1 Cor 3
According to this writing of the great Apostle Paul, he seems to be dealing with some very weak believers. One of his main goals was to strengthen those who needed it and to plant seeds for the Kingdom of God. There were so many gods and idols at this time that the people lacked spiritual insight. Like many places today, they wanted Christianity-lite and superficial preachers with no roots or backbone.
Corinth was full of proud and wealthy people. We all know how it is to part a fool and his money. It was a wicked city of the ancient world, linked to the Southern parts of Greece. Corinth was in between two major and thriving seaports and became the greatest commercial center of Greece. Their fertile lands grew olives, grapes, dates and many other well known fruits. In 146 B.C. it was destroyed by Mummius, a Roman leader. In 46 B.C. Julius Caesar rebuilt the city. It was riddled in blue and white marble and the like. On a hill that rose 500 feet was a temple and statue of Aphrodite (Astarte), the goddess of love and fertility who not only dominated much of the social and religious life of the city but whose worship tended to foster or even popularize immortality among both citizens and travelers. These kinds of things are what Paul had to see and live with as he was a tent maker while preaching hand teaching he converted Jews and Greeks and gathered together the church to which he wrote the two immortal epistles, 1st and 2nd Corinthians.
Now we see why he speaks to the Corinthians the way that he does even in Chapter 3 vs 1. Sometimes you have to speak to people according to their spiritual maturity. That is why Jesus used parables while speaking. The word itself, “parables” comes from “para-bolo” which means to throw something along side so you can see the principle more clearly.
In Verses 9-10 of the previous chapter the word tells us that “eye hath no seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love HIm. But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God”.
Verse 3 says that Paul knew of the envying and strife among the Christians. Just like today, we sometimes have church strife and divisions. Divisions weaken. As every man changes the laws and starts new denominations, the strength of the church lessens generation after generation. Every man has his own way of doing things. If you notice most denominations end with the proverbial “ic” “its”. Hence, Catholic, Gothic, Gaelic, Fundamentalists, Calvinists, Darwinists, Socialists, Adventists, Baptist, etc. When looking up the suffix “its” one can see that it’s description is: one that performs a specified action, one that mess or produces. One that specializes in an art, science on skill. Personally, I am very glad that I follow an “ity” as in Christianity. When looking up “ity” you will notice that it is a quality, state or degree. There is definitely a difference.
These people began to state that they are of Paul and some were claiming Apollos. They began to separate with one another according to who taught them….just like we do today. Paul goes on to say that he planted, Apollos watered yes, but it’s God that gave the increase. He’s the One that makes the difference not Paul or Apollos. He even confirms it once again in verse 7 that the planter is of no importance. He said all ministers, whether they are planting or watering they are one.
He goes on to say in verse 9 that ye (we) are God’s building, and Jesus Christ is the foundation. If you build your foundation on gold, silver, wood, hay, stubble, precious stones, it will be consumed. Paul calls himself the Master-builder because he laid the proper foundation for all to experience freedom in Christ Jesus. They cannot say that this man was a Mason because the bible specifically says that Paul was a tentmaker. I believe God allowed us to know that for a reason.
How are you treating your building? Verse 9 neither says “temple” nor “house” so there is no argument there. You are God’s building. Choose your own wording but He lives in you. It’s self-explanatory. Vs 13 says that every and work will be revealed by fire. this means that your life will definitely be tested. Verse 16 now uses the word “temple”. That means that you are God’s place of holiness. Just how are you treating it? What is your Maintenance Plan?
Philosophy, the “its”, are very vain people. Verse 18 tells us that if any man seems to be wise, let him become a fool then is he wise. We all have to be broken vessels. God uses the broken vessel. Mans wisdom and knowledge is foolishness to God. He reads our hearts and knows our thoughts. We are vain people down here. We focus on vanity on such a high level. Plastic surgery, fat suction, make-up, false body parts, medicine to stay young, odd creams and potions. We are under the spirit of pharmaceutia today and no one cares. We see where entertainers, in order to keep their almighty paychecks, take pills to stay awake and pills to sleep. There’s pills to eat and some to stop eating. Fat pills, skinny pills, sex potions and erotica. We’ve gone from the laying on of the hands to popping a pill for every pain or crackle. We are destroying our bodies while other countries are receiving supernatural healing on a daily basis because their vanity level is low and ours hit the roof and back!
Think about this: just how are you treating God’s building?