Yesterday we covered baby Christians vs mature Christians. Today, as we keep going through Paul’s first letter to the church in Corinth, he continues with that theme. See, people in that church were very concerned on how they looked to others. That’s pride and vanity. They gave themselves labels. The only label I want is CHRISTIAN. Let’s dig in and see how Paul talks this out…
1 Corinthians 3
Dear brothers and sisters, when I was with you I couldn’t talk to you as I would to spiritual people. I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in Christ. 2 I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren’t ready for anything stronger. And you still aren’t ready, 3 for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you living like people of the world? 4 When one of you says, “I am a follower of Paul,” and another says, “I follow Apollos,” aren’t you acting just like people of the world?
5 After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us. 6 I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. 7 It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work. 9 For we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field. You are God’s building.
Planting, Watering, Growing
Here’s how true Christianity works…
- A person hears the Good News of the Salvation of Jesus Christ and believes, repents of their sins, is baptized and receives the Holy Spirit — that’s the seed, planted in “good soil” (Read the Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13).
- Then, mature Christians, a pastor or church leaders guide the person through Bible Studies to become mature in their faith — that’s the watering.
- All this time, God is the one who is making the person grow through His Word (The Bible) and the Holy Spirit.
Let’s go on…
A Firm Foundation
10 Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ.
12 Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. 13 But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. 14 If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. 15 But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.
16 Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you? 17 God will destroy anyone who destroys this temple. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.
18 Stop deceiving yourselves. If you think you are wise by this world’s standards, you need to become a fool to be truly wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As the Scriptures say,
“He traps the wise
in the snare of their own cleverness.”[Job 5:13]
20 And again,
“The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise;
he knows they are worthless.” [Psalm 94:11]
21 So don’t boast about following a particular human leader. For everything belongs to you— 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Peter, or the world, or life and death, or the present and the future. Everything belongs to you, 23 and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.
What is the foundation of your beliefs built on?
Is it Jesus Christ and His True Gospel? Or is it built on false teachings? Has the Gospel been watered down? Does your pastor skip over the hard stuff? The problem with that is, you’re not getting the whole truth. The truth strengthens your faith.
Imagine if a builder of a house uses flimsy materials to save money and make the owner happy. A couple years and a few storms down the line, the house literally starts shifting and sinking. Why? because the foundation was weak. The owner then goes to the builder, “Hey! My house is sinking!”
The builder replies, “You OK’d the materials to save money. Not my fault!”
There are priests, pastors and preachers out there who talk a good talk, but they avoid preaching the truth because they’re afraid of making the parishioners feel bad, angry or offended. If they feel bad or uncomfortable, they’ll leave. It’s a feel-good church. Or it’s full of rites and rituals that hide the truth and you become a slave to religion.
In any rate, the person who wants to believe, to learn the truth isn’t getting it. They’re not being fulfilled. Something is missing.
- Do you have the seed of God’s Salvation planted in your heart? If not or if you’re not sure, click here.
- If yes, are you reading the Bible daily? Not just reading it, but taking time to study it. If not, I recommend you download 2 free Bible apps: YouVersion and ThroughTheWord.
- Are you attending a non-denominational church that is Bible-based and teaching the true Gospel? If you’re not sure, depend on the Holy Spirit to help you discern what is the truth and what is a false teaching.
This passage today reminded me of one of the hymns we sang back in the progressive church in Miami. The church looked good on the outside, we sang the hymns, did all the right things in the community, but they never taught the true salvation of Jesus Christ. It was a church based on “being good” and serving. They preached a watered down gospel. Thank God He rescued me from them.
Ironically, the hymns we sang told the truth. They just didn’t practice what they sang.
The Church’s One Foundation
- Part 1: From Catholicism to Prodigal
- Part 2: From Prodigal to a Progressive, Halfway Christian
- Part 3: From a Halfway Christian to a True, Born Again Believer and Follower of Jesus Christ
Soli Deo Gloria — To God Alone Be the Glory!