Stop deceiving yourselves. If you think you are wise by this world’s standards, you need to become a fool to be truly wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As the Scriptures say, “He traps the wise in the snare of their own cleverness.” And again, “The LORD knows the thoughts of the wise; He knows they are worthless.” So don’t boast about following a particular human leader. For everything belongs to you— whether Paul or Apollos or Peter, or the world, or life and death, or the present and the future. Everything belongs to you, and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.1 Corinthians 3:18-23
Do you see that Paul returns to what he was talking about at the beginning of Chapter 3? Do you think he ever left the topic? No. it all hangs together. He is making one point strongly with lots of related side comments. Many points but one issue.
Stop deceiving yourself. I want to talk to you about deeper spiritual things but you are stuck on the basics. God is building the church as one body. One building on one foundation. You believers together are that building. You are the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit collectively. How can you allow such division? You have lost the plot if you allow these factions and divisions in you midst. The temple of God, the church, the body of Christ is precious and sanctified. If you bring dissension and strike and partisan spirit you mess with what God intends and can only incur His wrath as a result.
Many people don’t see the grave error involved in bringing dissension. It is abhorrent to God and it will be punished. It is a spiritual stronghold and it is little wonder that when strife and factions develop in a church they continue for generations. It is little wonder that churches go through cycles of dissension if such dissension and strife brings God’s judgement. Like Paul says destruction begets destruction. Ever wondered why churches which develop factions and get rid of one pastor only survive to do it again some years later. It is a spiritual matter. Don’t mess with the unity of the Body of Christ.
Preserve the unity at all costs. The matter of disunity among the Corinthians and the degree to which there was internal strife was serious. Of course it was. That is clear from the description of the level to which they had descended. I follow this person because he baptised me, I belong to the “Christ” group because I don’t lower myself to following a person, I follow Christ. God and Paul say enough of such nonsense. If that is going on in your church it is a serious matter and you are just babies in the faith. Stop deceiving yourselves and do something about re-establishing the unity of the body of Christ. If it has gone as far as it did with the Corinthians then you have some serious issues to deal with and a lot of spiritual warfare to take care of. Or don’t you realise that God’s Spirit dwells in you collectively? How can such division be present when there ought to be unity? No wonder God must ultimately destroy the one who brings disunity. Pay careful attention to the principles behind this chapter.
There is much more to be said but you can take time to read this chapter again and see how it hangs together and what else the Lord may speak to you about as you re-read it.
Take time to let Scripture soak into you. There is always more there than we imagine. Go find out how much for yourself. This would be a good time to practise “Saturation Reflection”. [See Bible Gem 226]
Have you read my #1 best seller? There will be a test.God
Don’t make me come down there.God