One Foundation

Paul is continuing to write to the Corinthian church, but he is reproving and correcting them for the divisions within the church. He explains that, previously, he could only give them “milk” in his teaching and not the “meat” of the Word because they were worldly. They were like newborn children because of their worldliness. They believed, but the world and the way that it worked continued to find its way into the church and into the way of thinking of the people within it.

In the case of the Corinthians, this was particularly evident. As a city, they were particularly prosperous and wealthy. They used their prosperity as license to live lavishly, in drunken stupors, giving themselves away sexually to any and all. This was the way that the people of Corinth frequently lived, and we see hints of this show up throughout this book, but not even this is the point that Paul starts with as he writes to the Corinthians.

Instead, Paul points out their divisions based on their teachers. The Corinthians have divided amongst themselves saying that some follow Paul, others follow Apollos, but Paul explains, of course, that they are both simply builders. They are servants. But there is one foundation, and that foundation is Jesus Christ.

So then, no more boasting about human leaders! All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future —all are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.

1 Corinthians 3:21-23

Paul wants the Corinthians to build their lives upon Christ. He is the one who will be lifted up. He is the one who will be glorified. Him and him alone. Not the teachers. Not the builders. Only Christ. He is the one true foundation upon which we must build our lives, and if we try to do otherwise, building upon anything else, our lives – as a result of division, sin, disappointment, or otherwise – will crumble and fall. Nothing will be left. Paul knows this and wants to remove this possibility out from underneath the Corinthians. He wants them to build their lives, place their faith, and put all of their hopes in one person, in Jesus Christ. Jesus is of God and there is no other foundation upon which we must build.

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