The Cross and the New Division
The apostle Paul was dealing with the problem of division in the church in 1 Corinthians 1. He introduces the idea of Christian unity with the words, "Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you?" This conflict sets the stage for everything that Paul goes on to write in the remainder of the chapter. Believers in Corinth were once part of the lost and perishing world, divided into two groups--Jews and Gentiles. That division was seemingly irreparable. Paul proceeds to explain that the Gospel was weakness to the Jew, on the one hand, and foolishness to the Gentile, on the other. The one thing that these two groups had in common was their spiritual opposition to the Gospel. God was creating a new division through the death of His Son. That new division consisted of those perishing and those being saved. Christ broke down the middle wall of separation and made, out of the two groups, one new man. By doing so He has drawn a new line in humanity (Gen. 3:15). The cross is the great divider. It now divides, everywhere, those who are being saved from those who are perishing.