Together With the Power of our Lord Jesus

Twice in these few passages Paul tells them “you are God’s temple and the Spirit of God dwells in you” yet this is not so much about their eternal salvation. Yes, they will be saved because they have called on Jesus Christ. But Paul’s message to them is about what they are doing now. In God’s eyes, the time we have on the earth is precious. From the beginning he said in Genesis 1:28 (LEB) Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it. And it says in James 5:7 (LEB) Therefore be patient, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. Behold, the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the soil, being patient concerning it until it receives the early and late rains. It is during this time, the time that we are alive on the earth, that we bear fruit for His kingdom, or not. 

You Are God’s Temple

1 Corinthians 3:12–23
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 3:13 “the work of each one will become evident” and he is not just talking about the work we do, this is a statement about how we spend our time on the earth. Yes, there may be a job that we do that we call work, but the context here is “the day”. He is saying that we will all stand before the judgement seat and on “the day” that we do, “the fire itself will test the work”. Yes, everyone that calls on the name of the Lord, everyone who calls on Jesus Christ will be saved. As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 3:15 “he himself will be saved”. And, he also says, in

1 Corinthians 3:14 (LEB) 14 If anyone’s work that he has built upon it remains, he will receive a reward.

There is a reward if we do the work of the kingdom while we are alive on the earth. Or, we can live for ourselves and the other part of 1 Corinthians 3:15 “If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss”. Did you get the point here? What seems to be gain here on the earth may be nothing but smoke and flame on “the day”. But this is the wisdom of God, produce fruit for His Kingdom and gain eternal reward. This is why Paul says in

1 Corinthians 3:16 (LEB) Do you not know that you are God’s temple and the Spirit of God dwells in you?

You, now, in your physical body, matter to God. It isn’t though, the “wisdom of the world” because in 1 Corinthians 3:19 he says this “is foolishness with God”. So why would you give yourself to the corruptible things of this world when the eternal life and goodness of God is right here for you now? 

Stewards of God’s Mysteries

1 Corinthians 4:1–5
Are you vindicated in your own mind? Is your conscience clear? They should be. But is that enough? Paul says in

1 Corinthians 4:4 For I am conscious of nothing against myself, but not by this am I vindicated. But the one who judges me is the Lord.

We do need to have confidence in our own thought process. It is important for us to think clearly and carefully about the decisions we make, and make wise choices. There is though a truth here; we don’t know everything. Even when my conscience is clear and I am vindicated in my own mind, it is good for us to hold every relationship, every event, every decision before the Lord and seek His wisdom, or as Paul says it in

1 Corinthians 4:5 (LEB) Therefore do not judge anything before the time, until the Lord should come, who will both enlighten the hidden things of darkness and will reveal the counsels of hearts, and then praise will come to each one from God.

And as Isaiah said it many years before that we not be arrogant in our own minds but that we seek the truth, the mysteries, that can only come from God in

Isaiah 55:6–9 (LEB) Seek Yahweh while he lets himself be found; call him while he is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the man of sin his thoughts. And let him return to Yahweh, that he may take pity on him, and to our God, for he will forgive manifold. 8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not my ways,” declares Yahweh. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Learn Not to go Beyond What is Written

1 Corinthians 4:6–13
These were business people, in a place of commerce. The capital of the Roman region. As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 4:8 Rich, satiated, kings. So what do they need this poor apostle for? But Paul is not complaining about his lot in life, he is making a point with them that they should not see themselves as superior. And yet, how is it that many who follow exactly on God’s plan for their life as Paul did, are like this?

1 Corinthians 4:11–13 (LEB) Until the present hour we are both hungry and thirsty and poorly clothed and roughly treated and homeless, 12 and we toil, working with our own hands. When we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure; 13 when we are slandered, we encourage. We have become like the refuse of the world, the offscouring of all things, until now.

As I Teach Everywhere in Every Church

1 Corinthians 4:14–21
Paul encourages them as a father would. He tells them to “become imitators of me” in 1 Corinthians 4:16 and not as arrogant. And how does a father deal with his children? Sometimes they need discipline, but mostly they need love and gentle encouragement in

1 Corinthians 4:20–21 (LEB) For the kingdom of God is not with talk, but with power. 21 What do you want? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love and a spirit of gentleness?


Together With the Power of our Lord Jesus

1 Corinthians 5:1–13
There is corruption in the world. And it is all around us because we were all born in sin, into this fallen world. So it shouldn’t be surprising to us that sin would be found in someones life in the Church. Jude says it this way,

Jude 16 (LEB) These people are grumblers, discontented, proceeding according to their desires, and their mouths speaking pompous words, showing partiality to gain an advantage.

So what are we to do with them? Paul says in 1 Corinthians 5:4 “when you are assembled, and my spirit, together with the power of our Lord Jesus”, in 1 Corinthians 5:5 “hand over such a person to Satan for the destruction of the flesh”. Paul has already talked to them about living for God. This person entered into this relationship as a “Christian” man and member of their local Church. It isn’t that he had not heard what Paul has been saying in this letter, Timothy had been there so he would have heard from Timothy if not from the other Church leaders. So what was left for them to do? I think Jude gives us a good and very simple guide and as much as is in us, we should follow it in

Jude 20–23 (LEB) But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith, by praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, looking forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on those who doubt, 23 and save others by snatching them from the fire, and have mercy on others with fear, hating even the tunic stained by the flesh.

The Saints Will Judge the World

1 Corinthians 6:1–11

Glorify God With Your Body

1 Corinthians 6:12–20
Paul says to them again, the body, “your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit”. We are members of Christ.

Study Verses

Today’s Reading

  • 1 Corinthians 3:12-23
  • 1 Corinthians 4:1-21
  • 1 Corinthians 5:1-13
  • 1 Corinthians 6:1-20