Still Babies in Jesus Christ
1 Corinthians 3:1-4
(1) My brothers and sisters, when I first came to Corinth three years ago (see Acts 18:1-17) I could not speak to you as those who live by the Holy Spirit but as those who are still of this world—mere babies in Christ.
(2) I could give you only milk, because you were not ready to eat solid food. You still are not ready to receive it, (3) because you continue to live according to this world. For since there is jealousy, arguing, and divisive competition among you, are you not continuing to live like those of this world? (4) For when one person claims, “I follow Paul,” and another claims, “I follow Apollos,” are you not living like those of this world?
Servants of God
1 Corinthians 3:5-8
(5) After all, Apollos and Paul are only God’s ministers (servants) through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each of us our own ministry. (6) I planted the seed and Apollos watered it, but it was God who caused the seed to grow.
(7) So neither those who plant nor those who water are anything, but only God, who causes all things to grow. (8) Those who plant the seed and those who water it have the same purpose, and they will each be rewarded by God according to their own labor of ministry.
Jesus Christ Is the Foundation of Our Faith
1 Corinthians 3:9-15
(9) For Apollos and I are ministry partners in God’s service; you are God’s field (an agricultural metaphor) and God’s building (a construction metaphor).
(10) By God’s grace given to me, I laid a foundation as a wise master builder (architect) when I first came to you in Corinth (see Acts 18:1-17), and now others are building on it. But each one of you should be very careful how you build upon my foundation. (11) For no one can lay another foundation except the one that I have already laid—which is Jesus Christ.
(12) If anyone builds on the foundation of Jesus Christ using perishable materials like gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or straw, (13) their ministry work will be revealed for what it truly is, because the Day (the second coming of Jesus Christ and the judgment of God) will bring it to the light. It will be revealed with blazing fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s ministry work. (14) If what a person builds survives the Lord’s fire, he will receive a reward from God. (15) But if what a person builds is burned up by God’s fire, he will suffer loss, though only as one escaping through the flames.
The Temple of the Holy Spirit
1 Corinthians 3:16-23
(16) Don’t you know that you—the church—are God’s temple and that the Holy Spirit lives among you? (17) So if anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person, because God’s temple is holy, and you together are that temple.
(18) Do not deceive yourselves! If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this world (age), you should become “fools” so that you can become wise. (19) For the human wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it says in Job 5:13, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” (20) and as it says in Psalm 94:11, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.”
(21) So then, stop boasting about human leaders! For all things are yours, (22) whether Paul or Apollos or Peter (Cephas), or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all things are yours (23) and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.