But I, brethren, could not address you as spiritual men, but as men of the flesh, as babes in Christ.
I fed you with milk, not solid food; for you were not ready for it; and even yet you are not ready,
for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh, and behaving like ordinary men?
For when one says, "I belong to Paul," and another, "I belong to Apol'los," are you not merely men?
What then is Apol'los? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each.
I planted, Apol'los watered, but God gave the growth.
So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.
He who plants and he who waters are equal, and each shall receive his wages according to his labor.
For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.
According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and another man is building upon it. Let each man take care how he builds upon it.
For no other foundation can any one lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
Now if any one builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw--
each man's work will become manifest; for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done.
If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward.
If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.
Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?
If any one destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and that temple you are.
Let no one deceive himself. If any one among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise.
For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, "He catches the wise in their craftiness,"
and again, "The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile."
So let no one boast of men. For all things are yours,
whether Paul or Apol'los or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future, all are yours;
and you are Christ's; and Christ is God's.
1 Corinthians 4
This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.
Moreover it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy.
But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. I do not even judge myself.
I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me.
Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then every man will receive his commendation from God.
I have applied all this to myself and Apol'los for your benefit, brethren, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another.
For who sees anything different in you? What have you that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if it were not a gift?
Already you are filled! Already you have become rich! Without us you have become kings! And would that you did reign, so that we might share the rule with you!
For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels and to men.
We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute.
To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are ill-clad and buffeted and homeless,
and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure;
when slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become, and are now, as the refuse of the world, the offscouring of all things.
I do not write this to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children.
For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
I urge you, then, be imitators of me.
Therefore I sent to you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church.
Some are arrogant, as though I were not coming to you.
But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I will find out not the talk of these arrogant people but their power.
For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.
What do you wish? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love in a spirit of gentleness?
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