The Corinthian Church, was an important city within the Greek state of Achaia. Paul first visited Corinith during his second missionary journey sometime between AD 49-52 and remained there about 1 1/2 years and founded the church during that time.
Some three years later, while in Ephesus Paul received word about problems within the church at Corinth.
Subsequently Paul wrote two letters to the Corinthians as instruction to guide them in solving the strife and contentions disputes they were having about doctrine.
The reason these two letters are particularly relevant today is because the same thing is still going on within the Christian church today, perhaps even more so.
Let's begin by noting what Paul wrote to the church just after his opening blessing:
(1Co 1:10) Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
The unity of the church was paramount in the mind of Paul that all of the believers should be "perfectly joined together in the same mind and the same judgments, those being the mind and judgments of our Lord Jesus the Christ.
You see the favorite weapon of the enemy is to divide the body of believers because He knows all to well that a kingdom divided against itself can not stand!
Paul's rebuke of the church was quite extensive, as were his corrective instructions, not the least of which were:
(1Co 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.
(1Co 1:13) Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
(1Co 1:14) I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius;
(1Co 1:15) Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.
(1Co 1:16) And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.
Is Christ divided within the body of believers today?
Yet we hear people trying to convince us that we are a united body in spite of the divisions within the church. That as long as we agree on the "major" ideals (doctrines) of the faith we are all Christian believers and disciples. And this in spite of Paul's writings unto the divided church at Corinth!
What did our Lord Christ Jesus have to say about this?
(Joh 17:7) Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.
(Joh 17:8) For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.
(Joh 17:9) I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.
(Joh 17:10) And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.
(Joh 17:11) And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
Who is Jesus praying about here?
This prayer of our Lord speaks to the Father on behalf of three persons:
1) On behalf of himself.
2) On behalf of His apostles.
3) On behalf of those who come to believe on Him through His apostles.
Jesus proclaims in verse 11 that He is no more in the world, that He has overcome the world, but "these", His disciples who were to become His apostles, those ordained by the Father to be such, "are in the world" but Jesus prays that the Father keep them (guard, protect from suffering injury or loss) THAT THEY MAY BE ONE AS WE (the Father and the Son) ARE ONE!
There is no schism between the Father and the Son and there should be no schism within the body of Christ!
But the doctrines of men and demons have come to be readily accepted by the church because the wisdom of man says "we can't agree on everything but as long as we agree on the gospel we are united.
Brothers and sisters this is a damnable lie straight out of the pits of hell!
NOW WATCH THIS!
(Joh 17:15) I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
(Joh 17:16) They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
What happened from verse 11 to verse 16 that Jesus says that they are not of the world?
Jesus is speaking in faith that His petition to the Father has already been answered. He knows that the Father will "keep them" in one and because of this they will overcome the world as one.
(Joh 17:17) Sanctify them (make them holy) through thy truth: thy word is truth.
(Joh 17:18) As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
(Joh 17:19) And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
(Joh 17:20) Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
(Joh 17:21) That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
(Joh 17:22) And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
(Joh 17:23) I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
This is TRULY AMAZING! That the Lord has given us, those who SHALL (future tense) believe through their (His apostles) word the same grace that He shared with the Father before the world was (v.17:5)!
Why did He give us this grace that He shared with the Father?
That they (us) might be as ONE as the Father and the Son are ONE!
The wisdom of the carnal man can rationalize away any truth. The worldly man turns to his own intellect and understanding rather than the plainly written word of truth which has been hidden from the wise and the prudent and revealed unto babes, that there is only ONE Father, ONE Son, ONE Holy Spirit, ONE Way, ONE Truth, ONE Life, ONE Gospel, ONE Light, and ONE true body of Christ on this earth, and they are those who share the mind of Christ through the unity of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
You see brothers and sisters scriptures say that the ways of God are foolishness to the carnal (natural) man (mind), neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned (1Cor 2:14). These things can not be rationalized or intellectualized nor can they be understood by the natural mind, much less actually take root in the soul (heart).
(1Co 2:15) But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
(1Co 2:16) For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
(1Co 3:1) And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
(1Co 3:2) I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
(1Co 3:3) For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
Paul had to speak to the members of the church at Corinth as "babes in Christ". He had to feed them with milk because they, after almost 5 years, were not yet able to bear meat, much less the "strong meat" which belongs to those who are of full age (fathers) (Heb 5:14).