Study Guide

Corinthians 1 Corinthians: Chapter 3

1 Corinthians: Chapter 3

Tiny Little Spiritual Babies

  • Wondering just who knows all about this in the Spirit stuff? It's Paul. (Lucky guess!)
  • Paul explains that when he came to the Corinthians, he couldn't speak to them like people in the Spirit because they weren't. They were like little babies who weren't ready to eat their mashed peas. Waaaaaah!
  • Bad new though: they're still just sitting there like tiny babies crying in their high chairs. Paul puts it this way—they're living in the flesh, not living in the Spirit. That doesn't sound good.
  • It just means that as long as they keep arguing about whom to follow, they're acting like boring old human beings and not like people who have been transformed by the Spirit of Christ.

In Case of Fire

  • Really, Paul says, it doesn't matter. Apollos? Cephas? Paul? They're all serving the same God. So who's keeping score?
  • Paul might have been the one who planted the seeds, then Apollos stepped in to water them, but it was God who made the plant grow.
  • Oh, nice metaphor.
  • Okay, here's another: Paul laid the foundation and Apollos took over the building process after he left. Go on…
  • See, Paul explains, the builder gets to build however he wants, but he still has to fit his little house to the foundation.
  • And if the whole house burns down, guess what's left? Right: the foundation.
  • So, to recap—yes, Apollos and Cephas, they're great. But, they do need to be building on that spiritual foundation that Paul left. It's that or the fire is really gonna get you.

Your Body Is a Temple

  • Don't forget, Paul tells them, you guys are God's temples because God's Spirit is in all of you.
  • What does that mean? Well, for starters, you shouldn't be destroying God's handiwork. If you do, the Almighty is gonna get you.
  • Please, Paul says, don't lie to yourselves. Don't try to raise yourselves up and be smarter than everyone else. It's rude, and besides, no one likes a know-it-all.
  • Instead, the Corinthians should want to be stupid. Huh?
  • Well, God has a hard time reaching people who think they know everything, but stupid people? They're like a blank slate that God can write his name on. We're guessing after he writes it he draws little hearts around it.
  • So again, don't brag about who you're following—Paul or Apollos or Cephas. Everyone belongs to God in the end.

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