1 Corinthians 3:16-23
So far in this letter to the Corinthians, we have seen Paul introduce why he was writing to them. Though he was not present with them, word has come to him that there were divisions in the church. He started to explain to them that it is foolishness to quarrel over spiritual leaders. After all, they are all united together because they are teaching the same, Christ. Paul then describes what they teach. They preach Christ crucified which is the wisdom of God and foolishness to the world. Through their preaching, God called the weak, low, and nots and put them in Christ Jesus. In Christ, Christians have found wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. In chapter 2, we heard Paul’s defense for the mode by which he, and his fellow workers, preach. They chose not to use the oratory skills and power expected from ones who would participate in the Isthmian games, instead, he spoke with weakness, fear, and trembling. Paul chose not to argue the way the Greek philosophers would, but with a demonstration of the Spirit of God. He explained to them that to the spiritually mature, they impart wisdom, God’s wisdom. The spiritually mature understood these things but to the natural, unregenerate person it just seemed to be folly. In verse 1 of chapter 3, we have another transition. He is going to move from defending the mode of preaching he and his fellow workers were using back to the problem of division. He chose to preach in a certain way to this church and now he will tell them why. There are six main arguments that Paul uses. We will look at the first three and next time we will look at the last three. In verses 1-4, Paul argues that the church is acting like unregenerate people when they divide over teachers. In 5-9, he proves the point that the teachers are all God’s fellow workers. And finally, Paul describes how the ministry is working. The apostles lay the foundation and others build upon it.