Reflections on Scripture

by Wayne Bandy

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Scripture Passage

      1 Corinthians - Chapter 03 (Contemporary English Version)
    1. My friends, you are acting like the people of this world. That's why I could not speak to you as spiritual people. You are like babies as far as your faith in Christ is concerned.
    2. So I had to treat you like babies and feed you milk. You could not take solid food, and you still cannot,
    3. because you are not yet spiritual. You are jealous and argue with each other. This proves that you are not spiritual and that you are acting like the people of this world.
    4. Some of you say that you follow me, and others claim to follow Apollos. Isn't that how ordinary people behave?
    5. Apollos and I are merely servants who helped you to have faith. It was the Lord who made it all happen.
    6. I planted the seeds, Apollos watered them, but God made them sprout and grow.
    7. What matters isn't those who planted or watered, but God who made the plants grow.
    8. The one who plants is just as important as the one who waters. And each one will be paid for what they do.
    9. Apollos and I work together for God, and you are God's garden and God's building.
    10. God was kind and let me become an expert builder. I laid a foundation on which others have built. But we must each be careful how we build,
    11. because Christ is the only foundation.
    12. Whatever we build on that foundation will be tested by fire on the day of judgment. Then everyone will find out if we have used gold, silver, and precious stones, or wood, hay, and straw.
    13. (SEE 3:12)
    14. We will be rewarded if our building is left standing.
    15. But if it is destroyed by the fire, we will lose everything. Yet we ourselves will be saved, like someone escaping from flames.
    16. All of you surely know that you are God's temple and that his Spirit lives in you.
    17. Together you are God's holy temple, and God will destroy anyone who destroys his temple.
    18. Don't fool yourselves! If any of you think you are wise in the things of this world, you will have to become foolish before you can be truly wise.
    19. This is because God considers the wisdom of this world to be foolish. It is just as the Scriptures say, "God catches the wise when they try to outsmart him."
    20. The Scriptures also say, "The Lord knows that the plans made by wise people are useless."
    21. So stop bragging about what anyone has done. Paul and Apollos and Peter all belong to you. In fact, everything is yours, including the world, life, death, the present, and the future. Everything belongs to you,
    22. (SEE 3:21)
    23. and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.

1 Corinthians - Chapter 03

Entered: September 15, 2005

Entered: October 18, 2011

Paul came back, in chapter 3, to the subject of the Corinthian's contentions over which leader they followed. Although they were boasting about whose disciple they were, Paul pointed out that their boasting was, itself, an indication that they were still "babies in Christ." (3:1) These contentions made them no different than ordinary people - unbelievers.

Beyond the indication of their spiritual immaturity, Paul gives at least three reasons Christians should not boast about which church leader they follow. The first is that all leaders in the church are merely "God's co-workers." Their roles are all of equal value. Though one may plant and another may water, the outcome is from God who gives the growth. Therefore, the members of the church make up the "field" in which the leaders are co-workers with God to bring growth. The field, of which each of them is a part, is God's field. Any boasting should be in Him, not the leaders.

A second reason the members of the church should not boast was aimed at its motivation. The members of the Corinthian church were boasting about which leader they followed because they thought it showed them to be wise in their selection of a leader. But this type of wisdom is foolishness with God. If the Corinthians wanted to be wise, they needed to first become foolish concerning man's wisdom so they may become wise in the things of God.

A third reason not to boast about leaders is that the Corinthian Christians were, above all, followers of Christ, and as such "no one should boast in men, for all things are yours." (3:21) There was no reason to position themselves over one another for they all belonged to Christ and therefore all things were theirs. There was no place for higher or lower or more or less. They were equals in Christ.