3:1AND I brethren could not speak to you as to spiritual but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ The ‘and’ is an addition to what Paul was speaking of earlier, he is adding to the list of admonishment to them, or a list of what he needs to present to them. What ever it is, he is continuing on his lecture to the Corinthians.
Paul explains that he did not speak/teach the Gospel to them as if they already knew all about God, as if they were spiritually ‘in tune’. He says he spoke to them, taught them as if they were not aware of Christ, nor understood the ways of Christ. Because they did not. I am reminded of Keith and his first class of Algebra in college. Somehow in his transfer back into Texas from Arkansas in his high school years,he never had to take an algebra class to graduate. (some people are sooooo lucky) That first day in college algebra, and the professor begins writing out the problems on the board, Keith has absolutely no clue what it means. Keith is a smart guy, he just has never heard of any of the algebra stuff before. My dad, who majored in math was able to speak to him as a ‘babe’ and introduce the basics and Keith was able to mature and understand the college class quickly. This is the Corinthians, they believe in Christ, they are taking the course, they just have no pre knowledge of Him.
Paul talks about when he first presented the gospel and taught of Christ to them, in the past. Then throws in “I fed you with milk and not with solid food, for until now you were not able to receive it and even now you are still not able.” – Paul is telling them they were immature, of course, when they first learned of Christ. The point here, they had not ‘grown’ any. They were still immature, they were still being ‘childish’. 3:3 for you are still carnal (unknowing ‘mere men’ of the world, Satan’s world, ) The example of being immature: envy strife, and divisions among you. Paul is shaking his finger at the people of Corinth.
Paul goes back to the original ‘tale’ he has been told of them, that they are fighting over who is their favorite teacher- He or Apollos. – They are fighting over worldly,silly matters. Later he is going to speak to them of the things they SHOULD divide over.
Paul tries to explain that he nor Apollo’s ‘did’ anything, it was God. It is not what man does. Paul brought The Word, he presented, he planted. Apollo’s built on that, he provided further information, he taught, he gave them ‘water’ to grow. But it is actually God who provided both, and allows the growth. 3:9 For we are God’s fellow workers, you ar God’s field, you are God’s building.
Believers are built/planted on the foundation of Christ. 3:11 for no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid which is Jesus Christ.
3:12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver,precious stones, wood, hay, straw each ones work will become clear; for the DAY will declare it because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each ones work of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on endures he will receive a reward. If anyones work is burned, he will suffer loss but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
I think Paul is going on a bit of a righteous rant here. I think the building with precious jewels or straw is about the prestige these people are basing their ‘holiness’ on, that he spoke of earlier. Yet, I can see he may also be using this to say, it is not the importance of you but the ‘importance’ of the work you are doing for God, too. He is saying it may ‘look good’ to all the people and yourself, but on the Day, (judgement?) God who already knows, will reveal what your ‘work’ ( YOU) is all about.
This is the ‘refining’ we are told of often. Refine silver, burn away the worthless ugliness and you are left with pure silver. God will burn away all the worldly, self righteous, sinfulness of all we do, to expose the pureness of it/us. Hopefully, there will be something left, when He is done.
Remember, this talking to from Paul is to believers in the church of Corinth. These people are saved from eternal death, they will have eternal life with God, BUT, they will still have the chance of loosing EVERYTHING but their salvation, dependent on the ‘meaning’ behind their works for God.
3:16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? Ok, Paul seems to have jumped from our judgement and refinement…. 17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. for the temple of God is holy, which temple your are. Paul may have finished and started another paragraph. OR he could be that he is still talking to, those of us who chose to do wrongness to the point of having nothing but our salvation left. Those who have caused their own ‘destruction’. This could be an ‘example’ : God destroys those who ‘defile’ a temple(building). So he has the ‘right’ to burn everything up from us, for our defiling our selves with our bad works.
3:18 Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their own craftiness.: and again, : The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise ad they are futile'”. Paul is repeating himself from 1:18. Don’t be proud of what you know. Your degree, your background, your position in life. That means nothing to God, it gets in the way of God. God is pretty black and white about men who think they know it all. Who decide for themselves they are instruments of God because of their place in society and letters behind their names, or how many pats on the back they can achieve from man.
Proverbs 3:7Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil. Ecclesiastes 7:16Do not be overly righteous, Nor be overly wise: Why should you destroy yourself?Jeremiah 8:9
The wise men are ashamed, They are dismayed and taken. Behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD; So what wisdom do they have?Jeremiah 9:23Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches;Romans 1:22Professing to be wise, they became fools, Romans 12:16Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.James 3:13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdomProverbs 16:18Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall. Job 21:14Yet they say to God, ‘Depart from us, For we do not desire the knowledge of Your ways.
3:21 Therefore let no one boast in men. For all things are yours: whether Paul or Apollos or Chephas, or the world or life or death or things present or things to come all are yours. And you are Christ’s and Christ is God’s.
Don’t be worshiping, glorifying, paying homage to,idolizing seeing your salvation, in man. In teachers, in preachers, in elders, in what you consider leaders of your church. (And don’t be wanting this kind of attention either!) No man has wisdom or knowledge of God above any other. God does not say: ‘Seek wise counsel from those who went to seminary and have PH.D’s’. God does not give access to The Word of God, the Holy Spirit to just those of prestige and money. God does not tell those who are teachers and preachers and elders that they are a chosen elite few,and they should lord over others. God emphasizes they are to be servants of the body of believers. AND they are accountable for teaching false doctrine. Matthew 186 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
God gave the Holy Spirit to all who BELIEVE, so that ALL can have knowledge of God and a relationship with God.
John 14:26But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Acts 4:31And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness
The curtain was torn, and all have access to God. Mark 15:37,38 And Jesus cried out with a loud voice and breathed His last. Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom., Hebrews 10:19–20 19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh,
All is ours. Through Christ. We have all things because of Christ. Christ is in us, through us, for us, about us. Christ is in Paul, Apollos, Billy Graham, Charles Stanley, Christy , Yvonne, Keith, Lee, Fred, Evan, Ken, Peter ,Brian, Ashton, Chephas, Jackie, Martin Luther, Teri, Linda, Sandy, Jody, Meg, Tim, Juanita, Stephen, John…….
We who let our selves be fools ARE Christ’s and Christ is God’s