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Scripture Reading:  1 Corinthians 3:5-17


September 2004



1.  When we genuinely want to understand what the word of God teaches we need not be embarrassed ask questions – Acts 8:34.
2.  Through such study that we will use God’s word accurately & have His approval (2 Tim. 2:15).
#1 – Will you please explain works being burned, yet he himself will be saved in 1 Cor. 3:15?  

1.  1 Cor. 3:5-15 does not condone a lukewarm lifestyle.  Correct that a life lived in the flesh reaps eternal destruction (Gal. 6:7-8).  Make a brief analysis of this text within its context to help us understand what is meant in 1 Cor. 3:15.

2.  Paul continues to deal with division among Corinthian brethren that grew out of their immature & even carnal thinking & conduct (1 Cor. 1:11-4:21).

3.  1 Cor. 3:5-15 discusses the preacher & those converted by his work (Paul, Apollos & Corinthians):

  a.  3:5:  Ministers through whom you believed.

  b.  3:6:  Planting & watering by preachers & teachers.

  c.  3:8:  Unity of the men who plant & water the gospel – Each man rewarded based on his work.

  d.  3:9“We” (preachers, teachers) are God’s “fellow-workers”.

  e.  3:9“You” (converts) are God’s field, God’s building (the result of their work), 3:16-17 - God’s temple.

4.  3:10-11:  Paul (preachers) is depicted as constructing a building composed of those converted as a result of his gospel work (the church in Corinth).

  a.  Paul laid the foundation for God’s building by preaching gospel – 3:11; 1 Cor. 2:1-5.

  b.  Others (like Apollos) came after & built on the same foundation of truth (gospel of Christ).

  c.  There was no conflict between the work of Paul & Apollos.

  d.  Therefore, the Corinthians must stop dividing themselves after their teachers (1:10-13; 4:6).

5.  1 Cor. 3:12-15The result of gospel preaching (laying the foundation & building the house of God):

  a.  3:12-13:  The “work” in view is the result of (their) gospel preaching (not one’s own life of faith).

  b.  Gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw:  The material that comprises “God’s building” (the church, the temple, 3:9, 16); those who are converted by the gospel.

  c.  The church will have the composition of those who comprise it.  Some are good material who hear the word, hold it fast & bear fruit with patience (Lk. 8:15); others fall away (Lk. 8:13-14).

  d.  3:13The day of fire (occasion of trial, of testing) will prove the quality of the building material (saints) – It “tests” (assays) the work of each preacher / teacher & reveals “of what sort it is” (1 Pet. 1:6-7; Jas. 1:2-4).

6.  1 Cor. 3:14-15The day of trial will reveal the outcome of the preacher’s work:

  a.  3:14 – The teacher is rewarded (blessed joy) when those he  has taught endure – 1 Ths. 2:13-20.

  b.  3:15 – The teacher “suffers loss” when the day of trial consumes those he has taught, 1 Ths. 3:1-5.

  c.  Paul was affected when saints weakened, stumbled & fell – 2 Cor. 11:29 (Gal. 4:11).  But, the preacher is not eternally lost when those he has taught fall away.

  d.  1 Cor. 3:15:  The preacher will be saved if he endures his “fire” & fulfills his work – Acts 20:26-27 (Ezek. 3:21).  If not, then he too will be lost because of his own unfaithfulness.


#2a – Was Christ’s body different after his resurrection or was it the same physical body he had before death and then changed when he was taken up into heaven?

1.  Bodily resurrection of Jesus – Lk. 23:52-55; 24:1-3.

2.  Jesus appeared in bodily form, not as a spirit or apparition – Lk. 24:39.

3.  No passage I am aware of discusses a change of His body at ascension (Acts 1:9).

4.  Bodily resurrection of Jesus was the beginning of bodily resurrection – 1 Cor. 15:20-22 (Col. 1:18).

   -When we discover the kind of resurrected body we will have we may deduce something about the resurrected body of Jesus.

5.  “With what body will they (dead) come?” 1 Cor. 15:35-49

  a.  15:36-37:  It will be alive, but of a different nature from what was buried (seed & plant).

  b.  15:38:  It will be a body that pleases God’s purposes.

  c.  15:39-41:  Illustrated by different flesh (human, animals, fish & birds); different bodies (celestial & terrestrial); different glory (appearance, brightness).

  d.  15:42-44:  Resurrection of the body corresponds to this:

    1)  CorruptibleIncorruptible.

    2)  DishonorGlory (brilliance).

    3)  WeaknessPower.

    4)  Natural body (dead corpse)Spiritual body (living being).

  e.  15:45:  Jesus is the source of our life from the dead (like Adam is source of physical life for his progeny).

  f.  15:46:  General principle – Natural body…then spiritual body.

  g.  15:47-48:  God’s order:  Adam, then Christ.

  h.  15:49 (50-58):  Our assurance of immortality.


#2b – Will our bodies be identical to that of Christ’s now in heaven?

1.  1 Jno. 3:2:  Since it is “not yet revealed what we shall be” we will not speculate beyond what is written (1 Cor. 15, et al.):

  a.  We know that “we shall be like Him”, and we know we will “see Him as He is”.

  b.  We will share in His glory – Col. 3:4; Phil. 3:21 (2 Ths. 1:10).

2.  1 Jno. 3:3:  This hope compels us to purify ourselves just as He is pure (1 Jno. 4:17); cf. 2 Pet. 3:10-13.

3.  The resurrection of the body will equip the saints with a body to forever inhabit the glories of heaven 1 Cor. 15:50-54.  The wicked will also have a body resurrection that will be suited for eternal fire (Matt. 25:41, 46).  We readily & humbly leave the details in the hands of God!



1.  A snapshot of Christ’s return – 1 Ths. 4:13-18:  Comforts the faithful & warns the sinner to repent.

2.  Are you ready to die?  Are you ready for the resurrection that will happen when Jesus returns?  Jno. 5:28-29