by Prof. Herman C. Hanko “It is one of the striking features of modern Hermeneutics that every year brings different theories forward concerning methods of biblical interpretation. One can hardly keep up with them all. Each new pet theory is another way which is supposed to offer us insight into biblical interpretation and becomes another tool in the hands of the interpreter of God's Word to help explain Scripture.” 

1 Timothy 6:20-21 “O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.”

 Acts 17:20-21 “For thou bringest certain strange things to our ears: we would know therefore what these things mean. (For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.)

Hermeneutics is described as based upon science and logic. Yet these Greek based processes are the very things that Paul said we must not use.

I Corinthians 1:22 "For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

23: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

24: But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

25: Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” 

When I was growing up, the other religious people in our little mining town in the hills of Eastern Kentucky derisively called us “waterdogs” and “Camelites”—sounds a little like a brand of cigarettes, but they were trying to say “Campbellites”! They made fun of the notion that a dunking in the water can save your soul. That’s not logical. But when Jesus said that except a man be born again of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of heaven, remember how Nicodemus tried to apply logic? How can an old man enter his mother’s womb and be born again? God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. He uses that which appears as “foolishness” to save the souls of men. Division fades when we stick with God’s truth! 

I Corinthians 1:26“For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:

Why is that? The wise think that their knowledge will save them. The strong think that their strength will save them. The powerful and rich think that their power and riches will save them. So they don’t need God to save them!

I Corinthians 1:27 "But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

28: And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:

29: That no flesh should glory in his presence.

30: But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

31: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” 

2 Corinthians 11:3 “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”

Galatians 1:6 “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:

7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.

8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.”

 Luke:6:39: “And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?” 

Denominationalism has men following men into different and often opposing directions. Is Christ divided? My high school driver’s training teacher told us a true story. It was a foggy night along the lake, and a car was following two other cars. The driver couldn’t see the road, so he just watched the taillights of the cars ahead. When the taillights ahead went right, he went right, and when they went left, he went left. He saw one pair of taillights dip down, then the other, so he followed them—right off the road and down over an embankment! All three cars wrecked! It pays to be careful whom you follow!

But let us not forget that Paul was writing to the church at Corinth when he spoke of the divisions among them. Is Christ divided? We have the one-cuppers, the two-veilers, the Sunday-schoolers, the women-speakers, the Christian-collegers, fellowship-hallers, the fellowship-allers—no I didn’t stutter!—and the disfellowship-allers, and on, and on, and on...I ask you again, is Christ divided?

Brothers and sisters, we need to be working hard on mending fences. We need to lay aside that partisan spirit that says, “I am of Paul”, or “I am of Apollos”, “I am of Jack Steele”, or “I am of Bernie Parsons”. Christ is not divided. Yet we say that we are the church, the body of Christ, and we are divided. This ought not to be so. We must lay aside the philosophies of men and let the Holy Spirit guide us. 

Ephesians 4: 1: “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 

2: With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 

3: Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 

4: There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 

5: One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 

6: One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. 

7: But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” 

Some people will say, “We are of different faiths, but we will all go to heaven together.” The Bible says that there is one faith. Faith, as defined in the scriptures, does not merely mean a doctrine, or a dogma. Faith refers to the trust that we place in Christ, as the Son of God Almighty. We believe that He is who He said He is. We believe that He is resurrected from death. We trust that He has gone to prepare a place for us in heaven, and that He will come again to take us there. If we trust Him, we must keep His commandments.

John 17: 14: “I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 

15: I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. 

16: They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 

17: Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. 

18: As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. 

19: And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

20: Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

21: That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

 Is Christ divided?

John 17: 20-21: "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” 

Is Christ divided? If you are in denominationalism, you need to come out of it! If you are in a splinter-group of the church of our Lord Jesus Christ, you need to come out of it! If you are in the world, you need to come out of it!

Revelation:18:4: “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”

II Corinthians 6: 16: “And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 

17: Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 

18: And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” 

1 Corinthians:11:1: “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” 

Ephesians 4: 14-16: “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”

In the church, since we are one body, we have an obligation to look after the health of the body. If your natural body is injured or sick, you seek to heal it. If the body of Christ is injured or sick, we need to work to heal it.

Who are you following today? Is he following Jesus? How do you know? Do you study the scriptures to find out?

1 Corinthians 11:1-2 “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.” 

1 Corinthians 4:16-17 “Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me. For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church.” 

John 5:39: “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” 

Ephesians 4:5: “One Lord, one faith, one baptism,”

Are you listening to that one Lord? Are you in that one faith? Have you received that one baptism? Christ is not divided.   

Why don’t you share that one faith, have that one baptism, and be added to the one body of Christ, His sanctified church? You will be born of the water and of the Spirit, washed in the blood of the Lamb of God.

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