1 Corinthians 3
this ‘Framework' we use our usual text PLUS comment style to enable
you, as simply as possible, to catch the sense of his writing.
1 Corinthians 3: Leadership Favouritism Banned
The Reality of Different Ministries
just emphasised the work of the Spirit in the life of the Church,
Paul now challenges this church to grow up (implied)and stop being
like the world with their jealousies and arguing and the way they
have favourite apostles. This completely fails to understand that
each apostle has his ministry from God and God will hold them
accountable for it, rewarding or disciplining as appropriate.
The church is a temple of the Holy Spirit and is hallowed in God's
sight and so He will discipline any who pull it down.]
aren't people who live by the Spirit) Brothers
and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the
Spirit but as people who are still worldly —mere infants
matured) I gave you milk, not
solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are
still not ready.
(it's seen by
your jealousy and arguing…) You
are still worldly . For since there is jealousy and quarrelling
among you, are you not worldly ? Are you not acting like
(…and your partisanship)
For when one says, “I follow Paul,”
and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings?
just mentioned a Spirit-led people, it is clear they are not by
their bickering and jealousies.]
The Reality of Different Ministries
are merely servants with God-given tasks) What,
after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through
whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his
(I do one bit,
Apollos another) I planted the
seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.
(we're not the
important ones, God is) So neither
the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only
God, who makes things grow.
(we each have
our different task and will be rewarded by God) The
one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they
will each be rewarded according to their own labour.
in what God us doing) For we
are co-workers in God's service; you are God's field, God's building.
(so, OK, I built
a foundation and another comes and builds on it – fine!)
By the grace God has given me, I
laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building
on it. But each one should build with care.
(the only foundation
for the church can be Christ) For
no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid,
which is Jesus Christ.
of our building will be seen at the end) If
anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones,
wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because
the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire,
and the fire will test the quality of each person's work.
fruit will be what brings reward) If
what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward.
(if what was
built is burned up, the builder will still be saved – just!)
If it is burned up, the builder will
suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping
through the flames.
(don't you the
church realise you are God's temple and His Spirit dwells in you)
Don't you know that you yourselves
are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in your midst?
(you are sacred
and if anyone destroys you they will be destroyed) If
anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy that person; for
God's temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.
to be wise, God doesn't work like that) Do
not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the
standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may
wisdom is folly in God's sight) For
the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight. As it
is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness” [Job
5:13] ; and again, “The
Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.” [Psa
(so no more
leadership favouritism, we're all one in Christ) So
then, no more boasting about human leaders! All things are yours,
whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas [That is, Peter]
or the world or life or death or
the present or the future—all are yours, and you are of Christ,
and Christ is of God.
further aspect of this divisiveness is leadership favouritism.
All apostles are just servants, each doing what God calls them
to do. If we do it well, God will reward us, if we build badly
and the building comes down, we'll only just escape severe discipline.
This building is God's temple in which He lives by His Spirit.
If anyone brings this temple down they too will be brought down.
So, no more of this favouritism!
to Chapter 4