Feast of Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, Teacher, 397 Another criterion was loyalty to the community of Christ both as gathered congregation and as organized church. The pride of spiritual gifts had led the Corinthians to jealousy and strife. They had divided into factions owning the leadership, one of Paul, one of Apollos, another of Cephas, and another of Christ -- but such factions, the apostle tells them, were not characteristics of the "spiritual", but of the carnal. To divide the Church was to destroy the temple of God, where the Holy Spirit dwelt among them (I Cor. 3:1, 3, 16). And the very gifts about which they quarreled should have been a power to unite them, for they all proceeded from one and the same Spirit, from one and the same Lord, from one and the same God, who worketh all in all. The Spirit was indeed the principle of unity in the Church, "for in one Spirit were we all baptized into one body" (I Cor. 12:13). Therefore, to divide the Church was to drive away the Spirit... The tests of spiritual phenomena in the life of the community, and the proofs that they were of the Holy Spirit, were unity, order, and edification. [Continued tomorrow].
Quotes, by Thomas Rees