Verse 1 – And I brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ.
Paul is telling the people at this particular church, that it was evident that contentions and strife’s were there and that meant that they were under the influence of carnal feelings and views. They needed to “grow-up!” Have you ever been around Christians that were constantly causing strife everywhere they went? I have, and it makes you want to avoid them.
Here’s the characteristics of a carnal person: hatred, wrath, strife, envy, division, quarreling, and jealousy. They have not renewed their minds with God’s Word, so they stay in the flesh when it comes to “not getting their way!” But if you will remember what Paul said about a carnal person in the Book of Romans, the person should seriously check their salvation. They are Christians in name only.
Verse 2 – 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;
Verse 3 – for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?
The word “walk” is used often in Scripture in the sense of “conduct” or “act.” Instead of being filled with love, and being united and harmonious as the members of the same family ought to be, they were split up into factions as the people of the world are.
Why do you suppose people that call themselves Christians still act this way? I believe first of all because they refuse to read God’s word on their own, and learn how they are supposed to act with that title – Christian. The second biggest reason is that they are just plain selfish and self-centered. Everything is still about them and their feelings.
Verse 4 – For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal?
Verse 5 – Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believe, as the Lord gave to each one?
Verse 6 – I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.
Ministers of the gospel are servants under the commandments of God. Paul and Apollos were mere instruments by whom God conveyed all blessings to the Corinthians.
Verse 7 – So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.
In other words: The efforts of ministers would be of no avail without God. They could do nothing in the salvation of souls without God giving the increase. But their labors are as indispensable and as necessary, as are those of the farmer in the production of a harvest.
Verse 8 – Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.
Verse 9 – For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building.
God’s work involves many different individuals with a variety of gifts and abilities. The platform we stand on is to bring glory to Christ , not praises from others for ourselves.
Verse 10 – According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it.
Verse 11 – For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
The foundation of a church is its doctrine on which it is established; those truths which lie at the base of their hopes, by embracing which they have been converted to God. The reason why no true church can be established without embracing the truth as it is in Christ is, that it is by Him only that people can be saved.
Verse 12 – Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,
Verse 13 – 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.
What every person has built on this foundation will be seen and judged on Judgment Day. Our works will be judged with fire, and that means the motive behind doing what we do.
Verse 14 – If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.
Verse 15 – If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
If a true minister taught and preached what is faithful to the doctrine of truth of Christianity, with right views and sincerity, their works will be rewarded. However, those who have built their own ministries on top of this foundation with intentions to prosper only themselves, teaching in error, their works will be burned up as wood when set to a flame.
Verse 16 – Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
Verse 17 – If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.
Paul gives a stern warning for those who corrupt the church. Anyone who destroys or ruins, with corrupt doctrine, will be destroyed by God. Any church leader who willing neglects the true gospel of Christ is in fear of judgment.
Verse 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.
Verse 19 – For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their own craftiness,”
Verse 20 – and again, “The LORD knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.”
Paul was simply saying that if worldly wisdom and reasoning holds any Christian back from following God’s wisdom, God will count it as foolishness. Keep in mind that the Corinthians were using worldly wisdom to evaluate the leaders and teachers. Their pride made them value the presentation of the message more that the content of the message.
Verse 21 – Therefore let no one glory in men. For all things are yours;
Verse 22 – whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas (Peter), or the world or life or death, or things present or things to come – all are yours.
Verse 23 – And you are Christ’s and Christ is God’s.
While non-believers are victims of life swept along by its current and wondering the meaning to it, believers understand the true meaning of life and in death an eternity with Christ.