It is love, not knowledge, that forms the basis of Christianity. Paul wrote letters to the church at Corinth to emphasize this point and lead the Corinthians back into right relationship with God and others. Join our study by reading today’s scripture below and journaling about it using SOAP (click on the “What’s SOAP?” link above to learn more). Below today’s scripture is an example SOAP from our team. Whether it’s your first time reading the Bible or you’ve been doing daily devotions for decades, God will use this One Thing to speak to you. We love hearing from you! Please use the comment section of our website to share your SOAP, thoughts or questions on the reading, or prayer requests. Join us as we build unity and community through God’s Word!
1 Corinthians 3:1-15
The Church and Its Leaders
Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? 4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings?
5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.
10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.
Co-Worker | Becky Newman
1 Corinthians 3:9
Paul gives two analogies in today’s reading describing the process of maturing in our faith, also known as sanctification. The first analogy is an agricultural one: Jesus is the field, we are the workers who plant, water, and harvest, and God is the One who makes it all grow. The second analogy is a building, perhaps likened to the church: Jesus is the foundation, we are the workers choosing material, building on the foundation, and seeing if our engineering holds up to the fires and storms of life, and God is the strength with the Holy Spirit guiding how to build so it can withstand fire and storm. Paul adds a purpose to our working in God’s service besides glorifying God. In verses 13-15, he talks about the judgment of Christ which is after the judgment of God. Our salvation is what God is judging. Christ is judging based on our fruit and gives rewards accordingly.
I am often referring to these verses, “saved as though one escaping through the flames”, but never remembering where it’s at. That’s why You have me here today — to remember. We have a choice to make on our salvation: believe in Jesus or not? But we also have a choice to make on our sanctification: be a co-worker in God’s service seeking His way and plan while we grow and build the Kingdom or not? God doesn’t want us to get stuck; He wants us to continue to grow as we work, maybe whistling while we work too. The alternative — saved but as escaping through the flames for all of eternity — doesn’t sound so fun. I want to be a co-worker in unity with other believers in Your service, growing and building according to Your will and plan, following the guidance of the Holy Spirit, all for Your glory.
Lord, Thank You for bringing me back here. I remember last time I was here, I cried, and You grew a heart for discipling in me. These verses are important to remember in Your discipling work. Continue to grow that passion in me, for salvation and growth of other believers. Guide me, Holy Spirit, to engineer this building right to withstand the fires and storms.
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