1 Corinthians 3
1. Dear brothers and sisters, when I was with you I could not talk to you as I would to spiritual people. I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were babies in the Christian life.
In Proverbs 22:6 the original language says, “touch the inside of the mouth" which means to give a baby a taste of something that is good for them so that they will want more.
Like newborn babies, you must drink pure spiritual milk so that you will grow. 1 Peter 2:2
2. I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you were not ready for anything stronger. And you still aren’t ready,
There is something wrong when a grown person still acts like a baby. Build a new bridge to take the place of an old bridge before you teach.
You need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s Word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still a baby and does not know right from wrong. Solid food is for those who are growing, who through training have the skill to know the difference between right and wrong. Hebrews 5:12–14
3. You are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and argue with each other. Does not that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Are you not living like people of the world?
Arguments choke the life of a church. If there is no life in a church, then how can it be useful to the Lord?
4 – 5
When one of you says, “I am a follower of Paul,” and another says, “I follow Apollos,” are you not living like people of the world? After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us.
Paul is saying, “You say you are for Paul, I say I am for you!" This kind of talk is the devil's idea to turn the leaders against each other.
6 – 8
I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who kept on making it grow.
It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow.
The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work.
We learn that we are seed planters. We bring the seed but the rest is up to God. We should not expect instant results because then we would think that it was our doing. Here are some things that happen when we plant seeds:
The evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts. But since they don’t have deep roots, they do not last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems.
The seed that fell among the thorns is about those who hear God’s word, but the message is choked by the worries of this life.
The seed that fell on good soil represents those who hear and understand God’s Word and produce a harvest. Matthew 13:19–23
9 – 10
For we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field. You are God’s building.
Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already hav –Jesus Christ.
Do not change the foundation. If the church becomes more interested in polishing their sword and talking with each other about what a good sword it is, but they never use it, then they are building on a different foundation than the job of spreading the Gospel. Good use of a sword can only come by going out and trying it.
You happily put up with whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach a different Jesus than the one we preach, or a different kind of Spirit than the one you received, or a different kind of gospel than the one you believed. 2 Corinthians 11:4
I am shocked that you are turning away so soon from God, who called you to himself through the loving mercy of Christ. You are following a different way that pretends to be the Gospel. Galatians 1:6
12. Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials: gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw.
We do not need anyone to tell us what the difference is. We already know that when we surrender what we want, then our life is like a jewel in Jesus' crown. We also know when we do something that needs to be burned out of our lives.
13 – 15
But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward.
But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.
I saw a White Throne... the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books. Revelation 20:11 – 12, Luke 12:47
16. Do you not know that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?
The original word here for “temple” is the Holy of Holies. God's presence lives inside of us in the same way that it was in the Holy of Holies, where His power was so strong that sometimes even the priests could not stand up. This is how close He is to us.
17. God will destroy anyone who destroys this temple. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.
Since God's Spirit lives inside of us then if we do something wrong we are making Him a partner to it. When Jesus sees things like this He says, "Take these things out of My Father's house!" 1 Corinthians 6:15, John 2:16
18. Stop lying to yourselves. If you think you are wise by this world’s standards, you need to become a fool to be truly wise.
If you do something stupid and get your fingers burned real good, you will not do it again.
1 Peter 4:1
My suffering was good for me, it taught me to pay attention to Your ways. Psalm 119:71
19. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As Job said, “He traps the wise in the trap of their own wisdom.”
If you set a trap for others, you will get caught in it yourself. If you roll a stone down on others, it will crush you instead. Proverbs 26:27, Job 5:13
20. As the Psalm says, “The LORD knows that the imaginations of the wise are worth nothing.”
The devil gives us Imaginations about things that may never happen. God gave us an imagination so that we can get a picture of a problem and find a creative answer for that problem. Soak yourself in Bible study and you will be able to tell the difference. 2 Corinthians 10:5, Psalm 94:11
21 – 23
So do not boast about following a particular human leader. For everything belongs to you whether Paul or Apollos or Peter, or the world, or life and death, or the present and the future. Everything belongs to you, and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.
We can learn from anybody. We might think that we know more than a certain a teacher but they might know something we do not know.