1Brothers and sisters, in the past I could not talk to you like I talk to spiritual people. I had to talk to you like worldly people—like babies in Christ. 2The teaching I gave you was like milk, not solid food. I did this because you were not ready for solid food. And even now you are not ready for solid food. 3You are still not spiritual people. You have jealousy and arguing among you. This shows that you are not spiritual. You are acting the same as people of the world. 4One of you says, “I follow Paul,” and another person says, “I follow Apollos.” When you say things like that, you are acting like ˻worldly˼ people. 5Is Apollos important? No! Is Paul important? No! We are only servants of God who helped you believe. Each one of us did the work God gave us to do. 6I planted the seed ˻(teaching)˼ and Apollos watered it. But God is the One who made the seed grow. 7So the person that plants is not important, and the person that waters is not important. Only God is important, because he is the One who makes things grow. 8The person that plants and the person that waters have the same purpose. And each person will be rewarded for his own work. 9We are workers together for God. And you are like a farm that belongs to God. And you are a house that belongs to God. 10Like an expert builder I built the foundation of that house. I used the gift that God gave me to do this. Other people are building on that foundation. But each person should be careful how he builds. 11The foundation has already been built. No person can build any other foundation. The foundation that has already been built is Jesus Christ. 12A person can build on that foundation, using gold, silver, jewels, wood, grass, or straw. 13But the work that each person does will be clearly seen, because the Day will make it plain. That Day will appear with fire, and the fire will test every man’s work. 14If the building that a person puts on the foundation still stands, then that person will get his reward. 15But if that person’s building is burned up, then he will suffer loss. The person will be saved, but it will be like he escaped from a fire. 16You should know that you yourselves are God’s temple ˻(house)˼. God’s Spirit lives in you. 17If any person destroys God’s temple, then God will destroy that person. Why? Because God’s temple is holy. You yourselves are God’s temple. 18Don’t fool yourselves. If any person among you thinks that he is wise in this world, then he should become a fool. Then that person can become truly wise. 19Why? Because the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. It is like the Scriptures say, “He ˻(God)˼ catches the wise ˻(smart)˼ people when they use their sneaky ways.” 20The Scriptures also say, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise people. He knows that their thoughts are worth nothing.” 21So you should not boast about men. All things are yours: 22Paul, Apollos, and Cephas ˻(Peter)˼; the world, life, death, the present, and the future—all these things are yours. 23And you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.
1 Corinthians 3