Jesus Christ and Him Crucified
1 Corinthians 2:2
The apostle Paul goes to great lengths in the first two chapters of his first letter to the church at Corinth to begin bringing that congregation back together as a unified body. They had become a divided church by favoring certain preachers of the gospel over others (1:12).
Whether the choosing of favorites had to do with styles of preaching, personality, interpretations or something else, it was wrong because it broke the unity which there is in Christ. It made the messenger more important than the One who sent him!
Paul’s rhetorical question in verse 13 of chapter one anticipates a terribly sobering truth. “Has Christ been divided?” Christ is not divided! In fact, Christ cannot be divided. When we start to “divide” Christ, as these Corinthians saints were doing, then we really no longer have Christ but bits and pieces of Him.
Paul then writes: “Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” Of course, the answer to both of these questions is “No.” The implication is that only Christ matters as the foundation for faith and salvation. To establish “camps” among the faithful is to elevate men (i.e. in their own minds) to the status of Christ Himself!
Paul reminds them that he came proclaiming the gospel of Christ (1:17) in its own simplicity and power. He did not use persuasive words of human wisdom, but presented the awesome, heart rending and mind challenging message of “Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” This is the message that saves. It is the gospel. It has power enough and is its own power to save (Romans 1:16). Any embellishments of human wisdom are unnecessary.
Today, the Christian world is lined up behind various men (just like in Corinth): Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, the pope, Wesley, et al. People tend to take their word as “gospel truth.” Yet, they don’t all say the same thing! Still today we must carefully heed Paul’s words: “Has Christ been divided?” What do you think? Hmmm?