New Living Translation
Paul and Apollos, Servants of Christ
1Dear brothers and sisters,a when I was with you I couldn’t talk to you as I would to spiritual people.b I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in the Christian life.c 2I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren’t ready for anything stronger. And you still aren’t ready, 3for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you living like people of the world? 4When one of you says, “I am a follower of Paul,” and another says, “I follow Apollos,” aren’t you acting just like people of the world?
5After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us. 6I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. 7It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. 8The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work. 9For we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field. You are God’s building.
10Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful. 11For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ.
12Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. 13But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. 14If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. 15But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.
16Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives ind you? 17God will destroy anyone who destroys this temple. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.
18Stop deceiving yourselves. If you think you are wise by this world’s standards, you need to become a fool to be truly wise. 19For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As the Scriptures say,
“He traps the wise
in the snare of their own cleverness.”e
“The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise;
he knows they are worthless.”f
21So don’t boast about following a particular human leader. For everything belongs to you— 22whether Paul or Apollos or Peter,g or the world, or life and death, or the present and the future. Everything belongs to you, 23and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.
a 3:1a Greek Brothers.
b 3:1b Or to people who have the Spirit.
c 3:1c Greek in Christ.
d 3:16 Or among.
e 3:19 Job 5:13.
f 3:20 Ps 94:11.
g 3:22 Greek Cephas.