1 Corinthians 3

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“But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:10-11 NLT).

August 7, 2018

CALLED TO MAKE JESUS FAMOUS, NOT OURSELVES
Paul was concerned with the church at Corinth because of reports that there were divisions among them concerning which teacher they followed. Some were claiming to be followers of Paul and others, followers of Apollos. This was heartbreaking news to Paul, for he knew the foundation he had laid when he planted the church in Corinth. And that foundation was Christ Jesus. He had not led them to follow him, but to follow Christ.

Someone has once said that wherever you hear the name of the preacher lifted up more than the name of Christ, one should listen for the sound of the serpent’s hiss in the background. For Satan is pleased when he has tempted man to take the glory belonging to Jesus.

It’s good to honor and to submit to the spiritual leaders that God has given. Yet, the glory belongs to Christ. We are not called to make a man, a doctrine, nor a church famous. We are called to make Christ Jesus famous, and if need be, ourselves a fool.

“But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:1 ESV)

August 6, 2016

After contrasting the difference between the “natural man” and the “spiritual man” in chapter two, Paul addresses a troubling third spiritual category, the “carnal man” (“fleshly”). This person has received Christ as Savior (note Paul’s use of “brothers”), yet doesn’t yield to Him as Lord. Their behavior is not unlike that of the unbeliever. They do not desire to dig into the Word of God to be fed with meat, but want someone to bottle feed them with milk. They are divisive, jealous and hypocritical. Paul warns them of the coming Day which will expose their works. This is a miserable place to be spiritually, knowing the Lord, yet not fully surrendered to Him. They must stop being spiritual babies and grow up to maturity in the Lord.

“So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase” (1 Corinthians 3:7 NKJV)

August 7, 2015

Paul compared witnessing with planting. The one who sows and waters is the witness and the seed is the gospel. Yet, the seed comes from God and only He can make it grow. This removes both the pressure of success and the temptation to take credit. As the late Bill Bright used to say, “Success in witnessing is simply taking the initiative to share the message of Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results up to God.”

“It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow” (1 Corinthians 3:7 NLT)

August 7, 2014

Paul uses a farming analogy to compare witnessing with planting. The one who sows and waters is the witness and the seed is the gospel. Yet, the seed comes from God and only He can make it grow. This removes both the pressure of success and the temptation to take credit. As the late Bill Bright used to say, “Success in witnessing is simply taking the initiative to share Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results to God.”