1 Corinthians 3

 

1 Corinthians 3:1
And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.

There has been no subject change from the previous chapter. Paul is stlil addressing the childishness of their bickerings and contentions. I guess it must have been pretty serious to the point they were avoiding each other and holding grudges.

1 Corinthians 3:2,3
I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

Milk is a reference to him preaching Jesus Christ and him crucified, you know, easily digestible stuff, while meat refers to the spiritual understanding of the truths of the mystery and the deep things of God. You can only work with people on their level, and that's a good lesson to learn. Paul didn't tell them to fuck off, or avoid them, or shout at them, or condemn them, or threaten them or ridicule them, not at all, he did his best to reach their hearts with the word. He was probably smiling, enjoying being their father in the word, enjoying helping them to understand the scriptures and grow up. His langauge isn't harsh here, it's firm, but kind, just as good parents are with their children.

1 Corinthians 3:4
For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

It takes time for children to grow up and learn to walk by the spirit. Some of these squabbling believers here in Corinth had been introduced to the word by Paul and some of them by Apollos, and they were arguing over who was their leader. Carnal refers to walking by the senses rather than walking by the spirit.

1 Corinthians 3:5
Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?

It doesn't matter who speaks the word to someone and gets them born again, it is the word that does the job. There was nothing special about Paul or Apollos, and there is nothing special about me either. We speak the word, but it is God who raises people from the dead at the time of the new birth, not us.

1 Corinthians 3:6
I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.

Just as we need to plant and water to grow flowers, we need to plant and water to raise believers who grow up to be disciples. It doesn't matter who does the planting and who does the watering so long as we are planting and watering. As people grow and mature spiritually, they learn how to labour together with God for themselves, then they do some planting and watering of their own and the body of Christ continues to flourish.

1 Corinthians 3:7,8
So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.

When it says that Paul and Apollos were one, does that mean they were one and the same person? No, see, that's just absolute nonsense, and no one in their right mind could possibly jump to such an inane conclusion. Paul and Apollos were obviously not one and the same person and it would be ludicrous to teach that they were. Well, keeping that logic in mind now read this verse in John.

John10:30
I and my Father are one.

Does this verse say Jesus Christ and his father were one and the same person? No, it does not. Just as Paul and Apollos were not one and the same person, Jesus Christ and God are not one and the same person. Reading the context makes it clear that God and Jesus Christ were one in purpose in that no man could pluck sheep out of their hands. Using this verse to teach that Jesus Christ is God is religious horseshit that makes no sense.

Just as Jesus Christ and God were one in purpose, Paul and Apollos were also one in purpose when they were planting and watering together as fellow workmen to build up the body of Christ.

1 Corinthians 3:7-9
So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.

For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.

Jesus Christ and God were one, Paul and Apollos were one and when we plant and water together we are also one. Being labourers together with God implies that we are walking by the spirit with Christ as our head. It certainly does not imply submitting ourselves to councils of men in temples made with hands. Paul now mixes his metaphors to further illustrate and add depth to what he is teaching.

1 Corinthians 3:10
According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.

The grace of God here is a noun referring to the gift of holy spirit which we all receive by God's grace. It was according to the gift of holy spirit that he was wise as a master builder. He walked with Christ as his head and it was through the Christ in him that his wisdom came.

Paul laid the foundation by planting, while Apollos built on that work by watering. I love how the word mixes figures of speech here to get our attention. It doesn't matter who does the planting or watering, and nor does it matter who lays the foundation and who builds on it. All that matters is that the body of Christ is built up. It is the body of Christ, the worldwide network of home churches planting and watering and building together with Christ as their head that does the job.

The change of metaphor from planting and watering to construction work is rather clever as Paul can now show us the same truths from a different perspective.

1 Corinthians 3:11
For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ Christ Jesus.

The foundation that was laid for this Grace Administration is Christ Jesus. We all have the gift of holy spirit, we all have Christ in us, and we all have to learn to walk by the spirit with Christ as our head. It's time to get out of the swamps of religion and tell them to fuck off. Christianity isn't about rituals and ceremonies, it's about the power in the gift of holy spirit.

1 Corinthians 3:12,13
Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;

Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.

These two verses have bothered me for years because I knew I didn't know what they were talking about. Amazingly, it wasn't until this morning when I began work on this chapter that I understood these verses.

The context is the temple of God, the foundation of which is the spirit of Christ in us, so this is referring to a spiritual building. You can't build on a spiritual building with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay and stubble, therefore building on the foundation of the Christ in us with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay and stubble is a waste of time. The temple of God is a spiritual buiding, it isn't something man constructs in the senses realm.

It takes money and it takes building materials to construct a ministry or church. It takes money and building materials to construct a religion. Gold, silver and precious stones are references to money. It takes money to construct a ministry or church and it costs money to hire men and women to staff them and maintain them. It takes building materials such as wood, hay and stubble to construct buildings in which to place religions, ministries and churches, and it takes money to pay the people who run the stupid things.

The temple of God is not something man constructs, it is a spiritual building comprised of the believers in the home churches around the world who walk with Christ as their head. It is absolutely not any ministry, church or religion constructed by men.

Be careful how you build upon the foundation of Christ Jesus, for everything man builds will burn. The body of Christ is a spiritual reality, it is not some shithole church or ministry constructed by men. Tell them to fuck off, fire up a self governing and self supporting home church and learn to walk with Christ as your head. The temple of God is made up of the home churches around the world, the believers who walk by the spirit. It is the Christ in us that is the foundation of the temple of God, and that is what we build on.

1 Corinthians 3:14-16
If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

We the believers are the temple of God. Those of us who have the spirit of God, referring to the gift of holy spirit, are the temple of God. The foundation of the temple of God is the Christ in us. The temple of God is absolutely not any ministry, church or religion constructed by men. We must never commit the two evils Jeremiah warned us about, as that would be building on the foundation of the temple of God with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay and stubble.

Jeremiah 2:13
For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

God is a fountain of living spiritual waters so this living water mentioned in Jeremiah is a reference to spiritual power which flows from the spirit of God within us out into the world of the senses. I don't know about you, but I've had quite enough of that broken cistern church shit and wll never again have anything to do with any of them. It is in home churches where believers will flourish and the word will live.

1 Corinthians 3:17-23
If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.

For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.

And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.

Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;

Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas [Peter], or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;

And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's.

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