Scripture: I Corinthians 3

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Divisions In The Church

1 Corinthians 3:1-23 (WEB) Brothers, I couldn’t speak to you as to spiritual, but as to fleshly, as to babies in Christ. I fed you with milk, not with meat; for you weren’t yet ready. Indeed, you aren’t ready even now, for you are still fleshly. For insofar as there is jealousy, strife, and factions among you, aren’t you fleshly, and don’t you walk in the ways of men? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” aren’t you fleshly? Who then is Apollos, and who is Paul, but servants through whom you believed, and each as the Lord gave to him? I planted. Apollos watered. But God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are the same, but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s farming, God’s building. 10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another builds on it. But let each man be careful how he builds on it. 11 For no one can lay any other foundation than that which has been laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 But if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or stubble, 13 each man’s work will be revealed. For the Day will declare it, because it is revealed in fire; and the fire itself will test what sort of work each man’s work is. 14 If any man’s work remains which he built on it, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work is burned, he will suffer loss, but he himself will be saved, but as through fire. 16 Don’t you know that you are a temple of God, and that God’s Spirit lives in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is holy, which you are. 18 Let no one deceive himself. If anyone thinks that he is wise among you in this world, let him become a fool, that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He has taken the wise in their craftiness.” 20 And again, “The Lord knows the reasoning of the wise, that it is worthless.” 21 Therefore let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, 22 whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come. All are yours, 23 and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.

Questions and Answers:

1. Why was Paul giving the Corinthians milk (I Corinthians 3:1-2)? Paul was giving them milk because they weren’t ready for meat (solid food). The Corinthians were carnal (worldly) Christians not spiritual Christians.

2. Why did Paul say they were carnal (worldly) Christians (I Corinthians 3:3-5)? Paul called the carnal (worldly) Christians because there was envying, strife and divisions among them.

3. Though Paul had planted and Apollos had watered who had given the increase (I Corinthians 3:6-7)? God gave the increase.

4. How will the laborers be rewarded (I Corinthians 3:8)? Every man will receive his reward according to his own labor.

5. With whom are the laborers working together (I Corinthians 3:9a)? The laborers are working together with God.

6. Who does Paul refer to as the foundation (I Corinthians 3:11)? Paul says Jesus Christ is the foundation. (see HEAR the WORD below for more info.)

7. What does Paul say about God’s temple and the Spirit of God (I Corinthians 3:16)? Paul says Christians are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in them.

8. Who will God destroy and why (I Corinthians 3:17)? God will destroy any man who defiles the temple of God.  The temple of God is holy and Christians are that temple.

9. What is foolishness in God’s sight (I Corinthians 3:18-19)? The wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight.

10. What does the Lord know about the thoughts of the wise (I Corinthians 3:20)? The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise are vain.

11. To whom do believers belong (I Corinthians 3:23)? Believers are Christ’s.

12. To whom does Christ belong (I Corinthians 3:23b)? Christ is God’s.

(See I Corinthians 3:23 both NLT and AMP – and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.)


I Corinthians 3:10-15 (NLT) 10 Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ.  12 Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. 13 But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. 14 If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. 15 But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.

I Corinthians 3:10-15 (AMP) 10 According to the [remarkable] grace of God which was given to me [to prepare me for my task], like a skillful master builder I laid a foundation, and now another is building on it. But each one must be careful how he builds on it, 11 for no one can lay a foundation other than the one which is [already] laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 But if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will be clearly shown [for what it is]; for the day [of judgment] will disclose it, because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality and character and worth of each person’s work. 14 If any person’s work which he has built [on this foundation, that is, any outcome of his effort] remains [and survives this test], he will receive a reward. 15 But if any person’s work is burned up [by the test], he will suffer the loss [of his reward]; yet he himself will be saved, but only as [one who has barely escaped] through fire.


Ponder the above to translations of I Corinthians 3:10-15.  A building is only as solid as its foundation. 


I Corinthians 3:16 (NIV) Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you.


The foundation of our lives is Jesus Christ.  He is our base.  He is our reason for being.  Everything we are and do must fit into the pattern provided by Him. We must build only on His foundation.


We need to encourage others to build on this same foundation – Jesus Christ.


Lord, I pray we will not be worldly Christians (I Corinthians 3:1-4). Lord, I pray we will be fellow workers with You (I Corinthians 3:8-9). Lord, I pray we will only build on the foundation of Jesus Christ (I Corinthians 3:11). Lord, thank You for both making us a sacred temple and indwelling us with the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 3:16-17).  Thank You for making us Your own (I Corinthians 3:23).  In Your Son, Christ Jesus’ name I pray.  AMEN.


“May you and I faithfully serve God.” <>< Dona