Studies In The Book Of I Corinthians
(I Corinthians 3:1-8)
1. Was Paul able to teach spiritual lessons to those assembling in Corinth?
No: “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ” (I Corinthians 3:1).
Š The inspired Apostle Paul spent the previous chapter discussing how he was teaching spiritual things (I Corinthians 2:6) that could be understand by spiritually minded people (I Corinthians 2:13-14). He can’t teach them these things.
Š They need to grow up spiritually (I Corinthians 14:20).
2. Were those assembling in Corinth able to bear the “meat” of the Gospel?
No: “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” (I Corinthians 3:2).
Š Mark 4:33, John 16:12 (cf. Luke 24:15-27), and Hebrews 5:8-6:3.
3. Why were those assembling in Corinth unable to learn spiritual lessons?
They were carnal as was evidenced by the envy, strife, and divisions among them: “For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men” (I Corinthians 3:3)?
Š Envy and strife existed in Corinth (I Corinthians 1:11, James 3:16, and James 4:1-8).
Š Division existed in Corinth (I Corinthians 11:18 and Romans 16:17).
Š The carnal things in Corinth need to cease before they can learn (I Peter 2:1-3).
Š They walked after man (Ephesians 2:1-3) rather than the Lord (I John 2:3-6).
4. Were there people assembling in Corinth that wanted to be followers of men?
Yes: “For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal” (I Corinthians 3:4; cf. I Corinthians 1:12-13)?
Š This wouldn’t be wrong if they were just looking at Paul and Apollos as good examples of godliness (I Corinthians 4:16 and I Corinthians 11:1).
Š The problem existed when they wanted to become disciples of Paul and Apollos (Ephesians 5:1).
5. Did Paul and Apollos want to be exalted?
No, they wanted to be seen just as ministers: “Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man” (I Corinthians 3:5)?
Š Paul never wanted exalted (Acts 14:8-18 and II Corinthians 4:5-7).
Š A minister is a servant likened to a waiter [Strong’s #1249]. Consider that word as used in the following verses: Matthew 23:11 [servant], Mark 9:35 [servant], John 12:26 [servant], Romans 16:1 [servant], and I Timothy 3:12 [deacons].
Š Consider also: John 7:18, Acts 3:1-13, Acts 12:20-23, and Jude 16.
6. Did Paul take any credit for the results of the work he had done?
No: “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase” (I Corinthians 3:6).
Š Paul started the work in Corinth (Acts 18:1-8).
Š Apollos was once in error and then turned around to be an effective “waterer” (Acts 18:24-19:1).
Š God is responsible, through His word, for the conversion of people (Romans 1:16 and Colossians 1:5-6).
7. Are those who start the Lord’s work or those who maintain it anything special?
No: “So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase” (I Corinthians 3:7).
Š Galatians 6:3.
8. On what basis are we rewarded?
Our labor: “Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour” (I Corinthians 3:8).
Š Paul expressed the unity between he and Apollos (Romans 12:4-5) working toward the same goal (John 4:36-38).
Š Even though they are working together, the reward will be there individually for both of them (Matthew 16:27, Hebrews 6:10, and II John 8).
© 2012 This material may not be used for sale or other means to have financial gain. Use this as a tool for your own studies if such is helpful! Preachers are welcome to this work, but please do not use my work so that you can be lazy and not do your own studies. Getting financially supported to do the Lord’s work while allowing others to do it for you is simply theft! – Brian A. Yeager