1 Corinthians Chapter 3 starts off with Paul telling the Corinthians that they were still like babies in Christ. He could not address them as if they were in the spirit because they had not reached that level yet. They still acted like mere humans and the spirit could not be seen in them.
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Arguments and Divisions
There was jealousy and quarreling among the people in the church at Corinth. Some of the people would say that they followed in the footsteps of Paul or Apollos, but this did not show in their actions. They were not deeply rooted in the God’s Word and they were not showing that they had been born again in Christ.
Paul and Apollos Plant Seeds
Paul said that he planted a seed in Corinth and Apollos watered it. Although not everyone had turned to Christ, some did and they would be rewarded according to their labor. God knows who is sincere and who is not.
Paul explained that he and Apollos were merely servants of God who were assigned a task. He told the people not look up to them. Instead, they should look up to Christ. Paul and Apollos were simply co-workers and each had his own job. They both worked on the field that God had laid out for them, doing what they were told to do for the glory of God.
The Body is a Temple
The Lord had already set out a foundation, which is in Jesus Christ. Paul had started a structure on that foundation. He said a person could build a structure using gold, silver, or precious stones and even hay or straw. This will all show during the Day of Judgment. If the structure burns down in flames, the builder will be at a loss.
Paul told the people in 1 Corinthians Chapter 3 that their bodies were the temple of Christ, and they should treat it that way. They were being deceived by their own ways and they were adhering to the standards of the ages. In this, they had become fools to their own wisdom.
1 Corinthians 3 (King James Version)
1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?
5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?
6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.
10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.
19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.
20 And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.
21 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;
22 Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;
23 And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.