Summary of 1 Corinthians 3:
Paul still speaking to the Corinthians: I addressed you as worldly because you are mere infants in Christ. I could not give you solid food for you were not ready and still are not ready based on your jealousy, quarreling, and divisions. You are acting like men!
Paul once again says he and Apollos are merely servants and seeds planted by the Lord. God made them grow. Paul and Apollos have one purpose which will be rewarded which is to work God’s field (his people).
Paul only laid the foundation (which is Christ) and we must build upon it. But we must be careful what we build. It must withstand fire in order to receive a reward; otherwise, it will burn and you will suffer loss. Good things not bad.
We are God’s temple and if anyone destroys us God will destroy them.
God sees this world’s wisdom as foolish. Putting Paul or Apollos above God or others is foolish. For God is ours.
BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 21, Day 4: 1 Corinthians 3
9) Because they are still worldly. They are jealous and quarrelling, which is of the world. They are acting like men by following Paul and Apollos and not Jesus. Those who work for God and not for himself or others.
10) Part personal Question. My answer: Jesus. By striving every day to do His will and not my own. By spreading the Gospel. By living a Godly life. By having a heart for Jesus.
11) Personal Question. My answer: When compared to God, I personally see my life as insignificant. Thinking you have an abundance of significance is prideful. That being said, this chapter is a good reminder that if Christ is not your foundation, whatever you are building will crumble. Make it for him instead.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 21, Day 4: 1 Corinthians 3
What I’ve missed most is how BSF has cut out all of the other Bible references in the questions. That used to be my favorite part. When BSF would tell you to read many other verses, you got a sense of the connectedness of the Bible.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 21, Day 4: 1 Corinthians 3
These Christians, to some extent, are thinking and acting according to the flesh, not the Spirit. Of course, the flesh does not dominate every aspect of their life, or they would then have no evidence of being born again. But Paul is addressing issues where they clearly are thinking and acting in a fleshly manner.
There is the natural man (1 Corinthians 2:14), who is patterned after Adam and rejects the things of the Spirit; there is the spiritual man (1 Corinthians 2:15), who knows the things of God; and there is the carnal man who knows the things of God, yet in some significant ways is still characterized by the flesh.
Paul kept his teaching on the basics, even though they had an inflated view of their spirituality. They believed they were ready for the “deeper things,” but were not living any deeper in the basic things he already preached to them.
The difference between milk and solid food is one of degrees, not kind. Every doctrine that can be taught in seminary can be taught to children, though not in the same words.
There are not two gospels, one for the learned and one for the unlearned; there is no part of the gospel that we are authorized to keep back from the people.
The real problem was the Corinthian attraction to spiritual “junk food,” based on man’s wisdom and eloquence. They were so “filled” with this junk food that they were not able to receive the spiritual solid food Paul wanted to give them.
The divisions amongst the Corinthians showed they were acting of the flesh.
- The problems they had in human relationships showed there was something wrong in their relationship with God.
Paul did not say that they were mere men (that is, not saved), only that they were behaving like mere men. Christians have a higher call than living like the rest of humanity.
Some people are frustrated because they want to water when God has called them to plant, or they want to plant when God has called them to water. Others are frustrated because they want to make the increase happen, when only God can do that. Real fruitfulness in ministry happens when we are peacefully content with what God has called us to do.
All work together, but each is rewarded individually. Reward is not given according to gifts, talents, or even success, but according to their own labor.
- God knows how to reward properly.
By using the figures of gold, silver, and precious stones, Paul seems to have in mind the building materials used in the construction of the temple (1 Chronicles 22:14, 22:16, and 29:2). The “building” is what God builds in His people with the help of His fellow workers.
When God tests our work, it will be revealed what kind of work it was. Just as fire will destroy wood, hay, and straw, but not gold, silver, and precious stones; so the work of some will be revealed as nothing on that Day.
Notice that the amount of the work isn’t going to be evaluated (though it does have some relevance). Paul says the work will be tested to see what sort it is.
Paul will later (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) speak as individual Christians being temples. Here his emphasis is on the church as a whole (though it has application to individuals).
God’s temple – His church – is holy, and it matters to God how we treat His holy temple.
Paul asks them to renounce all worldly wisdom, all humanism (man-centered philosophy), even if it means being called a fool.
We are more excited about being with the influential and famous of this world than about being with God.