1 Corinthians 3
The reason for the schisms was that these people were carnal. "Jealousy and strife" are evidences of carnality. Proceeding, Paul declared the true value of the Christian ministry. "For we are God's fellow-workers." The sublimity of their work is evidenced by the fact that they are co-operating with God. The foundation of the building is Jesus Christ. On that great foundation other men are building. Some of the work is precious and permanent, of the nature of gold, silver, costly stones. It may be some of it is unworthy-wood, hay, stubble. The nature of the work is to be revealed in the great fire baptism, which is to be the final process before the completion of God's great building. Thus it is evident that the matter of supreme importance is the building.
The purpose of the building is revealed in the statement, "Ye are a sanctuary of God." The word "sanctuary" here is of especial value as indicating not merely a temple, but a temple appropriated to its true use, a dwelling.
In the light of this statement concerning the Church the apostle wrote the solemn warning, "If any man spoil the temple of God, him shall God spoil." The apostle sums up and endorses his argument that the "wisdom of the age" is foolishness with God.
If a man turn from this foolishness to the wisdom of God he possesses all things. The teachers themselves- Paul, Apollos, Cephas; all the facts that touch personality and affect it- "the world," "life," "death," "things present," "things to come"-all these are possessed by the man who has learned his own folly and glories alone in the Lord. Such a man not only possesses, he is possessed. He is Christ's1 And, yet again, the final safety is God Himself, for "Christ is God's."
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25