1 Corinthians 3 Outline
– Infants in Christ and spiritually mature Christians (1 Corinthians 3:1-4)
– God is the one who do all the work and we are only God’s fellow workers (1 Corinthians 3:5-9)
– Jesus Christ is the church’s foundation (1 Corinthians 3:10-15)
– We are the temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:16-17)
– The wisdom of the world makes you foolish in God’s sight (1 Corinthians 3:18-23)
1 Corinthians 3 Bible Study
In 1 Corinthians 3:1-4, Paul rebuked the Corinthians for being immature like babies. The Corinthians are Christians who have the Holy Spirit but they are behaving according to their flesh instead of behaving spiritually mature Christians. Even though the Corinthians are behaving according to their flesh, they still think they are spiritually mature so Paul had to feed them with milk. The milk means basic things. The Corinthians acted according to their flesh for there were envy, strife and divisions among them. Christians should love one another and not quarrel, grumble, envy, jealous or yell at one another (Matthew 22:34-40).
In 1 Corinthians 3:5-9, Paul and Apollos are God’s ministers and their work involved preaching the gospel and bringing them to Jesus. But it was God who do the work. Different Christians workers play different roles in the conversion of a Christian but it is really God who do the work and make it grow. We are the workers of God and God want to work with us. Using the similarity to a farmer’s field, we are God’s field and his building.
In 1 Corinthians 3:10-15, Paul knew that his missionary works among the Corinthians were based on God’s grace. Without God’s grace, we can do nothing. Paul set the foundation by founding the Corinthians church but others would build on the foundation he had laid. The foundation which the church should be built upon is Jesus Christ. God will judge everyone according to his deeds on the judgment day. On that day, he will test the work of all his workers and it will reveal whether the building is made of gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay or straw. Fire will test each one’s work. Just as fire will not consume gold, silver or precious stones but it will consume wood, hay or straw.
In 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, the Holy Spirit lives in the body of each of the believer. Therefore, your body now becomes the temple of God and you must keep it holy. You must use your body members to do things that give glory to God. The Holy Spirit lives in the church, the temple of God. If anyone defile the church by causing strife, God will punish and destroy the person.
In 1 Corinthians 3:18-23, the Corinthians embraces human philosophy and consequently become worldly. Some people walk away from God because they choose to believe in doctrines created by human instead of believing in the word of God in the bible. Anyone who wants to become wise by human standard will become foolish according to God’s standards. Therefore, if you want to follow God, you must renounce all human philosophies. We must always give God credit for everything good that happen to us and not boast in ourselves or in men. God is the source of all things and everything comes from God.