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. Chapter 3.

Fellow Workmen for God

1 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 And so I gave you milk to drink, instead of solid food, for which you were not yet ready. 3 Indeed, you are still not ready for it, for you are still on the merely natural plane. Can you not see that while there is jealousy and strife among you, you are living on the purely human level of your lower nature? 4 When one says, 'I am Paul's man', and another, 'I am for Apollos', are you not all too human?

5 After all, what is Apollos? What is Paul? We are simply God's agents in bringing you to the faith. Each of us performed the task which the Lord allotted to him: 6 I planted the seed, and Apollos watered it; but God made it grow. 7 Thus it is not the gardeners with their planting and watering who count, but God, who makes it grow. 8 Whether they plant or water, they work as a team, [Or: Whether they plant or water, it is all the same.] though each will get his own pay for his own labour. 9 We are God's fellow-workers; [Or: We are fellow-workers in God's service.] and you are God's garden.

10 Or again, you are God's building. 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. 11 There can be no other foundation beyond that which is already laid; I mean Jesus Christ himself. 12 If anyone builds on that foundation with gold, silver, and fine stone, or with wood, hay, and straw, 13 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 a man's building stands, he will be rewarded; 15 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 Surely you know that you are God's temple, where the Spirit of God dwells. 17 Anyone who destroys God's temple will himself be destroyed [Some witnesses read: is himself destroyed.] by God, because the temple of God is holy; and that temple you are.

18 Make no mistake about this: if there is anyone is 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 [ Jb.5.13. ] For the wisdom of this world is folly in God's sight. Scripture says, 'He traps the wise in their own cunning', 20 [ Ps.94.11. ] and again, 'The Lord knows that the arguments of the wise are futile.' 21 So never make mere men a cause for pride. For though everything belongs to you— 22 Paul, Apollos, and Cephas, the world, life, and death, the present and the future, all of them belong to you— 23 yet you belong to Christ, and Christ to God.

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NEBNew English Bible: © The Delegates of the Oxford University Press & the Syndics of the Cambridge University Press 1961. This Webpage layout © Paul Ingram 2009. Any mismatches, truncated verses, other mistakes? Please e-mail me.