1 Corinthians 3
by Philip Layton
Paul urges unity and humility within the Church
Is there any modern-day equivalent to the problem Paul is speaking of (vv 1-5)? Is there a danger of elevating the words of some great Christian leaders and neglecting what the Bible says?
What is ‘the Day’ (v 13)? What ‘work’ is Paul talking about and what ‘fire’?
What is the ‘reward’ (vv 14, 15)?
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Going Deeper From 'Words of Life'
Have you ever felt spiritually drained? It may be because of something that has happened – or not happened. Our faith somehow seems to diminish; our love becomes limited. This might make us feel like a complete failure in many ways. ‘Worldly’, because we are even too weak to resist the temptations that surround us.
If we realise we’re in this state, that is the first good thing. If we come to terms with being enticed by the world and what it has to offer, then face it head on – this is positive. And if we desire to move forward – wanting to grow and mature in our walk with God – then this is good news.
Paul knew of the various factions in the church at Corinth; the divisions that were causing strife and grief. These things stunted the growth of the people as a community of believers, as well as individuals. They needed to work together for the sake of unity and their personal maturity. Paul had laid the foundation. They now needed to build upon this; not with things of the world, but with things that would last. Then Paul adds this:
...don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? (v 16).
Have we ever really thought about this truth? We are God’s temple. God’s Spirit actually lives in me, in you. Awesome! We’re indwelt by the Spirit of God. How humbling. But it is not just about us; it’s about the Church.
Together, we are the spiritual temple of God. No divisions. No personal agendas. No room for superiority or egotism.
God’s temple is sacred, set apart. And so, individually and collectively, let us all hold this profound truth as a sacred honour and a holy privilege:
God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple (v 17).
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