1 Corinthians 3

Read 1 Corinthians 3.

Paul is full of metaphors in 1 Corinthians 3. It’s as if he started out with three options on the brainstorming board and decided to run with all of them. He starts by calling his teaching among the Corinthians “milk, not solid food,” because they “were not ready for it.” He then moves on to the metaphor of planting and watering. Paul planted, Apollos watered, and God gave the growth. Finally, he settles on building. The believers are God’s building but also God’s fellow workers. God is the master builder, and Jesus is the only reliable foundation. Anything built on any other foundation will not stand the test of time, regardless of who builds it. Without a doubt, that is sobering to think about. It could lead us beyond honest reflection to morbid introspection, but Paul follows it immediately with an assurance, “[16] Do you not know that you 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.”

The master builder is building a temple, or to put it another way, God is at work in your life because “you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.” The Corinthians were eager to assign credit either to Paul or Apollos, but Paul’s message to them resounds to us–God’s wisdom is different from the world’s, and God’s work will not fall.

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