10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it.
11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw-
13 each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done.
14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward.
15 If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.
16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?
17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.
1 Corinthians 3
I get confused about this passage I must admit but I believe it is talking about the gospel preacher as the one who lays the foundation. In the context of the passage I. Think he is talking about theology. The first thing we learn is Jesus Christ. From there on a variety of ministers, teachers etc will continue to teach others, the passage describes the quality of teaching as metorphorically on a scale from gold to straw. Then there is a definite warning that if we teach rubbish we will suffer loss, but not loss of salvation. It is a different story for those that “destroy God’s temple” I don’t think this is talking about murder, although Christians were suffering persecution, the passage has been addressing Christian arguing. With this in mind I would think that destroying God’s temple is about teaching that causes the loss of salvation. Though I’m the first to admit that I’m not sure what that verse means. 🙂
1 But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ.
2 I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready,
3 for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?
4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human?
5 What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each.
6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.
7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.
8 He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor.
9 For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.
1 Corinthians 3
Now here we get a sense of gradual growing in Christ. Christians also can lack understanding of Spiritual things. The particular argument that was occurring is the matter of who is teaching who. In Ancient Roman days people ranked each other in order of importance. It was a human way to consider that if you became a Christian through hearing the gospel from some one important like an apostle then you were more important, The same goes with the ongoing teaching. The point is that it is God who works in us who helps us to grow. We do not gain importance through association.
Paul is clear that while he “planted” and Apollos “watered” It is God who gives the growth. In other words people don’t change unless God has a hand in it.
Verse 8 is the hard verse. He who plants and he who waters are one,. So as Paul is addressing this concept ranking people, I believe what he means here Is that the gospel preacher, and the teacher at the local church are equal in rank. Their wages are according to their labor. This is the part that worries me. I haven’t laboured at all. But it idicates that some received more than others. But what exactly.
And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom.
2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling,
4 and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,
5 so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
1 Corinthians 2
As we read this we see that Paul has repeated his emphasised message, that the way people become Christians is by hearing about Christ crucified. Now there is a part that may be misunderstood and that is that part that says “in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” It sounds a bit like people are converted by seeing something miraculous. But if this is so why did he earlier say in ch1vs22 what he did about Jews seeking signs. No, I believe what he is speaking of is the effect of the one listening to the message. People hear about Christ crucified and God does the rest of the work. When a person becomes a Christian he/she is filled with the Holly Spirit. This would be the demonstration spoken of. Not that I’m not aware that Paul did miracles but that it seems that in this letter Paul is trying to make everyone understand that it is the message of the cross and the power of God that makes people become Christians.
26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.
27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;
28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are,
29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.
30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption,
31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
These verses give me amazing hope. Foolish, weak, low and despised, that’s me in a nutshell. Yet here I am marching into Heaven. Work that out.
22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom,
23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles,
24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
I’ve heard people say, if only my brother saw a miracle they would become a Christian. Or the church near me has a big sign with a lady on it saying that she has been healed. But this verse indicates that these signs and wonders are not what leads a person to God.
20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.
1 Corinthians 1
When the Bible talks about wisdom here it is not talking about science, it is talking about Greek Philosophy. Debate and discussion isn’t (according to this passage ) the way to know God. Instead it is ” through the folly of what we (the apostles ) preach”. And what do they preach? As discussed last time it is the word of the cross. And once again who will be saved and go to Heaven? Those who having heard the message about the cross, believe.
So our job as Christians is not to worry to much about fancy arguments but to concentrate on that message of the cross. And those who wish to know God must look for the message of the cross.