1 Corinthians 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual [Paul could not write to them as if they were mature spiritual people.], but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. 3:2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
Then and today the brethren have strayed so far from God that they need to be taught the basics again, and are not able to learn the more difficult matters.
This is true even in the spiritually called out Ekklesia today. They have departed from the very basics of loving God enough to be diligent to learn and to live by every Word of God with enthusiasm and zeal; therefore they cannot understand the solid meat of God’s Word. That is why they are ignorant of the prophets and the meanings of the Festivals, because they are not zealous to keep the whole Word of God.
3:3 For ye are yet carnal [worldly minded]: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as [behaving as worldly men and not as spiritual men] men? [This is so in the brotherhood today.]
3:4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?
Today’s brethren also declare that I am of this man or that man, this corporate assembly or that one.
3:5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?
Who are these human elders and leaders, only men; and the brethren sin when they idolize them in place of exalting the Eternal Mighty One.
3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 3:7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; [Mortal men are not important compared to God, no matter what titles they claim; and everything they say MUST be proved out by the Word of God in personal study (1 Thes 5:21, 1 Cor 11:1, Acts 17:11, John 5:39, Mat 4:4); for it is God who gives his Spirit of understanding.] but God that giveth the increase.
3:8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one [laboring for the same Master]: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry [flock or branches], ye are God’s building [Temple].
IF the leaders and elders focus the people on God to keep God’s Word, then they are true laborers for God. But if they focus the people on themselves and their organizations, then they are not laborers with God but laborers for themselves and their own gain.
3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a [God has called Paul to teach faithfulness to God.] wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. . . . .
We are to be built on the foundation of the Holy Scriptures, and Paul wrote a major part of those Scriptures. Men today wrote nothing in the scriptures and their words are to be questioned and proved by the scriptures.
In this later day, we must be careful that we use the true Scriptures and not be deceived by fraudulent writings passing themselves off as the scriptures like the NKJ and the NIV.
1 Corinthians 3:10 . . . But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
Our foundation MUST be the whole Word of God, which was inspired by Jesus Christ as the chief corner [foundation] stone. Jesus Christ sent the apostles and prophets who write the Holy Scriptures and Christ inspired what was written; therefore our foundation is the Logos, the WORD of GOD, Jesus Christ in print.
We must be very careful to use the best possible translation of the Word of God; and to avoid those abominations like the fraudulent NKJ and NIV produced by the Ecumenical Movement; for the express purpose of undermining Jesus Christ as the ONLY Mediator between God the Father and man, and making the commandments of God of no real practical effect; falsely presenting grace as a license to compromise with the Word of God and commit sin..
3:12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 3:13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the [judgment] day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 3:14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
The work [life] that is based on the foundation of the Holy Scriptures will persevere in the day of testing and judgment.
3:15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
The called out are tested; and at this time we are facing an imminent test when God will see whether we have built our spiritual house out of spiritual stubble upon the shifting sands of the doctrines of false teachers; or whether we have built an enduring spiritual house of gold on the solid rock of every Word of God the Father and Jesus Christ, the true foundation of Godliness.
3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 3:17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
If any man defile his mind [Temple] by accepting false teachings contrary to God’s Word, by blindly following idols of men without questioning them by the Word of God: His rejection of the Word of God to follow the false teachings of men will be destroyed: And that foolish person who follow idols in place of any zeal to follow the Lord of his baptismal Covenant will also be destroyed along with his idols if he does not sincerely repent.
Such foolish people will be rejected by Jesus Christ as per the letter to Laodicea (Colossians); because they have already rejected the wisdom, words, laws, nature and Spirit of God.
Stand on the strong foundation of the Word of God, and test every teaching of men by the Word of God!
Brethren: BE NOT DECEIVED. No man can save you: it is Jesus Christ; who is the ONLY propitiation for our sins; and the ONLY intercessor for us with God the Father; Jesus Christ is our ONLY Savior!
To compromise with God’s Word and with our zeal for God the Father; is to compromise with God’s righteousness as contained in the whole Word of God; it is to reject the very nature of God Almighty: It is a rejection of the Spirit of God!
3:18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool [we must turn away from the wisdom of wickedness], that he may be wise [in Godly righteousness through living by every Word of God]. 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. 3:20 And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the [worldly] wise, that they are vain [their end is death].
The wisest thoughts of the wisest men are nothing in comparison to the wisdom of God. The knowledge and wisdom of God brings salvation and life eternal, while the wisdom of worldliness brings decay and death.
3:21 Therefore let no man glory in [the worldly wisdom of] men. For all things [The wisdom of God is given to us through his Spirit if we believe and obey him.] are yours; 3:22 Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; 3:23 And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.
We are to follow godly men who teach the godliness of sincere repentance from past sins; and the diligent keeping of our baptismal commitment to “go and sin no more.” We are to seek the knowledge and wisdom of God through the passionate learning and keeping of the whole Word of God; and to prove every word of men by the whole Word of God.
We are not to try to understand the WORD of God through the worldly teachings of the spiritually blind, who have NO understanding of spiritual things or of the ways of God!
It is one thing to get proven physical facts from the worldly; it is quite another to rely on their lack of understanding, misinterpretations and ignorant conclusions for spiritual understanding of doctrine and prophecy.
1 Corinthians 4
1 Corinthians 4:1 Let a man so account of us, as of [let us consider Paul and his associates to be] the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
A minister of Jesus Christ, a good steward of Jesus Christ: Must be faithful to the example and teachings of Jesus Christ and not to any other in place of Christ. What did Christ teach? He taught us to live by every Word of God the Father (Mat 4:4).
4:3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: [Paul doesn’t care what men think] yea, I judge not mine own self. 4:4 For I know nothing [we have no spiritual understanding by ourselves, spiritual understanding is the gift of God through his Spirit] by myself; yet am I not hereby justified [we are not justified by men]: but he that judgeth me is the Lord [we should care about the judgment of God more than about what men think].
4:5 Therefore judge [condemn] nothing before the time, until the Lord come, [God is the ultimate judge who will save or condemn] who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness [make known the secret things], and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every [faithful] man have praise of God.
4:6 And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to [in this letter Paul says that neither he nor Apollos are anything.] myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.
Do not think over much of your teachers because they are but men whose purpose is to exalt God the Father and Jesus Christ. And you teachers, do not become puffed with pride, vanity and self-importance as very many have been.
Brethren, it is a shame that we should exalt any man to follow them above a dedicated faithfulness to our baptismal vow to live by every Word of God
4:7 For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? [we receive all our understanding and even our very lives from God] now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst [we have not understood on our own] not received it?
Why does man glorify himself when all he has that is good is a gift received from God? I want to take this opportunity to say that if anything I say is true; it was a gift of God and did not come by my own human wisdom. God gave the knowledge, God gave the understanding, God gave the opportunity to share it, and God brought the visitors to see it.
4:8 Now ye are full, now ye are rich [the faithful are rich in spiritual things], ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God ye did reign, [The diligently faithful to live by every Word of God have control over their conduct, and Paul hopes that we will all reign in God’s kingdom.] that we also might reign with you.
4:9 For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last [as the least], as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle [example] unto the world, and to angels, and to men. 4:10 We [appear as fools to worldly men] are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised.
Paul humbles himself before the Corinthian brethren.
4:11 Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace; 4:12 And labour, working with our own hands [because few would support us]: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: 4:13 Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.
That is hardly the state of religious leaders today who exalt themselves and extort every cent they can, while they seek out the very best for themselves. This, of course is the general rule to which there have been and are exceptions. There are still some very good elders around.
4:14 I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you. Glory not in the things of this world. Follow the whole Word of God and godly spiritual things
Follow spiritual things and live by every Word of God; do not exalt physical things or idols of men, false traditions and corporate entities.
4:15 For though ye have ten thousand instructers in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. 4:16 Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me. [be followers of Paul and follow the writers of the Holy Scriptures who were led by God’s Spirit in the writing of God’s Word] and be ye not followers of men.
4:17 For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son [in context this could mean a son in the faith, not necessarily a physical son], and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ [to remind you of the ways and Word of God], as I teach [the ways and Word of God] every where in every church [the word translated church properly means: Ekklesia, Congregations or Assemblies].
4:18 Now some are puffed up, as though I would not come to you.
Just as some thought that Paul would not visit them to correct those who exalted themselves in that day, many of the brethren today are puffed up in their own minds; thinking that Christ delays.
For nearly two thousand years converted men have said maybe next year; now the false prophets are saying; he cannot come for years.
4:19 But I will come to you shortly [Jesus Christ is coming very coon now, and whether we are ready or not, he will not delay], if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power
If Christ permits, Paul would come quickly to them and speak with authority and power, and not with the vain ungodly soft words of those who are puffed up in themselves.
So it will be when Christ comes, for he will judge with authority and will separate the sheep from the goats; separating the zealously obedient from those full of themselves who depart from and reject the Word of God. Yes, God does divide the holy from the profane!
4:20 For the kingdom of God is not in [mere words only] word, but in power 4:21 What will ye? Shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?
Those who exalt themselves: Do you want our Lord to come to you with correction or a blessing?
Turn to him to enthusiastically learn and live by every Word of God so that he may bless and not chastise!