Summary: Paul goes over the things it's time for in the church at Corinth and by implication, the things that should be our priority as well.
1. A pastor was retiring after 25 years in his church. As he was clearing out the bedroom in the parsonage he found a small bowl containing 5 eggs and $1,000. Baffled he asked his wife, “Darling, what is this little basket under the bed with the 5 eggs and $1,000 in it?” “Oh“ she said “I must confess that every time you preached a bad sermon I put an egg in the basket.” Secretly the pastor was pleased: “That’s not bad, 5 bad sermons in 25 years.” Then he asked, “And the $1,000?” She said, “Well every time I would get a dozen eggs I sold them!” (Martin Dale, Sermon Central)
Cell #1— I Corinthians 3 is on page 871 of the Bible in your pew.
2. I knew when I ran across that joke this week that I had to share it this morning and dedicate it to Joe. However, on a more serious note, I want to tell you about a conversation that Joe & I had a few months ago. Joe told me that his faith has gotten much stronger over the last few years.
3. Those of you who attend the church all the time know that I like to use a lot of stories in my sermons. Stories help keep your attention, but I include them for more than that. If you study Jesus’ sermons, you discover that He frequently used stories too, they are called parables. Stories can help us grasp difficult truth and make sense of it.
4. In this 3rd week of our study in 1 Corinthians we come to a passage that teaches us about working and growing together in our faith. There are people who don’t believe they need a church and they’re partially right. You can be a believer and not go to church, but it’s very difficult to be a growing follower of Christ alone. We need others to help us in the process. Our relationship with God is personal, it’s one on one, but church if it does what it’s supposed to do it not only teaches us about God, it also connects us with others who are following God and that is very helpful spiritually.
5. If you have found 1 Corinthians 3 let’s read it together.
1 Dear brothers & sisters, when I was with you I couldn’t talk to you as I would to spiritual people. I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in the Christian life.
2 I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren’t ready for anything stronger. And you still aren’t ready,
3 for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of 1 another & quarrel with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you living like people of the world?
4 When one of you says, “I am a follower of Paul,” & another says, “I follow Apollos,” aren’t you acting just like people of the world?
5 After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us.
6 I planted the seed in your hearts, & Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow.
7 It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow.
8 The one who plants & the 1 who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work.
9 For we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field. You are God’s building.
10 Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful.
11 For no 1 can lay any foundation other than the 1 we already have—Jesus Christ.
12 Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw.
13 But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value.
14 If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward.
15 But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.
16 Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God & that the Spirit of God lives in you?
17 God will destroy anyone who destroys this temple. For God’s temple is holy, & you are that temple.