Taking Sides in the Church
1Brothers and sisters, I couldn't speak to you as if you were guided by the Holy Spirit. I had to speak to you as if you were following the ways of the world. You aren't growing as Christ wants you to. You are still like babies. 2The words I spoke to you were like milk, not like solid food. You weren't ready for solid food yet. And you still aren't ready for it.
3You are still following the ways of the world. Some of you are jealous. Some of you argue. So aren't you following the ways of the world? Aren't you acting like ordinary human beings? 4One of you says, "I follow Paul." Another says, "I follow Apollos." Aren't you acting like ordinary human beings?
5After all, what is Apollos? And what is Paul? We are only people who serve. We helped you to believe. The Lord has given each of us our own work to do. 6I planted the seed. Apollos watered it. But God made it grow.
7So the one who plants is not important. The one who waters is not important. It is God who makes things grow. He is the One who is important. 8The one who plants and the one who waters have the same purpose. The Lord will give each of us a reward for our work. 9We work together with God. You are like God's field. You are like his building.
10God has given me the grace to lay a foundation as a master builder. Now someone else is building on it. But each one should build carefully. 11No one can lay any other foundation than the one that has already been laid. That foundation is Jesus Christ.
12A person may build on it using gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay or straw. 13But each person's work will be shown for what it is. On judgment day it will be brought to light. It will be put through fire. The fire will test how good everyone's work is. 14If the building doesn't burn up, God will give the builder a reward for his work. 15If the building burns up, the builder will lose everything. The builder will be saved, but only like one escaping through the flames.
16Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple? God's Spirit lives in you. 17If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. God's temple is holy. And you are that temple.
18Don't fool yourselves. Suppose some of you think you are wise by the standards of the world. Then you should become a "fool" so that you can become wise.
19The wisdom of this world is foolish in God's eyes. It is written, "God catches wise people in their own tricks." (Job 5:13) 20It is also written, "The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise don't amount to anything." (Psalm 94:11)
21So no more bragging about human beings! All things are yours. 22That means Paul or Apollos or Peter or the world or life or death or the present or the future. All are yours. 23You are joined to Christ and belong to him. And Christ is joined to God.
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