Christ Unites a Church Divided

Jerry Sittser

READ : 1 Corinthians 1:10-17

Has Christ been divided? (v. 13)

It is easy to romanticize the early church – until, that is, we read Paul’s letters to the church in Corinth. That church was plagued by a number of problems. Perhaps the most troubling, however, was its disunity. Various factions vied for control over the church. A spirit of ruthless competition poisoned the fellowship and threatened to tear the fledgling church apart.

Paul did not address the problem by favoring one faction over another, nor by whitewashing the divisions that existed. Instead, he exhorted them to consider what made them a church in the first place. Jesus, God’s Son in human flesh, created the church through his suffering and death. The church is comprised of sinners who know their need for God’s grace as it is offered through Christ.

Such was the gospel that Paul proclaimed. It made no sense, then, for the believers in Corinth to begin to assert their superiority over each other. They were sinners, all of them. They had trusted in Christ alone for salvation.

As Billy Graham once said, the ground at the foot of the cross is level. It welcomes everyone; it also humbles everyone. There is simply no room for faction or competition or arrogance.


Lord, thank you for the gospel, which not only saves us from sin but also creates unity in the church. In Jesus’ name, Amen.