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Spiritual Immaturity

Brothers, I couldn’t talk to you as spiritual people but as worldly people, as mere infants in the Messiah.[a] I gave you milk to drink, not solid food, because you weren’t ready for it. And you’re still not ready! That’s because you are still worldly. As long as there is jealousy and quarreling among you, you are worldly and living by human standards, aren’t you? For when one person says, “I follow Paul,” and another person says, “I follow Apollos,” you’re following[b] your own human nature, aren’t you?

Who is Apollos, anyhow? Or who is Paul? They’re merely servants through whom you came to believe, as the Lord gave to each of us his task. I planted, Apollos watered, but God kept everything growing. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is significant, but God, who keeps everything growing, is the one who matters. The one who plants and the one who waters have the same goal, and each will receive a reward for his own action. For we are God’s co-workers. You are God’s farmland and God’s building.

The Messiah is Our Foundation

10 As an expert builder using the grace that God gave me, I laid the foundation, and someone else is building on it. But each person must be careful how he builds on it. 11 After all, no one can lay any other foundation than the one that is already laid, and that is Jesus the Messiah.[c] 12 Whether a person builds on this foundation with gold, silver, expensive stones, wood, hay, or straw, 13 the workmanship of each person will become evident, for the day of judgment[d] will show what it is, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s action. 14 If what a person has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward.[e] 15 If his work is burned up, he will suffer loss. However, he himself will be saved, but it will be like going through fire.

16 You know that you are God’s sanctuary and that God’s Spirit lives in you, don’t you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s sanctuary, God will destroy him, for God’s sanctuary is holy. And you are that sanctuary!

True Wisdom

18 Let no one deceive himself. If any of you thinks he is wise in the ways of[f] this world, he must become a fool to become really wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is nonsense in God’s sight. For it is written,

“He catches the wise with their own trickery,”[g]

20 and again,

“The Lord[h] knows that the thoughts of the wise are worthless.”[i]

21 So let no one boast about human beings, since everything belongs to you, 22 whether Paul, Apollos, Cephas,[j] the world, life, death, the present, or the future—everything belongs to you, 23 but you belong to the Messiah,[k] and the Messiah[l] belongs to God.


  1. 1 Corinthians 3:1 Or Christ
  2. 1 Corinthians 3:4 The Gk. lacks following
  3. 1 Corinthians 3:11 Or Christ
  4. 1 Corinthians 3:13 The Gk. lacks of judgment
  5. 1 Corinthians 3:14 Or receive wages
  6. 1 Corinthians 3:18 The Gk. lacks the ways of
  7. 1 Corinthians 3:19 Job 5:13
  8. 1 Corinthians 3:20 MT source citation reads Lord
  9. 1 Corinthians 3:20 Ps 94:11
  10. 1 Corinthians 3:22 I.e. Peter
  11. 1 Corinthians 3:23 Or Christ
  12. 1 Corinthians 3:23 Or Christ