1 Corinthians 3



1 Corinthians 3 addresses issues of spiritual immaturity, division, and the proper understanding of Christian leadership. Paul emphasizes the need for unity in Christ, warns against divisive loyalties to human leaders, and underscores the importance of building the church on the foundation of Jesus Christ with quality materials.


  1. Carnality and Division (1 Corinthians 3:1-4): Paul accuses the Corinthians of being "carnal" or worldly because of their jealousy and strife. He points out that their divisions indicate an immaturity in their faith. They are identifying with specific leaders (Paul, Apollos) instead of recognizing that all leaders are servants of God working towards the same goal.
  2. Laborers in God's Field (1 Corinthians 3:5-9): Paul and Apollos are mere servants whom God has employed to work in His field, and they should not be exalted or idolized. It is God who brings the increase, and all who serve are fellow workers in God's service.
  3. The Foundation and the Building (1 Corinthians 3:10-17): Paul compares himself to a skilled master builder who laid the foundation of the church, which is Jesus Christ. He warns against building on this foundation with inferior materials (symbolizing false teachings or improper conduct) because the work will be tested by fire. Those who build with enduring materials will receive a reward, while those whose work is consumed will suffer loss, though they will still be saved.
  4. The Temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16-23): Paul reminds the Corinthians that they are God's temple, and the Spirit of God dwells in them collectively. Therefore, they should not boast in human leaders but should recognize that all things belong to them in Christ. All believers are interconnected, and they are Christ's, and Christ is God's.