When we put man before God – A study on 1 Corinthians 3

1 Corinthians 3 is a great lesson for modern day churches. It also teaches an important truth for families and has an important lesson for married couples.

“For since there is jealousy and quarrelling among you, are you not worldly?” 

Paul started this topic by showing the immaturity and worldly mindedness of the Corinthian church. We cannot continue quarrelling with people and claim to be mature Christians. This applies for families, marriage, work place and churches. As God’s chosen people we should stop quarrelling and avoid quarrelling at any cost.

“but only God”

The Corinthian church got the priorities twisted. They put men before God. They got attracted to the worldly wisdom and started putting men in pedestal. They started boasting about men who preached the Gospel to them. Because of these twisted priorities, they started quarrelling and became jealous. These quarrelling must have got very serious as Paul had to go to the length of warning them about the consequences of “destroying God’s church”.

So Paul had to make it clear that it is all about God. He emphasised to them saying, “So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” Paul went on to say, “For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.”

Let us learn to put God first in everything and keep our eyes on God. The moment we take our eyes off God is the beginning of quarrelling, jealousy, twisted priorities and even destruction.

“But each one should build with care.”

Paul also reminded God’s workers that each one of us have been given a task and we are to do the task with right motives. To give a modern day metaphor, we cannot take credit for the tasks we do for God because we are just “employees” in God’s “Organisation” and we will receive a salary/reward from God based on how we accomplish this task. Paul also warned that as God’s workers we have to set the right foundation and also use the right materials – perhaps talking about the motives with which we do the ministry. Paul not only preached but he also set an example as an “expert builder”.

This chapter depicts a sad a picture of some of the churches even in this present world with people getting attracted to personalities of preachers causing divisions in churches and creating new churches and denominations. On the other hand some people do the ministries with wrong motives laying a wrong foundation.

“So then, no more boasting about human leaders!”

So what is the solution? Paul had to take the focus away from “Human leaders” and set correct priorities. He said, All things are yours….and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.” Paul clearly understood the dangers of setting our eyes on man and taking our eyes off God. This is not only a lesson for churches but also for families and married couples. If we put anything else in the place of God in our family the result will be always unpleasant. So the best we can do is to make sure we keep our eyes on Jesus and ensure God is first and foremost in everything.

If you are encouraged by what you read today, would you share this article with a friend, co-worker, or family member?

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