1 Corinthians 3:10-23… PAUL APPEALS FOR BELIEVERS TO HAVE A RIGHT FOCUS IN MINISTRY.
Q.1. How did Paul’s foundation differ from Christ’s? What challenge does Paul bring believers? Will all our service stand the test of time? When will our service be rewarded? – (1 Cor.3:10-15) =
Q.2. How useful will your service be if you destroy your ‘temple’? What attitude at Corinth does Paul go on to address? Where was Paul in view of the authority of Christ? – (1 Cor.3:16-23) =
10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled[a] 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[b] 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.
18 Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” 20 and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” 21 So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, 23 and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.
Q.1. How did Paul’s foundation differ from Christ’s? What challenge does Paul bring believers? Will all our service stand the test of time? When will our service be rewarded? – (1 Cor.3:10-15) = The foundation that Paul laid was the truth of the gospel. Others built on the foundation of the gospel such as Apollos and Peter ((1 Cor.1:12; 3:4-5). But the ultimate and only foundation is Jesus Christ – For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ (1 Cor.3:11). Not only did different gifted leaders build on the foundation but all believers are building upon this gospel foundation (1 Cor.3:10, 12-13). He warns – … each man must be careful how he builds on it (1 Cor.3:10). Whatever does he mean? Paul explains that we either build with quality durable or perishable materials which will be tested by fire (1Cor.3:12-13). Our service for Christ will either endure or perish and be rewarded at the Judgment Seat of Christ (1 Cor.3:13-14 c.f. Rom.14:10; 2 Cor.5:10). Paul makes it clear that this judgment is not about salvation but awards granted for services rendered out of our love for Christ – If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire (1 Cor.3:15 c.f. Rev.4:10-11).
Q.2. How useful will your service be if you destroy your ‘temple’? What attitude at Corinth does Paul go on to address? Where was Paul in view of the authority of Christ? – (1 Cor.3:16-23) = It is a sobering thought that we can only bring glory to God in this world as long as we are in this earthly body (Ps.30:9; 115:17; Isa.38:18). So we need to look after our bodies which are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor.3:16). So – If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are (1 Cor.3:17). Some of the Corinthians were wise in terms of the spirit of the age (1 Cor.3:18).So Paul addresses the lack of humility which made many of the Corinthian Christians unteachable (1 Cor.3:19-20). He reminds them that even the apostles and gifted leaders that had ministered in their midst understood their place as under Christ. Though they had many of the world’s benefits they were to remember their place because – you belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God (1 Cor.3:23). Their real advantage came through belonging to Christ and not because of their belongings – 21 let no one boast in men. For all things belong to you, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come; all things belong to you (1 Cor.3:21-22).
(Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)
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