Studies In The Book Of I Corinthians

(I Corinthians 3:1-8)


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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).







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