August 25

1 Corinthians 3:5-7 5What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe–as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. 7So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.

Paul returns to one of the main reasons for writing this letter, quarrels and divisions. He told the Corinthians that when they take sides on issues and set themselves against one another that they are acting like the world and not like Christians. Jesus' command was that we love one another. That does not mean that we never correct or instruct, which may be the hardest expression of love.

This church had formed several factions based on who they admired most as a teacher. It is not an evil thing to admire one teacher over another, but they had taken it a step further and formed opposing groups that quarreled over which speaker was best. We have the same thing today with denominations. The fact that one group prefers Wesley's teaching over Calvin's or Luther's is not bad. It is when we divide up the church into arguing factions that we are acting like the world. It can happen within an individual church. One group starts preferring one teacher over the preacher, or the preacher over an old timer who has kept the church going through tough times in the past.

Paul brings them back to the central issue. The leaders are merely servants. We all play a part, but it is God who makes things happen. We are nothing in and of ourselves. Any good you see in man is the presence of the Savior. Let us all focus on Him and His command to love one another. Without Him the teacher, the preacher, the old faithful deacon and the elder are nothing. Refuse quarreling and insist on loving. Give and receive correction in love. We can all learn from one another. Consider others better than yourself (Philippians 2:3). Politics and factions have no place in the church of Jesus Christ. Leave that treachery to the world.

Remember: If we cannot love one another, we need to examine our relationship with Jesus Christ.