1 Corinthians 3:1-23 Voice
1 Corinthians 3:1-23 Voice  My brothers and sisters, I cannot address you as people who walk by the Spirit; I have to speak to you as people who tend to think in merely human terms, as spiritual infants in the Anointed One.  I nursed you with milk, as a mother would feed her baby, because you were not, and still are not, developed enough to digest complex spiritual food.  And here's why: you are still living in the flesh, not in the Spirit. How do I know? Are you fighting with one another? Are you comparing yourselves to others and becoming consumed with jealousy? Then it sounds like you are living in the flesh, no different from the rest who live by the standards of this rebellious and broken world.  If one of you is saying, "I am with Paul," and the other says, "I am with Apollos," aren't you like everybody else?  So who is Apollos really? Or Paul for that matter? We are only servants, agents who led you to faith, and the Lord commissioned each of us to do a particular job.  My job was to plant the seed, and Apollos was called to water it. Any growth comes from God,  so the ones who water and plant have nothing to brag about. God, who causes the growth, is the only One who matters.  The one who plants is no greater than the one who waters; both will be rewarded based on their work.  We are gardeners and field workers laboring with God. You are the vineyard, the garden, the house where God dwells.  Like a skilled architect and master builder, I laid a foundation based upon God's grace given to me. Now others will come along to build on the foundation. Each serves in a different way and is to build upon it with great care.  There is, in fact, only one foundation, and no one can lay any foundation other than Jesus the Anointed.  As others build on the foundation (whether with gold, silver, gemstones, wood, hay, or straw),  the quality of each person's work will be revealed in time as it is tested by fire.  If a man's work stands the test of fire, he will be rewarded.  If a man's work is consumed by the fire, his reward will be lost but he will be spared, rescued from the fire.  Don't you understand that together you form a temple to the living God and His Spirit lives among you?  If someone comes along to corrupt, vandalize, and destroy the temple of God, you can be sure that God will see to it that he meets destruction because the temple of God is sacred. You, together, are His temple.  Don't let anyone deceive himself. If any one of you thinks he is wise in matters pertaining to this world, he is going to be really disappointed. In fact, one must be deemed a fool by worldly standards in order to become truly wise  because the wisdom of this rebellious and broken world looks like foolishness when put next to God. So it stands in Scripture, "He catches the wise in their deceitful plotting."  And the Scriptures add, "The Lord knows the highest thoughts of the wise, and they are worthless."  So there is no reason for anyone to boast in human leaders. You already have it all.  So whether it is Paul, Apollos, Cephas, the world, life or death, the present or the future-it all belongs to you.  You belong to the Anointed One, and the Anointed One belongs to God.
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