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1 Corinthians 3:5-17

You can read the text here.

Paul circles back to drive the point home regarding factionalism that he sprung up as different groups pledged allegiance to different leaders. Paul and Apollos aren't anything special that will help the Corinthians raise their status. They're in fact mere servants and following them should bring disrepute in the world's eyes.[1] While Paul and Apollos played an important role, it's secondary to the role played by God who is the one they should be solely focused on. God will give Paul and Apollos their due, who, after all, are on the same team!

Paul and Apollos are trying to build a temple worthy of the living God. The foundation was laid by Paul; the message of the cross preached in a fashion that the focus was on Jesus and not on Paul. Apollos and others built on it. Some, like Paul, built well. Some didn't. God can tell the difference. Those who built in a fashion in line with human wisdom and status seeking built with poor materials that won't stand the test, while those who pointed the Corinthians to Jesus built a building that will survive God's testing on the last day. They will be rewarded, while the shoddy builders will have nothing to show for their labor.

Self-seeking will destroy the temple. It's not the way to build and it's not the way to live. Those who pursue their own status and glory at the expense of the unity of the church will not receive glory from God. If they tear the church apart by their pride, God will tear them apart.

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[1] Ciampa and Rosner make this point effectively.

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