The Epistle of I CORINTHIANS

(Chapter Three)


1. And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.

Literal: And I brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual (men), but as unto carnal (men), as to babes in Christ.

New English Translation -- For my part, my brothers, I could not speak to you as I should speak to people who have the Spirit. I had to deal with you on the merely natural plane, as infants in Christ.

2. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

Literal: I gave you to drink milk, and not meat, for which you were not yet ready, neither yet now are you ready (able).

3. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

Literal: For you are yet carnal (fleshly): for where there is among you envying and strife (rivalry and contention), and division (discord, division), are you not carnal and walk according to man?

"Envying" is emulation which is causing you to imitate superior worth. Also, in another sense, it is heart-burning jealousy. Remember this. That's what is in the world. Many people live every day wanting to emulate others and are motivated by jealousy. What a horrible, empty way to live.

Romans 8: 6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

4. For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

Literal: For when one may say, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos, are you not fleshly?

One believer says, I follow Paul and another says, I follow Apollos. You can see how people started to worship the man/personalities and placed the man on a pedestal and not the Word of God. We must focus on the Christ in us and never pick favorites.

5. Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?

Literal: Who then is Paul? And who is Apollos, but servants through whom you believed. They were simply God's agents given to every man.

6. I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.

Literal: I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave growth.

7. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

Literal: So that neither he that plants is anything, nor he that waters; but God who gives growth.

8. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.

Literal: But he that plants and he that waters are one (they work as a team), but each shall receive his own reward according to his own labor.

9. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.

Literal: For we are fellow-workers with God; you are God's husbandry (tilled field), you are God's building.

We labor at many aspects of Christian life; but our most fundamental responsibility as workmen is to study and apply the rightly divided Word of God. That's what we are doing right now.

II Timothy 2: 15 -- Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

10. According to the grace which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation [the Word of God], and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.

Literal: Interlinear Greek-English New Testament -- According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise architect (the) foundation have I laid and another builds up. I am like a skilled master-builder who by God's grace laid the foundation, and someone else is putting up the building. Let each take care how he builds.

New International Version (NIV) -- By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds.

11. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Literal: New English Translation -- There can be no other foundation beyond that which is already laid; I mean Jesus Christ himself.

Interlinear Greek-English New Testament -- For other foundation no one is able to lay besides that which is laid, which is Jesus the Christ.

You cannot improve upon what God accomplished through Jesus Christ. You cannot improve upon the Word of God. God, through Jesus Christ, made all of this available to us. The foundation is laid and is perfect and is finished. It is up to us, by our own free will, to build upon this perfect foundation. The next verse warns us of what happens when, man, through human persuasion or fleshly influence, tries to alter this foundation. Religion is a good example of this where much of what is practiced is unscriptural.

12. Now if any man build upon this foundation [the Word] gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;

Literal: Now if any man build on this foundation with gold, silver, and fine stone, or with wood, hay and straw; if human persuasion or fleshly influence tries to infiltrate the Word of God, it will yield wood, hay and stubble to be burned up.

If you try to understand the Word with the five senses alone, which will result in private interpretation, it will yield excess refuse which will be burned up.

13. Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.

Literal: Every man's work shall be made apparent or conspicuous: for the day will declare it, because in fire it is revealed and the fire shall try (prove) every man's work of what sort it is.

New English Translation -- The work that each man does will at last be brought to light; the day of judgement will expose it. For that day dawns in fire, and the fire will test the worth of each man's work.

14. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

Literal: If of anyone, the work which he built up abides, he shall receive a reward.

New English Translation -- If a man's building stands, he will be rewarded.

15. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

Literal: If of anyone, the work shall be consumed, he shall suffer loss, but he himself shall be saved, but so as through fire.

New English Translation -- If it burns, he will have to bear the loss; and yet he will escape with his life, as one might from a fire.

16. Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

Literal: Know ye (plural) not that ye are the temple (signifies a group of people) of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

Remember that 'tabernacle' is often used of an individual's physical body. You should know that you are a part of the body of Christ. Spiritually, you are part of that temple of God.

17. If any man defile [destroy] the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

Literal: If any man destroy the temple of God, shall God destroy, for the temple of God is holy, which ye (plural) are.

Psalms 70: 2 -- Let them be ashamed and confounded that seek after my soul: let them be turned backward, and put to confusion, that desire my hurt [mentally].

God will allow people to be destroyed that attempt to harm you. He does not do the destroying.

18. Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.

Literal: Let no man deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks himself to be wise in this age, let him become foolish that he may be wise.

New English Translation -- Make no mistake about this: if there is anyone among you who fancies himself wise -- wise, I mean, by the standards of this passing age -- he must become a fool to gain true wisdom.

19. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.

Literal: (Same)

20. And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.

Literal: And again, the Lord knows the reasonings of the wise, that they are vain, (foolish, idle, empty, and useless -- referring to results).

21. Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;

Literal: So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours.

22. Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;

Literal: Whether Paul or Apollos, or Cephas, the world, or life or death or present things, or things to come; all are yours.

This verse contains the figure of speech Paradiastole or NEITHER OR NORS which is the repetition of the Disjunctives Neither and Nor, or Either and Or. The figure SEPARATES AND DISTINGUISHES. The words are put together disjunctively instead of conjunctively.

23. And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's.

Literal: And you are Christ's (belong to Christ) and Christ belongs to God.

Since verses 21 and 23 are truths from God's Word, then we should rise up like men and women of God and claim our delegated authority as believers. The power and authority of Christ is delegated to us through the name of Jesus Christ. It is His wonderful matchless, powerful name, when named from our heart and on our lips, that cancels the forces of evil. We have a delivering Christ and His authority is our authority to act in His name through the church He established. Remember that using your power of attorney through the name of Jesus Christ cancels the forces of evil. Isn't that just beautiful? What a fitting ending to such a tremendous chapter in God's Word.