“I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.” (1 Corinthians 1:10)
Paul launches into his words of correction for those saints at Corinth who were creating division in the church through pride and politics. Many were extremely enamored of a preacher named Apollos because he was a good-looking, charismatic, powerful and articulate speaker. They rejected Paul’s authority and his teaching because his preaching and demeanor were judged to be unspiritual and inferior.
Paul mentions that the power of the gospel is in the proclamation of the Word of God centered on the cross of Christ. Yet many churches today ignore the need for confession of sin and repentance and focus on making individuals feel good about themselves. Consequently what is valued are speakers who possess good looks, personal charisma, and powerful and eloquent preaching. These are accompanied by loud and extravagant multimedia presentations, elaborate programs and flashy, upbeat music.
But, as Paul reminds us, what is considered weakness in the world is considered by God to be strength. The cross, the death of Jesus, is not based on human power or wisdom, but on a demonstration of God’s power in man’s weakness. It is the weak people of the world, the lowly, the despised, who are called by God to faith and changed by their encounter with Christ. None of the Corinthians could claim to have attained their salvation or spiritual gifts by self-effort human wisdom and power. And so they could not boast in themselves. They only could boast in the Lord who gives us all good things.