Christian Basics Bible Sampler - Page 16

1 Corinthians 3 • page 1306
though you were infants in Christ. 2 I had
to feed you with milk, not with solid food,
because you weren’t ready for anything
stronger. And you still aren’t ready, 3 for you
are still controlled by your sinful nature.
You are jealous of one another and quarrel
with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are
controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you
living like people of the world? 4 When one
of you says, “I am a follower of Paul,” and
another says, “I follow Apol­los,” aren’t you
acting just like people of the world?
After all, who is Apol­los? Who is Paul?
We are only God’s servants through whom
you believed the Good News. Each of us did
the work the Lord gave us. 6 I planted the
seed in your hearts, and Apol­los watered
it, but it was God who made it grow. 7 It’s
not important who does the planting, or
who does the watering. What’s important
is that God makes the seed grow. 8 The one
who plants and the one who waters work
together with the same purpose. And both
will be rewarded for their own hard work.
For we are both God’s workers. And you are
God’s field. You are God’s building.
Because of God’s grace to me, I have
laid the foundation like an expert builder.
Now others are building on it. But whoever
is building on this foundation must be very
careful. 11 For no one can lay any foundation
other than the one we already have—­Jesus
Anyone who builds on that foundation
may use a variety of materials—gold, silver,
jewels, wood, hay, or straw. 13 But on the
judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of
work each builder has done. The fire will
show if a person’s work has any value. 14 If
the work survives, that builder will receive
a reward. 15 But if the work is burned up, the
builder will suffer great loss. The builder
will be saved, but like someone barely es­
caping through a wall of flames.
Don’t you realize that all of you together
are the temple of God and that the Spirit of
God lives in* you? 17 God will destroy anyone
who destroys this temple. For God’s temple
is holy, and you are that temple.
Stop deceiving yourselves. If you think
you are wise by this world’s standards, you
need to become a fool to be truly wise. 19 For
the wisdom of this world is foolishness to
God. As the Scriptures say,
Paul says he had to talk to the Corinthians as though they “belonged to this
world” (1 Corinthians 3:1)—as though they lived like the non-Christians of the
world around them. Yet throughout the Bible God’s people are called to be
different from those around them: “Come out from among unbelievers, and
separate yourselves from them” (2 Corinthians 6:17). This does not mean cutting
ourselves off from them, for that is not what Jesus did or taught, but living
among them while remaining distinct in belief and action.
Yet the behavior of these Christians was little different from their non-Christian
neighbors. As a busy port and commercial center, Corinth had developed
a reputation as a highly immoral city, even leading to the expression “to
Corinthianize,” meaning to indulge in sexual immorality. Corinth also had many
pagan temples whose meat, sacrificed to idols, was then sold in markets and
restaurants. But rather than standing apart from such cultural practices, the
church had participated in them; and some were even proud of it (1 Corinthians
5:1-2; 6:12-13).
It is always easy to rationalize worldliness—to say we need to identify with
our friends, or that God understands our weakness. But Paul warns that such
behavior is not a minor matter; it is dangerous, striking at the very root of our
relationship with Christ and defiling our bodies, which the Holy Spirit has made
his temple (6:18-20).
See also Becoming like Christ, page 1435.

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