"Restored, Not Divided"
Our scripture today is from 1 Corinthians, chapter 1 verses 1-18 from the Common English Bible.
1 From Paul, called by God's will to be an apostle of Jesus Christ, and from Sosthenes our brother. 2 To God's church that is in Corinth: To those who have been made holy to God in Christ Jesus, who are called to be God's people. Together with all those who call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place— he's their Lord and ours! 3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 4 I thank my God always for you, because of God's grace that was given to you in Christ Jesus. 5 That is, you were made rich through him in everything: in all your communication and every kind of knowledge, 6 in the same way that the testimony about Christ was confirmed with you. 7 The result is that you aren't missing any spiritual gift while you wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8 He will also confirm your testimony about Christ until the end so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, and you were called by him to partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 10 Now I encourage you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Agree with each other and don't be divided into rival groups. Instead, be restored with the same mind and the same purpose. 11 My brothers and sisters, Chloe's people gave me some information about you, that you're fighting with each other. 12 What I mean is this: that each one of you says, "I belong to Paul,""I belong to Apollos,""I belong to Cephas,""I belong to Christ." 13 Has Christ been divided? Was Paul crucified for you, or were you baptized in Paul's name? 14Thank God that I didn't baptize any of you, except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so that nobody can say that you were baptized in my name! 16 Oh, I baptized the house of Stephanas too. Otherwise, I don't know if I baptized anyone else. 17 Christ didn't send me to baptize but to preach the good news. And Christ didn't send me to preach the good news with clever words so that Christ's cross won't be emptied of its meaning. 18 The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are being destroyed. But it is the power of God for those of us who are being saved.