Monday, May 20, 2013

May 20 - 1 Corinthians 3

Today's reading in our daily plan is 1 Corinthians 3. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)

  • In 1 Corinthians 2 we saw Paul talk about wisdom that comes from God (the Spirit). In direct contrast, Paul uses the first line of today’s chapter to call the Corinthians unspiritual. He says this because of their tendency to become jealous and to quarrel. These traits do not come from Godly wisdom but from childish immaturity.
  • Paul talks (in verses 5-9) about himself and other teachers/leaders in the church as servants. He says that God's servants get to play a task, but ultimately God is responsible for the growth of people and His church.
  • Paul uses the metaphor (in verses 10-17) that the work teachers and leaders for God do in people's lives is like building a temple. He says that the builders need to be very careful in how they build so their work will last.
  • In verses 18-23 Paul contrasts those who seek to be wise in the ways of the world and in the world's eyes with those who embrace God's wisdom. He encourages his readers to live by God's wisdom, even if it means seeming foolish to others.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)

  • In verse 3 Paul complains that the Christians in Corinth are "acting like mere humans." That may seem like an odd put-down, since they were in fact humans. But when people give their lives to God, He gives His Spirit to them. They now have God living in them, so He can live His life through them. Human beings who have God can live beyond "mere human."
  • God's path for every Christian is to grow in their maturity, becoming more like God and in living a life of love, and to become a leader for Him. So someday God wants you to be a leader in His movement. When that happens (or it may already be happening) be careful how you lead. Make sure the foundation is always Jesus, and that you're using Godly wisdom, so your work will last.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • Are you living a "mere human" life? In your life are you guided by human wisdom, making typical human decisions, driven by human desires and goals, using the "I'm only human" excuse for your sins and short-comings? If so, it's time to realize that you can be better than that. And it won't be you. It will be God living through you! In another of his letters, Paul wrote, "I no longer live, but Christ lives in me." You can choose to give your life to God, connect deeply with Him daily, and invite Him in to live His life through you. You will have power you've never had to live a kind of life you never could!