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THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS - Chapter 1 - Verse 13

Verse 13. Is Christ divided? Paul, in this verse, proceeds to show the impropriety of their divisions and strifes. His general argument is, that Christ alone ought to be regarded as their Head and Leader, and that his claims, arising from his crucifixion, and acknowledged by their baptism, were so pre-eminent that they could not be divided, and the honours due to him should not be rendered to any other. The apostle therefore asks, with strong emphasis, whether Christ was to be regarded as divided? Whether this single supreme Head and Leader of the church had become the head of different contending factions? The strong absurdity of supposing that, showed the impropriety of their ranging themselves under different banners and leaders.

Was Paul crucified for you? This question implies that the crucifixion of Christ had an influence in saving them which the sufferings of no other one could have, and that those sufferings were in fact the peculiarity which distinguished the Work of Christ, and rendered it of so much value. The atonement was the grand, crowning work of the Lord Jesus. It was through this that all the Corinthian Christians had been renewed and pardoned. That work was so pre-eminent that it could not have been performed by an other. And as they had all been saved by that alone-as they were alike dependent on his merits for salvation—it was improper that they should be rent into contending factions, and ranged under different leaders. If there is anything that will recall Christians of different names and of contending sects from the heat of strife, it is the recollection of the fact that they have been purchased by the same blood, and that the same Saviour died to redeem them all. If this fact could be kept before their minds, it would put an end to angry strife everywhere in the church, and produce universal Christian love.

Or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? Or into, or unto the name of Paul. See Barnes "Mt 28:19".

To be baptized into, or unto any one, is to be devoted to him, to receive and acknowledge him as a teacher, professing to receive his rules, and to be governed by his authority.—Locke. Paul here solemnly reminds them that their baptism was an argument why they should not range themselves under different leaders. By that, they had been solemnly and entirely devoted to the service of the only Saviour. "Did I ever," was the implied language of Paul, "baptize in my own name"? Did I ever pretend to organize a sect, announcing myself as a leader? Have not I always directed you to that Saviour into whose name and service you have been baptized?" It is remarkable here, that Paul refers to himself, and not to Apollos or Peter. He does not insinuate that the claims of Apollos or Peter were to be disparaged, or their talents and influence to be undervalued, as a jealous rival would have done; but he numbers himself first, and alone, as having no claims to be regarded as a religious leader among them, or the founder of a sect. Even he, the founder of the church, and their spiritual father, had never desired or intended that they should call themselves by his name; and he thus showed the impropriety of their adopting the name of any man as the leader of a sect.

{*} "in" "into"

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