Bible: 1 Cor 3-10
Immaturity and Self-deception
3:1 So, brothers and sisters, 1 I could not speak to you as spiritual people, but instead as people of the flesh, 2 as infants in Christ. 3:2 I fed you milk, 3 not solid food, for you were not yet ready. In fact, you are still not ready, 3:3 for you are still influenced by the flesh. 4 For since there is still jealousy and dissension among you, are you not influenced by the flesh and behaving like unregenerate people? 5 3:4 For whenever someone says, “I am with Paul,” or “I am with Apollos,” are you not merely human? 6
3:5 What is Apollos, really? Or what is Paul? Servants through whom you came to believe, and each of us in the ministry the Lord gave us. 7 3:6 I planted, 8 Apollos watered, but God caused it to grow. 3:7 So neither the one who plants counts for anything, 9 nor the one who waters, but God who causes the growth. 3:8 The one who plants and the one who waters work as one, 10 but each will receive his reward according to his work. 3:9 We are coworkers belonging to God. 11 You are God’s field, God’s building. 3:10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master-builder I laid a foundation, but someone else builds on it. And each one must be careful how he builds. 3:11 For no one can lay any foundation other than what is being laid, which is Jesus Christ. 3:12 If anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw, 12 3:13 each builder’s 13 work will be plainly seen, for the Day 14 will make it clear, because it will be revealed by fire. And the fire 15 will test what kind of work each has done. 3:14 If what someone has built survives, he will receive a reward. 3:15 If someone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss. 16 He himself will be saved, but only as through fire.
3:16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple 17 and that God’s Spirit lives in you? 3:17 If someone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, which is what you are.
3:18 Guard against self-deception, each of you. 18 If someone among you thinks he is wise in this age, let him become foolish so that he can become wise. 3:19 For the wisdom of this age is foolishness with God. As it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness.” 19 3:20 And again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.” 20 3:21 So then, no more boasting about mere mortals! 21 For everything belongs to you, 3:22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future. Everything belongs to you, 3:23 and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.
The Apostles’ Ministry
4:1 One 22 should think about us this way – as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 4:2 Now what is sought in stewards is that one be found faithful. 4:3 So for me, it is a minor matter that I am judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. 4:4 For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not acquitted because of this. The one who judges me is the Lord. 4:5 So then, do not judge anything before the time. Wait until the Lord comes. He will 23 bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the motives of hearts. Then each will receive recognition 24 from God.
4:6 I have applied these things to myself and Apollos because of you, brothers and sisters, 25 so that through us you may learn “not to go beyond what is written,” so that none of you will be puffed up in favor of the one against the other. 4:7 For who concedes you any superiority? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you received it, why do you boast as though you did not? 4:8 Already you are satisfied! Already you are rich! You have become kings without us! I wish you had become kings so that we could reign with you! 4:9 For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to die, because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to people. 4:10 We are fools for Christ, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, we are dishonored! 4:11 To the present hour we are hungry and thirsty, poorly clothed, brutally treated, and without a roof over our heads. 4:12 We do hard work, toiling with our own hands. When we are verbally abused, we respond with a blessing, when persecuted, we endure, 4:13 when people lie about us, we answer in a friendly manner. We are the world’s dirt and scum, even now.
A Father’s Warning
4:14 I am not writing these things to shame you, but to correct you as my dear children. 4:15 For though you may have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, because I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. 4:16 I encourage you, then, be imitators of me. 4:17 For this reason, I have sent Timothy to you, who is my dear and faithful son in the Lord. He will remind you of my ways in Christ, 26 as I teach them everywhere in every church. 4:18 Some have become arrogant, 27 as if I were not coming to you. 4:19 But I will come to you soon, if the Lord is willing, and I will find out not only the talk of these arrogant people, but also their power. 4:20 For the kingdom of God is demonstrated not in idle talk but with power. 4:21 What do you want? Shall I come to you with a rod of discipline 28 or with love and a spirit of gentleness?
5:1 It is actually reported that sexual immorality exists among you, the kind of immorality that is not permitted even among the Gentiles, so that someone is cohabiting with 29 his father’s wife. 5:2 And you are proud! 30 Shouldn’t you have been deeply sorrowful instead and removed the one who did this 31 from among you? 5:3 For even though I am absent physically, 32 I am present in spirit. And I have already judged the one who did this, just as though I were present. 33 5:4 When you gather together in the name of our Lord Jesus, 34 and I am with you in spirit, 35 along with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5:5 turn this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved 36 in the day of the Lord. 37
5:6 Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast 38 affects 39 the whole batch of dough? 5:7 Clean out the old yeast so that you may be a new batch of dough – you are, in fact, without yeast. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 5:8 So then, let us celebrate the festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of vice and evil, but with the bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth. 40
5:9 I wrote you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people. 5:10 In no way did I mean the immoral people of this world, or the greedy and swindlers and idolaters, since you would then have to go out of the world. 5:11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who calls himself a Christian 41 who is sexually immoral, or greedy, or an idolater, or verbally abusive, 42 or a drunkard, or a swindler. Do not even eat with such a person. 5:12 For what do I have to do with judging those outside? Are you not to judge those inside? 5:13 But God will judge those outside. Remove the evil person from among you. 43
6:1 When any of you has a legal dispute with another, does he dare go to court before the unrighteous rather than before the saints? 6:2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you not competent to settle trivial suits? 6:3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? Why not ordinary matters! 6:4 So if you have ordinary lawsuits, do you appoint as judges those who have no standing in the church? 44 6:5 I say this to your shame! Is there no one among you wise enough to settle disputes between fellow Christians? 45 6:6 Instead, does a Christian sue a Christian, 46 and do this before unbelievers? 6:7 The fact that you have lawsuits among yourselves demonstrates that you have already been defeated. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? 6:8 But you yourselves wrong and cheat, and you do this to your brothers and sisters! 47
6:9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! The sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, passive homosexual partners, 48 practicing homosexuals, 49 6:10 thieves, the greedy, drunkards, the verbally abusive, 50 and swindlers will not inherit the kingdom of God. 6:11 Some of you once lived this way. 51 But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ 52 and by the Spirit of our God.
Flee Sexual Immorality
6:12 “All things are lawful for me” 53 – but not everything is beneficial. “All things are lawful for me” – but I will not be controlled by anything. 6:13 “Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both.” 54 The body is not for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 6:14 Now God indeed raised the Lord and he will raise us by his power. 6:15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Should I take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 6:16 Or do you not know that anyone who is united with 55 a prostitute is one body with her? 56 For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” 57 6:17 But the one united with 58 the Lord is one spirit with him. 59 6:18 Flee sexual immorality! “Every sin a person commits is outside of the body” 60 – but the immoral person sins against his own body. 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, 61 whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 6:20 For you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God with your body.
Celibacy and Marriage
7:1 Now with regard to the issues you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 62 7:2 But because of immoralities, each man should have relations with 63 his own wife and each woman with 64 her own husband. 7:3 A husband should give to his wife her sexual rights, 65 and likewise a wife to her husband. 7:4 It is not the wife who has the rights to her own body, but the husband. In the same way, it is not the husband who has the rights to his own body, but the wife. 7:5 Do not deprive each other, except by mutual agreement for a specified time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. 66 Then resume your relationship, 67 so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 7:6 I say this as a concession, not as a command. 7:7 I wish that everyone was as I am. But each has his own gift from God, one this way, another that.
7:8 To the unmarried and widows I say that it is best for them to remain as I am. 7:9 But if they do not have self-control, let them get married. For it is better to marry than to burn with sexual desire. 68
7:10 To the married I give this command – not I, but the Lord 69 – a wife should not divorce a husband 7:11 (but if she does, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband), and a husband should not divorce his wife.
7:12 To the rest I say – I, not the Lord 70 – if a brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is happy to live with him, he should not divorce her. 7:13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is happy to live with her, she should not divorce him. 7:14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified because of the wife, and the unbelieving wife because of her husband. 71 Otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy. 7:15 But if the unbeliever wants a divorce, let it take place. In these circumstances the brother or sister is not bound. 72 God has called you in peace. 7:16 For how do you know, wife, whether you will bring your husband to salvation? 73 Or how do you know, husband, whether you will bring your wife to salvation? 74
The Circumstances of Your Calling
7:17 Nevertheless, 75 as the Lord has assigned to each one, as God has called each person, so must he live. I give this sort of direction in all the churches. 7:18 Was anyone called after he had been circumcised? He should not try to undo his circumcision. 76 Was anyone called who is uncircumcised? He should not get circumcised. 7:19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Instead, keeping God’s commandments is what counts. 7:20 Let each one remain in that situation in life 77 in which he was called. 7:21 Were you called as a slave? 78 Do not worry about it. But if indeed you are able to be free, make the most of the opportunity. 7:22 For the one who was called in the Lord as a slave is the Lord’s freedman. In the same way, the one who was called as a free person is Christ’s slave. 7:23 You were bought with a price. Do not become slaves of men. 7:24 In whatever situation someone was called, brothers and sisters, 79 let him remain in it with God.
7:25 With regard to the question about people who have never married, 80 I have no command from the Lord, but I give my opinion as one shown mercy by the Lord to be trustworthy. 7:26 Because of the impending crisis I think it best for you to remain as you are. 7:27 The one bound to a wife should not seek divorce. The one released from a wife should not seek marriage. 81 7:28 But if you marry, you have not sinned. And if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face difficult circumstances, 82 and I am trying to spare you such problems. 83 7:29 And I say this, brothers and sisters: 84 The time is short. So then those who have wives should be as those who have none, 7:30 those with tears like those not weeping, those who rejoice like those not rejoicing, those who buy like those without possessions, 7:31 those who use the world as though they were not using it to the full. For the present shape of this world is passing away.
7:32 And I want you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. 7:33 But a married man is concerned about the things of the world, how to please his wife, 7:34 and he is divided. An unmarried woman 85 or a virgin 86 is concerned about the things of the Lord, to be holy both in body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the things of the world, how to please her husband. 7:35 I am saying this for your benefit, not to place a limitation on you, but so that without distraction you may give notable and constant service to the Lord.
7:36 If anyone thinks he is acting inappropriately toward his virgin, 87 if she is past the bloom of youth 88 and it seems necessary, he should do what he wishes; he does not sin. Let them marry. 7:37 But the man who is firm in his commitment, and is under no necessity but has control over his will, and has decided in his own mind to keep his own virgin, does well. 7:38 So then, the one who marries 89 his own virgin does well, but the one who does not, does better. 90
7:39 A wife is bound as long as her husband is living. But if her husband dies, 91 she is free to marry anyone she wishes (only someone in the Lord). 7:40 But in my opinion, she will be happier if she remains as she is – and I think that I too have the Spirit of God!
Food Sacrificed to Idols
8:1 With regard to food sacrificed to idols, we know that “we all have knowledge.” 92 Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. 8:2 If someone thinks he knows something, he does not yet know to the degree that he needs to know. 8:3 But if someone loves God, he 93 is known by God. 94
8:4 With regard then to eating food sacrificed to idols, we know that “an idol in this world is nothing,” and that “there is no God but one.” 95 8:5 If after all there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), 8:6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we live, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we live. 96
8:7 But this knowledge is not shared by all. And some, by being accustomed to idols in former times, eat this food as an idol sacrifice, and their conscience, because it is weak, is defiled. 8:8 Now food will not bring us close to God. We are no worse if we do not eat and no better if we do. 8:9 But be careful that this liberty of yours does not become a hindrance to the weak. 8:10 For if someone weak sees you who possess knowledge dining in an idol’s temple, will not his conscience be “strengthened” 97 to eat food offered to idols? 8:11 So by your knowledge the weak brother or sister, 98 for whom Christ died, is destroyed. 99 8:12 If you sin against your brothers or sisters 100 in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 8:13 For this reason, if food causes my brother or sister to sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I may not cause one of them 101 to sin.
The Rights of an Apostle
9:1 Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? 9:2 If I am not an apostle to others, at least I am to you, for you are the confirming sign 102 of my apostleship in the Lord. 9:3 This is my defense to those who examine me. 9:4 Do we not have the right to financial support? 103 9:5 Do we not have the right to the company of a believing wife, like the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Cephas? 9:6 Or do only Barnabas and I lack the right not to work? 9:7 Who ever serves in the army at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat its fruit? Who tends a flock and does not consume its milk? 9:8 Am I saying these things only on the basis of common sense, 104 or does the law not say this as well? 9:9 For it is written in the law of Moses, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.” 105 God is not concerned here about oxen, is he? 9:10 Or is he not surely speaking for our benefit? It was written for us, because the one plowing and threshing ought to work in hope of enjoying the harvest. 9:11 If we sowed spiritual blessings among you, is it too much to reap material things from you? 9:12 If others receive this right from you, are we not more deserving?
But we have not made use of this right. Instead we endure everything so that we may not be a hindrance to the gospel of Christ. 9:13 Don’t you know that those who serve in the temple 106 eat food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar receive a part of the offerings? 9:14 In the same way the Lord commanded those who proclaim the gospel to receive their living by the gospel. 9:15 But I have not used any of these rights. And I am not writing these things so that something will be done for me. 107 In fact, it would be better for me to die than – no one will deprive me of my reason for boasting! 108 9:16 For if I preach the gospel, I have no reason for boasting, because I am compelled to do this. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 9:17 For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward. But if I do it unwillingly, I am entrusted with a responsibility. 9:18 What then is my reward? That when I preach the gospel I may offer the gospel free of charge, and so not make full use of my rights in the gospel.
9:19 For since I am free from all I can make myself a slave to all, in order to gain even more people. 109 9:20 To the Jews I became like a Jew to gain the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law) 110 to gain those under the law. 9:21 To those free from the law I became like one free from the law (though I am not free from God’s law but under the law of Christ) to gain those free from the law. 9:22 To the weak I became weak in order to gain the weak. I have become all things to all people, so that by all means I may save some.
9:23 I do all these things because of the gospel, so that I can be a participant in it.
9:24 Do you not know that all the runners in a stadium compete, but only one receives the prize? So run to win. 9:25 Each competitor must exercise self-control in everything. They do it to receive a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one.
9:26 So I do not run uncertainly or box like one who hits only air. 9:27 Instead I subdue my body and make it my slave, so that after preaching to others I myself will not be disqualified.
Learning from Israel’s Failures
10:1 For I do not want you to be unaware, 111 brothers and sisters, 112 that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea, 10:2 and all were baptized 113 into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 10:3 and all ate the same spiritual food, 10:4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they were all drinking from the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ. 10:5 But God was not pleased with most of them, for they were cut down in the wilderness. 10:6 These things happened as examples for us, so that we will not crave evil things as they did. 10:7 So do not be idolaters, as some of them were. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.” 114 10:8 And let us not be immoral, as some of them were, and twenty-three thousand died in a single day. 115 10:9 And let us not put Christ 116 to the test, as some of them did, and were destroyed by snakes. 117 10:10 And do not complain, as some of them did, and were killed by the destroying angel. 118 10:11 These things happened to them as examples and were written for our instruction, on whom the ends of the ages have come. 10:12 So let the one who thinks he is standing be careful that he does not fall. 10:13 No trial has overtaken you that is not faced by others. 119 And God is faithful: He 120 will not let you be tried beyond what you are able to bear, 121 but with the trial will also provide a way out so that you may be able to endure it.
Avoid Idol Feasts
10:14 So then, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. 10:15 I am speaking to thoughtful people. Consider what I say. 10:16 Is not the cup of blessing that we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread that we break a sharing in the body of Christ? 10:17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all share the one bread. 10:18 Look at the people of Israel. 122 Are not those who eat the sacrifices partners in the altar? 10:19 Am I saying that idols or food sacrificed to them amount to anything? 10:20 No, I mean that what the pagans sacrifice 123 is to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be partners with demons. 10:21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot take part in the table of the Lord and the table of demons. 10:22 Or are we trying to provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we really stronger than he is? 124
Live to Glorify God
10:23 “Everything is lawful,” but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is lawful,” 125 but not everything builds others up. 126 10:24 Do not seek your own good, but the good of the other person. 10:25 Eat anything that is sold in the marketplace without questions of conscience, 10:26 for the earth and its abundance are the Lord’s. 127 10:27 If an unbeliever invites you to dinner and you want to go, eat whatever is served without asking questions of conscience. 10:28 But if someone says to you, “This is from a sacrifice,” do not eat, because of the one who told you and because of conscience 128 – 10:29 I do not mean yours but the other person’s. For why is my freedom being judged by another’s conscience? 10:30 If I partake with thankfulness, why am I blamed for the food 129 that I give thanks for? 10:31 So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God. 10:32 Do not give offense to Jews or Greeks or to the church of God, 10:33 just as I also try to please everyone in all things. I do not seek my own benefit, but the benefit 130 of many, so that they may be saved.