February 6, 2018 | by: Chris Kiiskinen | 0 comments
It's no secret that the church in Corinth had issues with unity that Paul had to address in both of his letters to them, amongst other things.
In 1 Corinthians chapter 3, from verses 3 through 23, he addresses a number of topics that are true for all Christians, especially as we work together for the Kingdom of God.
This article will be a quick overview of those things, in conjunction with what we see in other scriptures, to help encourage us to keep our focus on who we are and what we are to be doing. So let's get started.
In verses 5-9...we are seen as Fellow Workers.
- All Christians...are to be servants of one another.
- All Christians...are given tasks to do.
- All Christians...are to be rewarded for their labor.
- All Christians...are equal with one another.
Scripture calls us all to be doing the work of the ministry (Eph. 4:15). We know that we are all given works to do (Eph. 2:10) and that there is reward for those works.
Paul goes on to make this clear that we are not to think of one spiritual leader as greater than another, just as other passages teach us that we are all one and equal in Christ. As people, we will sometimes tend to view this person or that person above another, but Paul makes it clear that we are to view one another as equals, made in the image of God.
In verses 10-11...we are seen as Foundation Builders.
- All Christians...are gifted.
- All Christians...are to be building.
- All Christians...are to know and share the Gospel.
Just as Paul spoke of himself as a foundation builder, we, just as the Corinthians, are to also be building on that same foundation, which is the Gospel of Jesus. For this task, we are all gifted in different ways (1 Corinthians 12) for the ultimate task of spreading the Gospel and building up the Body of Christ.
In verses 12-15...we see Fire's Revelation.
- All Christians...will build with worthLESS or worthWHILE works.
- All Christians...will have their works tested by fire (God).
- All Christians...will be saved, but may have no reward.
Part of the way that Paul motivates us to be pure in our devotion to Christ and to make our service to him our highest priority, is to remind us that God will reward us for our service. What can make the difference in our building materials (gold, silver and precious stones or hay, wood and stubble), will come down to what we do and what our motives were for those works.
Our overarching motive for ALL things should be to please God in everything we do, and as Jesus said, our motives will be tested and that will be very telling. But remember, this has no bearing on our salvation, but I hope that truth will make none of us complacent when it comes to serving Him and that we will all seek to work together for His Kingdom.
In verses 16-17...we are seen as Founded in God.
- All Christians...are God's temple (indwelt by the Holy Spirit).
- All Christians...will be vindicated by God.
As we do work for God, these two truths that Paul reminds us of should bring us much hope and comfort! God is with His people. He resides in us and He will be the one who stands for us.
The Bible is clear that there will be much opposition to those who choose to stand for Christ. It is also clear that God will right every wrong done to His children. I don't know about you, but that gives me both comfort and hope!
In verses 18-23...we see Folly's Deception.
- All Christians...can be deceived, even by themselves.
- All Christians...must give up worldly wisdom for God's wisdom.
- All Christians...are blessed with all things necessary, by God in and because of Christ.
Lastly, as we seek to do Kingdom work, there is a great pitfall that we must avoid. We will be tempted to trust man's wisdom above God's. We will be tempted to compromise God's wisdom in order to appease men. It can be easy to see that in false teachers and false churches, but Paul is writing this to true Christians.
We must be careful not to lose sight of God's word and wisdom and get drawn into man's crafty, futile and foolish "wisdom." We have to remember that, not only is Christ's wisdom something that we can always turn to and trust, but that in Christ, we are blessed with ALL things.
Our problem is that, because we don't have "all things" physically here in front of us, we can be tempted to either doubt or compromise.
So may I encourage YOU to be one who will work together for the Gospel?
Chris Kiiskinen is an Elder at Grace Bible Church