From Pastor Brady
What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? 1 Corinthians 1:12-13
The last couple days my mind keeps going back to Paul’s question for the church at Corinth. “Is Christ divided?” Of course the context in 1 Corinthians is division in the church over which church leader people are following. Some followed Peter, some Paul, some Apollos, and the really “spiritual” ones said they followed Christ.
Paul sees the division in the church as a gospel problem. It is not just a moral problem. And he doesn’t appeal to the law or to changed behavior first. First and foremost he asks the gospel centered question above: “is Christ divided?”
Of course the answer is no. Because we as Christians are in Christ and Christ is in us. Our union with Christ, His life being lived out in and through us, means that we are not divided (even though we may behave that way). Division in the church is a gospel problem. It requires a gospel solution. Not a moralistic one, or a political one, or a patriotic one. Our motivation flows from the reality that the living Christ unites us- not duty, not nationality, not race, not any pastor or leader other than Jesus himself.
This truth should make all categories of division foolish to us. Divisiveness proves that the gospel seed must go deeper into the soil of our hearts. Division hurts the cause of the gospel.
Politics by nature are divisive. Elections, though intending to be unifying, are divisive too. As Christians we are easily tempted to use our political beliefs and structures as a way to self- justify. If I am a conservative, I am morally superior to liberals. If I am a liberal, I am morally superior to conservatives. If I voted for Trump, I am not supporting the lying, cheating Hillary. If I voted for Hillary, I am not a racist, sexist Trump supporter. If I voted third party aren’t I better than everyone? No, not really.
Is Christ divided?
The nation needs to come together now. And the church MUST lead the way. We must show that we have not just the faltering sandy “high ground” of our politics, but the true stable rock of the life and death and resurrection and glorification of the living Christ in us! He transcends liberal and conservative, and stand above all political stands. He is the giver of freedom, life, and love. He welcomes all who will humbly come, and unites us together under his banner of love. He alone is our justification and peace, not a politician, program, or platform.
So make today about Christ. He is NOT divided. On this day of potential sadness, anger, and increased division, recall the amazing truth that Christ lives in US. Corporately. The church. He indwells his people, and pours his love and grace into us. Reflect his life today. Make your Facebook posts about HIM. Let your rhetoric turn to prayer and praise. Reach out to all. Love your enemy in a practical way. Trust Jesus and Jesus alone. And overcome evil with good.