The Problem of Immaturity
1For my part, brothers and sisters, I was not able to speak to you as spiritual people but as people of the flesh, as babies in Christ.#1Co 14:20; Heb 5:13; 1Pt 2:2 2I gave you milk to drink, not solid food, since you were not yet ready for it. In fact, you are still not ready, 3because you are still worldly. For since there is envy#Jms 3:14,16 and strife#3:3 Other mss add and divisions#Ti 3:9 among you, are you not worldly and behaving like mere humans? 4For whenever someone says, “I belong to Paul,” and another, “I belong to Apollos,”#Ti 3:13 are you not acting like mere humans?
The Role of God’s Servants
5What then is Apollos? What is Paul? They are servants through whom you believed, and each has the role the Lord has given. 6I planted,#Ac 18:4–11; 1Co 4:15; 9:1; 15:1 Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. 7So, then, neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. 8Now he who plants and he who waters are one,#3:8 Or of equal status, or united in purpose and each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. 9For we are God’s coworkers.#3:9 Or are coworkers belonging to God You are God’s field, God’s building.#1Pt 2:5
10According to God’s grace that was given to me, I have laid a foundation as a skilled master builder,#3:10 Or wise master builder and another builds on it. But each one is to be careful how he builds on it. 11For no one can lay any foundation#Is 28:16; Rm 15:20; 2Co 10:16; 11:4; Gl 1:6–9 other than what has been laid down. That foundation is Jesus Christ. 12If anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver,#Jms 5:3 costly stones,#Rv 17:4 wood, hay, or straw, 13each one’s work will become obvious. For the day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire;#2Th 1:8; 1Pt 1:7 the fire will test the quality of each one’s work.#Ps 62:12; Pr 24:12; Mt 16:27; 2Co 5:10; 1Pt 1:17 14If anyone’s work that he has built survives, he will receive a reward. 15If anyone’s work is burned up, he will experience#3:15 Or suffer loss, but he himself will be saved#Mt 9:22; Ac 16:30; Eph 2:8 — but only as through fire.#Jd 23
16Don’t you yourselves know that you are God’s temple#Lk 1:21 and that the Spirit of God lives in you?#Lv 26:11; Jms 4:5 17If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him;#Heb 6:8 for God’s temple is holy,#Ps 20:6; 1Co 7:14 and that is what you are.
The Folly of Human Wisdom
18Let no one deceive#2Co 11:3 himself. If anyone among you thinks he is wise in this age,#Lk 16:8 let him become a fool#Mt 5:22 so that he can become wise.#Is 5:21; Jr 8:8–9; Gl 6:3 19For the wisdom of this world is foolishness#1Co 1:18 with God, since it is written,#Ac 15:15; Gl 4:22 He catches the wise in their craftiness;#3:19Jb 5:13#Jb 5:13; Lk 20:23 20and again, The Lord knows that the reasonings#Mt 15:19; 1Tm 2:8 of the wise are futile.#3:20Ps 94:11#Ps 94:11 21So let no one boast in human leaders, for everything is yours#Rm 8:32 — 22whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas#Jn 1:42 or the world or life#1Jn 5:12 or death#Mt 10:21; Jn 8:51; Php 3:10 or things present or things to come#Rm 8:38 — everything is yours, 23and you belong to Christ,#Nm 3:12 and Christ belongs to God.