10 But I am also appealing to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same way, and there be no schisms among you, but that you be mended into the same mind and with the same purpose. 11 Because I have been informed concerning you, my bothers, by Chloe’s group, that there are rivalries among you. 12 But I am asking this, since each one of you is saying, “I am of Paul,” or “I of Apollos,” or “I of Cephas,” or “I of Christ.” 13 Has Christ been distributed into separate units? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
church without competition
Corinth was a big city, so it was impossible for all the Christians there to meet in the same building, even in the early beginnings of the church. It was necessary for the church to meet in separate places, and for those groups to be led by different people. It appears that one of those groups was led by a lady named Chloe. It also appears that this small group wrote a letter to Paul, explaining to him that the Corinthian churches were infested with rivalries. Paul had to address this, because he knew that the gospel was at stake. Church is not about competition, it is about Christ, and he has not been divided: distributed into separate units. He is one, and we should be one as well. God is doing his part by gifting us with individual charismatic gifts. We need to do our part by practicing self-control, so that our individual gifts do not lead to conflict and schism.
LORD, may the fruit of the Spirit – self-control – keep us from using the gifts of the Spirit against each other.