1. And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes
in Christ. 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: for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife,
and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? For when one
says, "I am of Paul," and another, "I am of Apollos," are you not carnal?
5. Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the
Lord gave to each one? I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then
neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. Now
he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward
according to his own labor. For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, you are
God's building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master
builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds upon it. But let each one take heed
how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is
12. Now if anyone builds on this foundation, with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay,
straw, each one's work will become manifest; for the Day will declare it, because it will be
revealed by fire:and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. If anyone's work
which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned, he will
suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
16. Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy,
which temple you are.
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, that they are futile." Therefore let no one glory in men, for all
things are yours: whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas, 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.
1. Having shown that it is the revelation of inspiration that gives a spiritual outlook, Paul
turns to the issue at hand of division. Because of their division and pettiness, they were
not spiritual, but natural, carnal or fleshly, because they were still babies in faith.
Therefore, that is how Paul has treated them in their instruction.
2. Paul had not taught them the "meat" of the word, only the milk; because they were
not ready for it. Like an infant that would choke on solid food, so they would have, and
still do choke on the more advanced teachings of the gospel.
3. They were still carnal, fleshly, or natural; because they have looked to the wrong
source for their instruction. The envy, strife and division they were experiencing were
the results of the instruction of men, not the instruction of the Spirit. They had not yet
transcended the world and its wisdom, they were in the world and still of the world,
rather than not of the world.
4. If they are still seeking to follow a man, even an inspired man, like either Paul or
Apollos, they are carnal, fleshly, and natural.
If someone seeks to follow after a man today, would not the same be true? If they call
themselves some brand of Christian, named after a man or philosophy or theology,
rather than a disciple of Christ, a believer, a saint, a Christian, are they not yet carnal,
fleshly or natural? Haven't they looked to a different source for their wisdom,
knowledge and education than revelation?
5. Paul, or Apollos are nothing but servants of the Lord (ministers) who presented to the
Corinthians what the Lord had given them. Therefore, Paul or Apollos, either one or
both, are nothing important: it is the message which they have delivered.
6. In the case of Corinth, Paul had planted the seed of the gospel, Apollos had watered
that seed with his teaching, but it was God who gave the increase.
7. The one who plants is nothing special, and the one who waters is nothing special: the
special One is He Who gives the increase, God.
8. The one who originally teaches someone the gospel, the planter, and the one who
instructs them further in the doctrine, the waterer, are doing one and the same thing:
teaching the word of God, the gospel, the doctrine of Christ. Each of them will receive
from God the reward fit for their efforts.
9. Both the planter and the waterer are doing the work of God, they are on equal
footing. The ones taught become in their faith and obedience God's field and God's
building. That is what Corinth was, God's possession. Not the possession of Paul. Not
the possession of Apollos. They were the possession of God.
10. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. Paul built as God had instructed
him. His teaching was with the words supplied by God through the Holy Spirit. He
built first, laying the foundation and others built upon it.
11. The foundation which Paul laid, according to the instructions of the Holy Spirit was
Jesus Christ. He preached Christ and Him crucified. It is the only foundation that
anyone can lay according to the instructions of God.
12. The preachers and teachers who build upon this foundation may build with any type
of material. The individuals who make up the church, its living stones, built upon the
foundation of Jesus Christ, are of various types: from the most precious and refined to
the least precious and common.
13. Each stone of the church, each individual member, will be revealed for what they
are. The Day of judgment, or the Day of trial and tribulation will reveal it. When it is
tested by fire, it will quickly reveal whether it is something which will endure or not.
14. The work that has been built upon the foundation, the living stones of the church, if
it endures will be to the credit of the one who has taught them.
15. If the living stone does not endure, the one who has taught them will suffer a loss;
but it will not change the reward of the one who has taught God's word, for he himself
will be saved. The teacher's worth and salvation does not depend upon what those He
teaches do, but upon what he himself has done.
16. Paul asks them, don't you realize that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit
of God dwells in you? They were living stones. They were the work referred to: gold,
silver, precious stone, wood, hay or straw?
17. If they defile, if they sin, if they rebell against God, as the temple of God, God will
destroy them as fire burns wood, hay or straw! The temple of God is holy, and they
must conduct themselves as the holy ones of God, saints.
18. Allow no one to fool themselves. Don't fool yourself. If you seem to be wise with
the wisdom of the world, become a fool to the world so that you can become wise to
God. Reject the wisdom of the world, for the instruction of God.
19. The "knowledge of the world" is God's foolishness. As the wise man says, He will
catch the wise in their own traps. Or as we may say, He will give them enough rope to
20. Before the wise can think of arguments, God already has the answers. He is always
not only one, but two or three or more steps ahead of the sophisticated and educated of
21. That is why no one should glory in the wisdom, knowledge, or education of man.
All things have been provided for your good, for your profit, for your salvation by God.
22. Whether taught by Paul or Apollos or Cephas (Peter) it was all for their benefit.
Paul, Apollos or Cephas were merely the servants of God to present them the grace of
God, serving them in the name of God. The things of the world, all the events of life,
even death, the things which they now had and experienced in their lives, and the things
which they would experience in the future, were all the gift of God for their good.
23. For every Christian belongs to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.
Therefore, no one should say, I am of Paul or Apollos or Cephas; no one should say
they are a certain brand of Christian; they are the disciples of Christ, the servants of
God -- Christians.