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Understanding and Evaluating the Church

Understanding and Evaluating the Church

1 Corinthians 3:1-17

1 Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? 4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings?

5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.

10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.

16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL
VERSION ®. NIV®. COPYRIGHT © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by
Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


Application

  • What was your main takeaway from the sermon?
  • Did the Holy Spirit lead you into any situations this week where you had an opportunity to put your takeaway(s) into practice?
  • What impact did those opportunities have on you spiritually?

Discussion Questions

  • How does spiritual immaturity impact our understanding of the church?
  • What does it mean that each worker has their own assignment from God? How should that shape the way we view spiritual leaders?
  • What happens if we expect a worker to fulfill an assignment that they’ve not been called to?
  • How does the building analogy help us to understand spiritual leadership?
  • Great care is called for when building up the church. What are some errors that ‘laborers’ (spiritual leaders) can make?
  • The church is the temple of God (v.17). How should the sacredness of the church affect how we relate to her?
  • What are some ways in which people “destroy the church”?