Useful Bible Studies > 1 Corinthians Commentary > chapter 1

Arguments about who leads the church

1 Corinthians 1:10-13

All the Christians in Corinth met together as one church, but there were different groups in that church (11:18). Those different groups were constantly arguing with each other.

One group said that Paul was their leader. It was true that Paul had been the first leader of the church at Corinth. But Paul did not want to be the leader of a group that argued with other Christians! Paul was not trying to make himself important; he considered himself Godís servant (3:5).

Another group were loyal to Apollos. Apollos led the church after Paul left Corinth. You can read about this extraordinary man in Acts 18:24-28. Apollosís work at Corinth was very successful. But at that time, Apollos had not even met Paul. The two men probably had different opinions about many subjects.

A third group would only accept the authority of the first Christian church in Jerusalem. That was where Cephas, usually called Peter, served God.

The last group probably thought that churches should not have any human leaders. Paul did not agree with that idea - see Titus 1:5.

Paul reminded the people in all these groups that Christians belong to Christ. It was Christ who died to save them.

God appoints many different kinds of people to be the leaders of his church (12:28). But perhaps Ďleadersí is the wrong word, because really they work as Godís servants (1 Corinthians 3:5; Mark 10:43-45).

Christians who constantly argue need to become more mature in their relationship with God. Then they will not still want to argue about their opinions. Instead, they will desire to love and to serve other people.

Next part: Why Paul did not carry out many baptisms (1 Corinthians 1:14-17)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.