Friday 13 February 2015

Bible Book:
1 Corinthians

"Only God ... gives the growth" (v. 7)

1 Corinthians 3:1-15 Friday 13 February 2015

Psalm: Psalm 107:17-32


The church in Corinth comprised of new Christians, Paul wasaware of this and tempered his words and teaching accordingly (v.2). Despite his role as an evangelist and proclaimer of the goodnews of Jesus Christ, he was (first and foremost) the founder andpastor of the church in that city. Today's passage shows his careand devotion to its members.

It is no great surprise that the new Christians would have had aloyalty to the person through whom they came to believe (verse 5):this is human nature (verse 4). Paul has already mentioned Apollos(1Corinthians 1:12), whom he considers considers to be hiscolleague (verse 9). What grieves Paul, however, is that theirloyalty to these people appears greater than their loyalty to God(1Corinthians 1:12-17).

Rather than criticise the Corinthians again (as he did inchapter 1), Paul takes a softer approach and encourages theCorinthians to reflect on their spiritual formation. He uses thetwo images of a gardener and a builder to try and get his messageacross. Is Paul perhaps alluding to the parable of the twohousebuilders in Matthew's Gospel (Matthew 7:24-27) or drawing upon Jesus' wordsin John 15 about the vine and the vinegrower?

The message is the same - Paul and Apollos are agents in aprocess, but it is "God who gives the growth" (v. 7) or Jesus whois the foundation (verse 11).

To Ponder

  • Who has helped form your faith? Give thanks to God forthem.
  • As you nurture people in faith, either formally or by mutualsupport, how can you ensure that the focus is God and notyourself?
  • How would you describe the foundation of your faith?

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