1 Corinthians 1:12-21

1 Corinthians 1:12
Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
Apollos - Acts 18:24
Cephas - Peter
It seems that there were four parties formed and each followed a certain teacher. One of the most destructive things a person can do is to follow preachers without checking out if they are correct. However, when we look at the four named preachers, we will know that they each had different styles but the same message. In the modern day, we have preachers who teach gospels that are not of the Bible and are sending confusion into the church. Christians who follow preachers blindly are setting themselves up for a problem. God gave us the Scriptures as a guideline for our beliefs. We are not to accept anything and everything that people teach unless we first filter it through the Scriptures.
Is this going on today? Yes, How:
1. We follow our favorite preachers
2. In the World of theology - Petrine, Pauline, Johannine, etc. theology
3. In the Biblical world - Wisdom Literature, Law, Prophets, 1 & 2 Isaiah break at Chap. 39
Unfortunately people are using the Scriptures to create theologies and teachings for their own benefits. Today we have different schools of thought. We even have seminaries which confuse the students on which version is the real Bible. A study will show that the King James Bible is the only one that is God glorifying. If it wasn’t, it would not have stood the test of time from 1611. If you notice in the verse that each one in the church was following a different preacher. That means the church was really four cell groups instead of one assembly in concert which was Paul’s desire. This four-fold division was causing havoc in the church and Paul wanted it stopped.


1 Corinthians 1:13
Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
Divided - Distributed or apportioned
Paul goes on to ask some rhetorical questions? Of course the answer to all three questions is no. Paul didn’t die for the church. Christ is not a divided person because He is God. No one is baptized in the name of a mere man but in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (Mat 12:25 KJV) And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: It is the same principle in the church, if it is divided among itself, it shall fall. Christ must be the head of the entire church and there must be no divisions in the name of Christ, for division equates to confusion and God is not the author of confusion. (1 Cor 14:33 KJV) For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. While this verse was penned in response to the tongues confusion, the principle may be applied wherever there is confusion in a church. If every person stabilized their beliefs on Scripture and not on their flesh, the church would be a strong entity today.
1 Corinthians 1:14
I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius;
Paul says this so he can be free of any accusation that he seeks a following or some type of ownership of the people. Paul avoided anything in his ministry which caused disunity in the church. He only baptized two people and after that it was the responsibility of the indigenous Church Elders to do that.
1 Corinthians 1:15
Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name
There may have been some in the church that might have felt if they were baptized by Paul, that it may have been some type of super spiritual experience. It is that attitude that is exuded by some when they attend a great crusade and then go to a small church. They feel like they have been let down. Also Paul did not want to baptize because he was not looking to start the first church of Paul. Paul was commissioned to build the church of Christ and not to start one of his own, and this is what he feared might happen.
1 Corinthians 1:16
And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.
Here he injects that he baptized another house but after that he could not remember whether he baptized any others. Baptism was not his primary function for the churches. The House of Stephanas was the first converts in the province known as Achaia where Corinth was located. (1 Cor 16:15 KJV) I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,)
1 Corinthians 1:17
(a) For Christ sent me not to baptize, (b) but to preach the gospel: (c) not with wisdom of words, (d) lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
Here Paul gives the reason of his existence and his method:
A. Baptism is not a priority because this instills an air of ceremony or ritual
B. Preaching (announcing the good news) is the primary function of Paul’s ministry as he advocates later in the
C. He didn’t pad his preaching vocabulary with added eloquence or needless words.
D. If the people cannot understand the preaching, then the word is made void. It is like speaking in “academic
     tongues.” An eloquent preacher draws people to himself and not the cross and this is why the cross
     becomes void.
1 Corinthians 1:18
(a) For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; (b) but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
A. The word preaching is actually the Greek word for “word.” The word of the cross is nonsense to those who perish. (Acts 17:32 KJV) And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter. The unbeliever looks at the teaching of the cross and then compares it to the sciences of each generation, and they castigate the truth of salvation in Christ by passing it off as something Neolithic, belonging to the ages of superstition. The word for “foolishness” in this verse is the word “moria” which is a cognate of “moros” where we get the English word “moron” from. The unbelievers see the cross of Christ and Christians as morons to believe in such things, especially in such an enlightened age.
B. The spiritually dead man cannot understand spiritual things unless God opens their spiritual eyes. This verse is summed up perfectly as follows. (2 Cor 2:16 KJV) To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? To the unbeliever we are a savour unto death and to the believer we are a savor unto life. The Power of God was manifest through the crucifixion of Christ because it was here that Christ paid for the sins of all His Elect. In essence, it was the first Judgment Day in which all the Elect of God were judged in Christ and found not guilty. The second Judgment Day will be when the unbelievers stand for their sins and will be found guilty. After the crucifixion of Christ, there is no more sacrifice for sin. (Heb 10:26 KJV) For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
1 Corinthians 1:19
For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
Wise=Those who are wise in this world but void of heavenly wisdom
Prudent - Understanding ones
Those who are wise in this world, those who hold the big degrees in the fields of science and behavioral sciences, and those who are wise and secure in their own talents or positions, will have all their defenses against the truth of Christ destroyed on Judgment Day. Their worldly apologetics will not be any defense at their final trial. (Isa 29:14-15 KJV) Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid. {15} Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us? We read in Romans 1:22. (Rom 1:22 KJV) Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, The worldly person believes they have all the answer in their textbooks and philosophies. As they rage against Christians in the world, their mouth will be stopped and they will then see that all their wisdom was in vain. Once they stand before Christ, they will know they were wrong.
1 Corinthians 1:20
(A) Where is the wise? (B) where is the scribe? (C) where is the disputer of this world? (D) hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
A. Where the cross is preached human wisdom cannot compete. Human wisdom cannot explain what happens to a person when they become saved. One day they are sinning like crazy and then they become saved and all of a sudden, their sins bother them because they now are cognizant they are wrong. Why? Because their authority has changed from the principles of the world to the Bible.
B. The Greek word for “Scribe” is “grammateus“ and is normally used in the context of experts in the Law. In Ancient Israel, Scribes were “Teachers, Jurists, and Editors.” They were part of the elite ruling class and were the enemies of the true prophets, Christ, and then Christianity. (Mat 23:2 KJV) Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:
C. The debater or disputer - Let him present his worldly case against divine wisdom. This person is in every church as they try to dispute and debate every true teaching of Scripture. Paul faced these same people on Mars Hill when all they existed for was to debate about philosophies. These people also did investigations into different subjects, especially on pleasing God but to no avail. What baffled them was that God’s salvation plan was far beyond human understanding.
D. The fourth part of this verse is a summation of the previous 3 questions. The wise person, the Scribe, and the disputer will all come to naught because God has taken their wisdom and has nullified it and superceded it with His own. God’s wisdom is only known to His children and the unbelieving world cannot know it. This is why they call us morons, because they are unable to understand our world.
1 Corinthians 1:21
(A) For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, (B) it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
A. God’s methods will always confound the wisdom of the world since they are in
direct opposition. Worldly wisdom will never bring a person to God only farther away: Evolution, Sin is sickness, all roads lead to God, etc. are all failed paths. Man can only
know God by revelation and not human reason.
B. The creation of worldly teachings such as philosophy was ordained by God and did not just develop by chance. It was the controlling of history by God to disallow the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Philosophers from knowing God but God ordained his elect to know Him by means of preaching.