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1 Corinthians 3 Worldwide English (New Testament) (WE)

My brothers, I could not talk to you at first as to people who have the Spirit of God. But I talked to you as people who have the spirit of this world. I talked to you as people who are very new-born, baby Christians.

I gave you milk to drink, not food to eat. You were not ready for food. And even now you are not ready for it.

You still have the spirit of this world in you. You are jealous of each other and you are quarrelling. The spirit of this world is still in you and you live like people of this world.

One says, `I belong to Paul.' Another says, `I belong to Apollos.' Does not that show that you have the spirit of this world?

After all, who is Apollos? And who is Paul? We both work for God. You believed because of the work we did. The Lord gave each of us our work to do.

I planted the seed. Apollos put water on the seed. But God made the seed grow.

So then the man who plants is nothing and the man who waters is nothing. God alone makes the seed grow.

The man who plants and the man who waters are equal. Each one will be paid for his own work.

We work together for God. You are God's farm. You are God's house.

10 I built the lower walls of the house because God showed me the best way to do it. Now another man builds on top of this foundation. Each man must take care how he builds on it.

11 Jesus Christ himself is the foundation. No one can make another one.

12 People build with gold, silver, very fine stones, wood, grass, or straw on top of the foundation.

13 But the day will come when everyone's work can be seen. Their work will be tested by fire and the fire will show what kind of work each one did.

14 If the work a man did is not burned up in the fire, he will be paid for his work.

15 But if a man's work is burned up, he will lose everything. He himself will be saved, like a man pulled out of the fire.

16 You know that you are God's house. The spirit of God lives in you.

17 God will punish anyone who spoils his house. His house is holy, and you are the house.

18 Do not be fooled. If any one of you thinks that he is wise in the things of this world, he should count himself as not being wise. Then he would really be wise.

19 The things that look wise to the people of this world look foolish to God. The holy writings say, `He catches the wise people in their own tricks.'

20 It also says, `The Lord knows that the wise men's thoughts are good for nothing.'

21 So do not be proud of men. Everything belongs to you.

22 Paul, Apollos, Peter, the world, life, death, the things which are now, and the things which are to come, everything is yours!

23 And you belong to Christ and Christ belongs to God!

1 Corinthians 3 New International Version (NIV)

The Church and Its Leaders

Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings?

What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.

10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.

16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.

18 Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”[a]; 20 and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.”[b] 21 So then, no more boasting about human leaders! All things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas[c] or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, 23 and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.


  1. 1 Corinthians 3:19 Job 5:13
  2. 1 Corinthians 3:20 Psalm 94:11
  3. 1 Corinthians 3:22 That is, Peter
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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