1 Corinthians 3    Building God’s Church

Acts 18 tells us something of Paul’s visit to the city of Corinth.  Corinth was a vast city, a rough, tough place, a centre for trade, for idol worship, for prostitution and for crime of all sorts.  Despite all the problems, however, a church was established.  Later, problems began to arise, and this letter sets out to counter some of these difficulties and to put the young church back on a correct path.  In chapters 1 and 2 Paul had appealed for unity in the church.  In chapter 3 he again appeals for an end to those divisions which are a sign of immaturity.  It does not matter who does the “gardening”: only God can make the seed grow.  Similarly with a building: no matter who the workers are, the house will not stand if the foundation is not good.  In terms of the gospel, the one and only sure foundation is Jesus Christ.  However, the workers must give of their best, because their work will be assessed by God.  Moreover, the work which the Corinthians – and we – are involved in is that of building up the church.  This refers not to the building of blocks, but to the building up of the lives of the people in Christ.  This is the most important work with which anyone can ever be entrusted.  This is God’s work; we are only his agents.  There is no room for boasting or personal pride.