To be Spirit-filled
Published 2:00 pm Sunday, November 13, 2022
“Now I say this, that each of you says, ‘I am of Paul,’ or ‘I am of Apollos,’ or ‘I am of Cephas,’ or ‘I am of Christ.’ Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” — 1 Cor. 1:12-13 (NKJV)
In this first chapter of his first letter to the church at Corinth, the great apostle wades right in against what should be considered the greatest sin within the Church. Denominations. In verse 10 Paul “pleads” with the Church to speak the same thing, to be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. How can it be then that the Church is so divided today (with innumerable divisions, and subdivisions)? How can we justify our division of God’s people to suit our own worldly preferences and opinions? How indeed?
We have given ourselves over to the influence of Satan, as opposed to surrendering to the leadership of the Holy Spirit, Who teaches us “all things” (John 14:26). We are undone by our own finite minds; by refusing the infinite teachings of God, we destroy the unity that is at the very core of what “Church” represents. In so dividing God’s Church, we have lessened the impact possible against the wiles of the devil. Our witness is so divided, and so weakened by that division, that we have little impact in the world today.
Absent a church wide revival of unity in Jesus Christ, there is little hope for her making a difference. Why then do we have church-owned colleges and seminaries, that exist solely to teach our would-be church leaders to be different from other “denominations”? Why are millions of dollars spent on gathering great numbers to hear that we are better than they? We send our children to “Bible Camps,” only to teach them our own denominational rhetoric, and to make them think like us and not like them.
We have legions of self-proclaimed “Spirit filled” persons of every conceivable denomination, touting their own doctrines as “The way,” perhaps forgetting that Jesus said, “I am the Way” (John 14:6). There are no “Spirit-filled” Pentecostals, Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, etc., etc., etc. If you are, if you claim to be, “Spirit-filled” then there is nothing that may rightly follow that declaration. To be Spirit-filled is to have no room for worldliness, even, and maybe especially so, including denominational allegiance.
Rev. Bobby Thornhill is a retired preacher.