When condemning division at Corinth, Paul said, “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'” (1 Corinthians 1:12). Instead of all of them being “of Christ, some were dividing and following after men. To help bring the issue in focus, Paul asked, “Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” (1 Corinthians 1:13). The answer to all of these was “NO!” Yet, it reveals two important points.
First, Christ is not divided, therefore His followers should not be divided. They should be united in truth; speaking the same thing, with the same mind and judgment (John 17:20-23; 1 Corinthians 1:10). Still, men have created and continue to support the divisions of denominationalism. They are divided from one another by name, organization and the introduction of unbiblical doctrines. For instance, when someone adopts the name “Presbyterian,” he divides himself from every other person who does not want to use that name. The same is true for Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal, etc. Why not accept the name Christian alone, to which no one who loves Christ can object?
Second, we now observe that to be “of Paul,” he had to be crucified for you and you must be baptized in his name. Hence, to be “of Christ,” He had to be crucified for you and you must be baptized in His name. That Christ was crucified for us is beyond question (Matthew 27; 1 Peter 2:24). However, not everyone who claims to follow Christ has been baptized in His name. To be baptized in His name is to do it according to His authority (cp. Acts 4:7, 10). By His authority, Jesus said to be baptized to be saved (Mark 16:16).
By Christ’s authority, Peter said to be baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38). Those who are baptized for a reason other than the remission of sins, has not been baptized in the name of Christ. Therefore, they are not of Christ.
Steven F. Deaton