1 Corinthians 3:18-23

Scripture

1 Corinthians 3:18-23

Observations

  • Paul warns that we don’t outsmart ourselves
  • If you truly want to be wise then you need to embrace God’s wisdom which will make yu look like a fool in the world’s wisdom
  • Paul quotes both Job 5:13 and Psalm 94:11 to illustrate that man’s wisdom comes up short compared to God’s wisdom
  • Paul concludes this section that they should stop comparing different people’s wisdom (including Christian leaders) because if it is from God then the glory should go to God (because it is God’s wisdom not theirs), and if it is not God’s wisdom then it should not be heeded.
  • Exclamation Point: We belong to God and to Him be the glory!

Application

In 1 Corinthians 2:5, Paul warned the Corinthians not to trust in men; now he warns them not to glory in men (vv. 18-23). Immature Christians love to bask in the light of "great men and women." Paul refers to Job 5:13 and Ps 94:11 in (vv. 19 and 20). Why must we glory in people when, in Christ, we have all things? If Paul or Apollos was a blessing to them, they should glorify God and not the men. All that we have comes from God, whether it be gifted men and women, the blessings of life, or things yet to come. And, if these blessings come from God, we should give the glory to God and not to men. I give God praise for the Christian men and women in my life who He has used to grow me. But the glory does not go to them, since the work they did was done by God’s power and wisdom. My attention needs to be in seeking God and not a super Christian teacher, preacher, or miracle worker. In God’s hands, any person can be used to help me grow because God is the only source for true transformation.

Prayer

Father, forgive me for attributing too much of Your work in my life to Your servants. Though I do thank you for using them as faithful servants I understand that the growth that resulted isn’t by their hands but Your hands. Help me diligently follow You as I lead others, and help me make sure that their gratefulness for Your work in their life doesn’t get misdirected to me, but correctly aimed at You. Help me get my self-worth and encouragement from You rather than others. In the name of Jesus I pray, AMEN.

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