1 Corinthians – Baptism

Posted on Posted in 1 Corinthians

“Has Christ been divided into factions? Was I, Paul, crucified for you? Were any of you baptized in the name of Paul? Of course not! I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, for now no one can say they were baptized in my name. (Oh yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas, but I don’t remember baptizing anyone else.)  For Christ didn’t send me to baptize, but to preach the Good News—and not with clever speech, for fear that the cross of Christ would lose its power.” 1 Corinthians 1:13-17

Keep in mind that baptism was an important matter in the New Testament church. When a sinner trusted Christ and was baptized, he cut himself off from his old life and often was rejected by his family and friends. It cost something to be baptized in that day.

Paul was not minimizing baptism, but rather was putting it into proper perspective, because the Corinthians were making too much of it. It was wrong to identify any man’s name with your baptism other than the name of Jesus Christ. Paul did not carry with him a list of the people he baptized. It was sufficient that they were written in God’s book. Paul always focused on the centrality of Christ. There are people today that think that baptism saves them and has some mystical power. There are many secondary issues that we today put way too much importance on. Many times, our traditions get in the way of the true meaning of church. This causes division in the church. Jesus Christ must be central to all that we do. Paul stresses this in the entire book, not only in this book, but in all his writings.

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