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I Corinthians Chp. 3

                                              I Corinthians

                                                   By Joyce Webb 2016

Chapter 3

Vs. 1-3 Paul told them When I was with you (when Paul had traveled there before)

He was not able to talk to them about spiritual things in a deep way. They were new Christians, like a baby learning new things.

Paul said the things he was able to teach them about God was like giving milk to a baby.

He was not able to teach them deep things like giving meat to a grown-up to eat.

Paul said Even now you have not grown up much in spiritual things. You are still arguing about things like who is Paul’s follower and who is the follower of Apollos.

Paul said these things are “carnal” things having to do with the flesh, body, earthly things.

Grown-up mature Christians are not so concerned about earthly things they are about spiritual things about being holy learning how to be a better person learning about things that will last forever eternally.

Vs. 4-6 Paul asks: Who is Paul? Who is Apollos? Both are just men. Men who are preachers and teachers who minister to others.

Paul came to them he preached. It was like planting a seed. Then Apollos came to them he preached. It was like watering the seed so it would grow some more.

Vs. 7 But God was the One who made the seed grow. It was God’s spirit and power that grew in them. Paul and Apollos were “tools” God used.

Vs. 8 The person who plants seed and the person who waters seed are both “tools” used by God. Each one will receive a reward for helping and doing work for God.

Vs. 9 We all are workers building God’s kingdom. You are like God’s building.

Vs. 10 I, Paul, came and with the wisdom God gave me I made a “foundation” for the building. The next man came along and built on the foundation. Another man will come and build more on it. Each man should be careful as to how he builds.

Vs. 11 There can be no other foundation but Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the only foundation for God’s building.

Vs. 12 As men build on to this building they may use different things such as “gold, silver, precious stones” or “wood, hay and stubble (twigs)”. They should be careful to use things that will last spiritually.

Vs. 13 One day in heaven judgment day will come. Every man’s work will be tested.

The work will be tested by fire.

Only work that has “gold, silver, and precious stones” will last through the fire and not burn up.

Work that is “wood, hay, and stubble (twigs)” will burn up. Nothing will be left.


The “gold, silver, and precious stones” are true spiritual things. Work of prayer, honest and true teaching and preaching, works of kindness and help, showing love and compassion.

Work that is done for the good of others. Work that is done without trying to look good for yourself.

The “wood, hay, and stubble” is work that is for “show”. It makes you look good.

It is about putting on a good show for people to see.

It could be work that is not true not honest. Pretending to work for God, but using the money for yourself, etc.

When we do “work” for God, we need to be sure that we are doing it with an honest, and good heart for the benefit and good of others not for our self.

In today’s modern world, much of church work is a “big show”. Big fancy buildings,

fancy music, big fancy programs, dramas, plays, etc.

Someday in heaven, people are going to be surprised to learn that all that fancy stuff “burns” up in the fire of testing. It was “empty” work. Wasted money.

What does the church need to reach people and win souls for Jesus? Not fancy stuff.

They need to feel the power of the Holy Spirit moving in the meeting and through the preaching and songs.

They need to feel the Holy Spirit talking to their hearts and minds in such a strong way that they can not ignore it.

That kind of power of the Holy Spirit does not have anything to do will fancy stuff.

That kind of power of the Holy Spirit comes only with deep prayer and fasting.

When I look at the churches in America today, I feel that they will be greatly disappointed some day at the “testing fire” when all of their “works” are burned up.

The church building is not the only place where we “work” for God. That is only one small part. Every day in many ways we should be “working” to dong things that will help others see Jesus. Talking to them, helping others, showing kindness, etc. Others should be able to see that we love Jesus by the way we live and talk.

Vs. 14 Paul said After the test of fire, what ever makes it through the fire, that is what will determine the reward the person gets.

Vs. 15 Paul tells them if a person’s “work” is burned up because it was “empty” work-----the person will be sad----but he himself will be saved.

The person will get to stay in heaven forever but he will not have a “reward”.

Vs. 16 Paul says You need to know you are the “temple, church” of God. Your body is like a temple where the spirit of God lives in it.

Vs. 17 This body “temple” is to be holy. You should not do things that would make it dirty and unholy.

What are some things that would make it “dirty, unholy”? Sin. Anything that God says is “sin” will make you unholy, dirty.

Bible teachers have other ideas about what makes this “temple” dirty------doing things that hurt your body, or your mind.

Doing things like smoking, drinking, doing drugs. Drinking and drugs influence your mind. When doctors take pictures of the brain they can see real damage to the brain that happens with alcohol and drugs.

God does not want you to have an “altered” “changed” “damaged” brain.

The mind and spirit are closely connected. The mind affects the spirit, the spirit affects the mind.

In some ways the body affects the mind and spirit and the mind and spirit affect the body. What we do with our body is important to our spirit.

Body, mind and spirit work together as one. 3in 1

A little like the Trinity of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. 3 -1

What we do with our mind is important to our spirit. When we read, or watch sexual dirty pictures or violent bloody killings it affects and influences our spirit.

If in our mind we allow anger bitterness resentment hate to be there it will affect and influence our spirit. It will also affect our body.

We are a “temple” of the Holy Spirit. All things allowed in any part of it needs to be clean good and holy.

Vs. 18 Do not be fooled. Do not think that a person who is “wise” by earth’s standards is “wise” in God’s thinking.

Earthly wisdom man’s wisdom may not be God’s idea, plan, or thoughts.

Earthly wisdom often does not have spiritual understanding.

And spiritual understanding often looks “foolish” to the world.

So if someone is proud about how wise he is, he should think about that and it would be better for him to think of himself as a “fool”, then maybe his mind would be open to see God’s wisdom and God’s way of doing something.

Vs. 19 Paul says The wisdom of the world is “foolish” with God.

It is written in Job 5:13, God is able to do something that will defeat the plans of the wise. God’s ideas even a simple one can overcome all the plans of the “wise”.

I think of some of the battles that God helped Israel with in the Old Testament. The enemies of Israel came in with very large armies, with many horses and chariots, etc.

They had very smart army leaders and strong brave soldiers.

It looked like they would be able to win quickly over Israel.

But God was on Israel’s side, He fought for them. God did not need a bigger army. He just sent a cloud so thick the enemy could not see in front of them.

Or He sent hornets (bees) to sting them, or He sent hail so hard it killed them.

For all man’s strength and wisdom God’s “little ideas” are far more powerful.

A man who thinks he is smarter than God is foolish.

Vs. 20 God knows the thoughts of the “wise” that they are weak without power.

Vs. 21 So do not put your trust and hope in men.

Vs. 22 All things are yours in Christ. It is not about Paul, Apollos, life, death, things now, things to come. All that you need is in Christ.

Vs. 23 You belong to Christ. Christ is God’s.




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