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Bible Commentaries

Expositor's Dictionary of Texts

1 Corinthians 3

Verses 1-23

1 Corinthians 3:1-2

A man always is to be himself the judge how much of his mind he will show to other men; even to those he would have work along with him.

Carlyle, Heroes, VI

1 Corinthians 3:2

It is a fact, forced upon one by the whole experience of life, that almost all men are children, more or less, in their tastes and admirations.

De Quincey, Autobiographic Sketches , XIII.

References. III. 1-8. J. Bowstead, Practical Sermons, vol. i. p. 281. III. 2. G. W. Brameld, Practical Sermons, p.l.

1 Corinthians 3:3

Speaking of the spirit of jealousy, in his essay on Modern Dissent, Matthew Arnold observes that 'this temper is as much a spiritual hindrance nay, in the view of Christianity it is even a more direct spiritual hindrance than drunkenness or looseliving. Christianity is, first and above all, a temper, a disposition; and a disposition just the opposite to "a spirit of watchful jealousy". Once admit a spirit of watchful jealousy, and Christianity has lost its virtue; it is impotent. All the other vices it was meant to keep out may rush in. Where there is jealousy and strife among you, asks St. Paul, are ye not carnal? are ye not still in bondage to your mere lower selves? But from this bondage Christianity was meant to free us; therefore, says he, get rid of what causes divisions, and strife, and "a spirit of watchful jealousy". Compare the preface to Mazzini's essays on Faith and the Future, in which he asks, 'Why has reaction triumphed? The cause lies in ourselves; in our want of organisation, in the dismemberment of our ranks by systems, some absurd and dangerous, all imperfect and immature, and yet defended in a spirit of fierce and exclusive intolerance; in our ceaseless distrust, in our miserable little vanities, in our absolute want of that spirit of discipline and order which alone can achieve great results; in the scattering and dispersing of our forces in a multitude of small centres and sects, powerful to dissolve, impotent to found.'

References. III. 3. W. M. Sinclair, Difficulties of Our Day, p. 109. T. Binney, King's Weigh-House Chapel Sermons (2nd Series), p. 341. III. 4-15. Expositor (6th Series), vol. viii. p. 73.

1 Corinthians 3:5

Compare Martineau's remark, in his review of Dr. Arnold's life: 'Above all, he wholly lost sight of himself, and never gave occasion for even the perversest spirit to suspect that his battle with school evils was a contest for personal dignity or power; in his dominance over wrong, he was himself but serving the right '.

References. III. 5. Joseph Parker, The Gospel of Jesus Christ, p. 201. C. D. Bell, The Name Above Every Name, p. 51.

1 Corinthians 3:6

'We can look but a very little way into the connections and consequences of things: our duty is to spread the incorruptible seed as widely as we can, and leave it to God to give the increase,' says Butler in one of his sermons. 'Yet thus much we may be almost assured of, that the Gospel, wherever it is planted, will have its genuine effect upon some few, upon more perhaps than are taken notice of in the hurry of the world.'

References. III. 6. S. Cox, Expositions, p. 377. III. 6-9. Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxvii. No. 1602.

The Guild of God

1 Corinthians 3:9

It is a special feature of the Christian revelation that throughout it exhibits God as a Worker. Other systems represent Him as being eternally at rest; He is pictured as an infinite Dreamer; to impute to Him anything like personal action is considered derogatory to His glory. In a true sense the orbs of heaven, the forces of the earth, creeping things and flying fowl, are messengers and instruments of the Divine Will; but whilst they act involuntarily and unconsciously, we may co-operate with God intelligently, willingly, lovingly. In a sense altogether special it is our privilege to become His 'fellow-workers'.

I. Consider the great design and obligation of life. To what end does God work? To establish in the human heart and in human society the kingdom of justice and righteousness. If we are co-workers with God, let us often remind ourselves of His ideal, consult His plan and programme, and strive toward His purpose, which is altogether spiritual, holy, and beautiful. Men toil in a thousand different departments, at ten thousand differing tasks, and the result seems only a mass of isolated strivings; yet let us be sure that the unification of action is a fact also, that all kinds of social ministries are vitally related, and that one Divine coordinating Mind directs our divided and confused activities to a definite and an inexpressibly glorious end. (1) The workers must not despise or disparage one another, nor must any one thus treat himself or his task. (2) Let each in his place faithfully and industriously realise the splendid conception of the Master-Builder. 'I sing for God,' cried Jenny Lind, who did not always sing in cathedrals; 'I pray with my fingers,' said a celebrated organist; and the million toilers of the city working in the fear of God and the love of their neighbour make shrines of workshops and transform rough tools into sacred vessels of worship and blessing.

II. Remember the condition of success in the work of life. If 'God's fellow-workers,' we must do our part. Our infidelity, disloyalty, or sloth arrests the great Worker and His miracles of blessing. On the other hand, we must not forget our dependence. Do we not often pathetically fail because we forget the paramount Partner?

III. Here we find the grand encouragement in all our generous aspirations and effects. 'God's fellow-workers.' Then He will bring the work through. What an efficient coadjutor!

W. L. Watkinson, Inspiration in Common Life, p. 40.

Workers with God

1 Corinthians 3:9

It is a bold claim to make, but facts correspond to it and justify it. There is a sense in which every man is a fellow-worker with God. St. Paul, of course, meant very much more than this when he described himself and his companions in service as 'fellow-workers with God.' His words speak of conscious and voluntary cooperation, a willing and intelligent oneness of purpose and effort with the will and work of God.

I. In creating the world we are called to be God's fellow-workers. Creation is not finished, but is always proceeding. In this continuous and never-ceasing work of creation man can help or hinder, develop or retard the creative purpose and process. The world into which he is born has all the material prepared to his hands; he is here to work it into more and better things. An eminent geologist has written a book that bears this title, The Earth as Modified by Human Action, and one has only to read it to see the wide range of human power, to see how closely man is in partnership with God in the work of creation, how much God needs man and man needs God.

II. And, in his own training and saving, in the work of developing, personal faculty and character, man is called to be God's fellow-worker. What he can do for the earth, and the creatures and things that live upon it, he can do for himself, fulfil and finish the Creator's purpose and plan. The statement in the Hebrew poem of creation, that man was made in the image of God, is prophecy, not history. It is the end seen from the beginning. Faith in what man can do and achieve does not mean any less faith in God. It includes God as the ground of all power, the inspiring Helper of all endeavour, the eternal life of all life. Real advance is only made when voluntary, purposeful efforts aid the unconscious strivings of Nature. It is an old saying that bids us pray as if God did everything, and work as if God did nothing. The will and work of God are identical not only with the moral regeneration of individuals, with the salvation and cultivation of the individual human soul, but with all work we respect and honour and rejoice in, with art, science, literature, politics, trade, with whatsoever activity works for the good of the community and the civilisation of nations.

III. In reconciling the world to Himself we are called to be fellow-workers with God. The work of atonement is in a peculiar sense the work of God. The Divine mission of Jesus Christ is not so much an interpolation in human history as the reflection and revelation in space and time of the universal and eternal labour and passion and sacrifice of God. It is the Father's work into which the Son enters. And if we have got the Spirit of Christ, if we are within the circle of His fellowship, then we cannot help sharing in that work of reconciliation which is most clearly set forth by Jesus Christ to be the work of God in our human world. Worse than the most hopeless pessimism is the optimism of the men who are content to repeat the creed, 'Truth and right are mighty, and must prevail'. But truth and right have never yet prevailed in this world without the help of true and righteous men. The only real failure in life, believe me, is to do less than our best.

John Hunter, Christian World Pulpit, vol. lx. p. 257.

References. III. 9. H. H. Snell, Christian World Pulpit, vol. liv. p. 70. J. S. Boone, Sermons, p. 136. C. G. Finney, Penny Pulpit, No. 1570, p. 193. E. Armitage, Christian World Pulpit, vol. li. p. 364. A. Maclaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture Corinthians, p. 30. III. 10. Expositor (7th Series), vol. vi. p. 372. III. 11. David Brook, Preacher's Magazine, vol. iv. p. 173. C. M. Betts, Eight Sermons, p. 3. H. Varley, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xlviii. p. 68. H. P. Liddon, Sermons Preached on Special Occasions, p. 220. F. D. Maurice, Sermons, vol. v. p. 237. Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxv. No. 1494. Expositor (6th Series), vol. iv. p. 293.

The Trial By Fire

1 Corinthians 3:11-15

I. Let us ask, What is it we each build? The reply is, Character. What is character? It is the slow accretion of habits, acts, and impulses, of morality and emotion, tending toward a final mould, a fixed form. It is the accretion of habit, for we are so constituted that to do a thing once is to desire to do it again, and every act is the preface and preparation for a similar act. It is the work of impulse, for impulse is the glowing forge in which action is shaped. It is morality and emotion, for not more surely is the slenderest coloured thread gathered into the loom, or the lightest whisper chronicled on the wax tablet of the phonograph, than is each thrill of hope, each fear or prayer, recorded in the structure of character. Does it not follow, then, that character is everything to us: the one real possession which is imperishable? The whole worth of Christianity to the world is that it is the science of character, that it teaches men to build their lives up into a mould of moral beauty, and attain the stature of Christ. James Smetham said: 'It is of much more importance to preserve a fresh and tender love to God and man, than to turn the corner of an art career'.

II. But the Apostle strikes a subtler chord when he speaks of the mixed elements that exist in the best work, of things perfect and imperfect the gold and the stubble that jostle one another in human character. Who has not remarked the imperfections of religious men? Who has not seen, as St. Paul saw, that the same man has both gold and stubble in him, that his vision of truth is often limited and vitiated by some error of nature, that his flaws of temper exist side by side with a great apostolic passion for souls, or that his narrowness of sympathy spoils all the admirable grasp of truth which is his? The whole history of the Church has been a record of these imperfections. The duty of charity towards others, which our own errors teach us, must not blind us to the main point of the passage, which is the testing of character which awaits us. Paul sees the fire that kindles for his trial, the purifying and avenging flame that is to test his work, and he would fain build only with such elements as the flames cannot consume.

III. What, then, is this flame? What does it mean for us? (1) Surely time is one of the flames by which all our work is to be tested. (2) Temptation also is the flame through which all character must pass. (3) But beyond time and temptation there lies the third trial, and it is of that St. Paul chiefly thinks: the last day that day the great assize. There is one final word of consolation. Nothing that is really good in us can ever perish, or need fear that flame.

W. J. Dawson, The Comrade Christ, p. 261.

Reference. III. 11-15. C. D. Bell, The Name Above Every Name, p. 165.

1 Corinthians 3:12-13

'The more I think of the matter, and the more I read of the Scriptures themselves, and of the history of the Church,' Dr. Arnold wrote in 1827, 'the more intense is my wonder at the language of admiration with which some men speak of the Church of England, which certainly retains the foundation sure as all other Christian societies do, except the Unitarians, but has overlaid it with a very sufficient quantity of hay and stubble, which I devoutly hope to see burnt one day in the fire.'

This passage was often in Mrs. Oliphant's mind, not only on her deathbed, but earlier in her career as a novelist. 'What is the reputation of a circulating library to me?' she wrote in her autobiography. 'Nothing, and less than nothing a thing the thought of which now makes me angry, that any one should for a moment imagine I cared for that, or that it made up for any loss. I am perhaps angry, less reasonably, when well-intentioned people tell me I have done good, or pious ones console me for being left behind by thoughts of the good I must yet be intended to do. God help us all! What is the good done by any such work as mine, or even better than mine? "If any man build upon this foundation... wood, hay, stubble;... if the work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire." An infinitude of pains and labour, and all to disappear like the stubble and the hay.'

Reference. III. 12, 13. A. Maclaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture Corinthians, p. 39.

1 Corinthians 3:15

To Dominic, in allusion to his supposed share in the Albigensian crusade, and the foundation of the Inquisition, he used to apply St. Paul's words, 1 Corinthians 3:15 .

Stanley's Life of Arnold (ch. VIII.).

References. III. 13. W. Redfern, The Gospel of Redemption, p. 135. R. W. Church, Village Sermons (3rd Series), p. 9. H. P. Liddon, Sermons on Some Words of St. Paul, p. 51. Expositor (4th Series), vol. ii. p. 66. III. 15. C. D. Bell, The Name Above Every Name, p. 178. T. Binney, King's Weigh-House Chapel Sermons, p. 138.

The Coming of the Holy Ghost ( for Whit-sunday )

1 Corinthians 3:16

I. The first visible fruit of the coming of the Holy Ghost was in the gift of tongues. Part of that gift of tongues seems undoubtedly to have been that certain of the number, where they were, could speak languages they were not able to speak before. They were able to sing the praises of God in a way that all kinds of different nations who had come to Jerusalem from all parts were able to understand. That was part of the gift, and a wonderful gift, and yet it was the least valued of the gifts of God. It was the extraordinary, and not the ordinary, gift of the Holy Ghost, and we make a great mistake when we think that the extraordinary must of necessity be of more value, of greater worth, than the ordinary. That is a mistake which people make in many other directions: for instance, despising the wild flowers of the wayside, because, as we say, they are common, and valuing more highly the flowers which are uncommon. So with the gifts of the Holy Spirit there are those which are extraordinary, and which appear from time to time in the New Testament. They have passed; do not envy them. The ordinary gift of the Holy Ghost that remains with us, and that is of much higher value than the extraordinary.

II. What is the ordinary gift? It is the gift of Spiritual power. 'Tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.' That is the Master's promise, and they were to wait for it. Of this other gift of languages He said nothing only of the more precious gift, the gift of the power from on high. It is the power of the Holy Spirit which enters into our own soul, into our own spiritual nature, and deals with it and strengthens it in every department. It takes hold of our understanding. The Holy Spirit entering into our soul, making the body and the soul His temple and dwelling within us, comes as an added strength to our understanding, raising our understanding, so that it can not only deal with the things that it sees, but rise to the height of faith, giving a new power of faith and opening our eyes to see the true bearing and meaning of the words of the Lord, and of the acts of the Lord. All that He has done and said for our own soul needs a key. There the words lie on the page, and they are like a locked room. It is the Holy Spirit Who can come and open those words for our understanding, according to the promise of the Lord: 'When He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth'. Remember, the words of the Lord are only to be understood by the help and by the power of the Holy Spirit.

III. The Holy Spirit comes and brings power, or brings strength to our own heart and to our own affections, and teaches a man, and helps a man to hate what is hateful and to love what is good and what is true. The Holy Spirit dwells within our hearts and puts in them that double faculty of the appreciation of what is good, the love of what is good, and the renunciation and hatred of what is evil.

And yet again, the Holy Spirit, entering into our hearts, finds His way into our will our will which has been weakened by self-indulgence and self-pleasing and puts new strength into that will, and gives to us what He gave to the Apostles at that time new heart and new courage to face the difficulties before them. The coming of the Holy Ghost made of these men, who were cowards, heroes and martyrs. One after another, these men who had denied their Master, after the coming of the Holy Ghost, laid down their lives. The strength of the martyrs is the witness of the power of the Holy Ghost, just as all the most beautiful things which have been written and thought are the gifts of the Holy Ghost. And all true love of God and man is an outcome of that Holy Spirit Who has made the soul His temple and resting-place.

This gift of power to our understanding and our heart and our will that represents the ordinary gift of the Holy Spirit; and that is at our disposal, and according to our goodwill and our earnestness and the use we make of God's gifts will be given to us of the fulness of the power of the Spirit.

Christ and His Human Temples

1 Corinthians 3:16

This Epistle was written from the city of Ephesus where was that famous temple of Diana which was reputed to be the world's greatest work of art. It was addressed to Corinth, which city also was renowned for its splendid temples. Now we can imagine St Paul writing in view of the Ephesian temple, or with his mind full of pictures which the sacred buildings of Corinth had impressed. He knew, at least, that these temples were always before the eyes and often in the thoughts of the Corinthian believers; and herein lies the point of such words as these: 'Know ye not that ye are the temple of God?' You poor, despised, scorned ones, cast out from society, are more and greater than these lofty fanes. I. In these words there was the new Christ-given thought of the dignity of man. Man was more than stones and marble, and statuary and material splendour. Manhood with a bit of faith and goodness in it was more than wisdom and genius and wealth, and all that these things could produce. When Christ took upon Himself a human body, He made humanity Divine. The Incarnation was the real starting-point of human progress and elevation. Thrones and palaces and temples are not the glory of the world, but men and women who reflect in their faces and conduct some of the majesty of the great King.

II. Think of the nearness and familiarity of the Divine presence. You have not to go in search of Him; you carry Him with you. Stones cannot be consecrated, but souls can: priests cannot introduce you to Him He is nearer than the priest who whispers in your ears. He is part of you; your souls are the altar, your prayers are the incense, your aspirations are the painted windows and spires, your devout thoughts are the priests.

III. Now what a solemn thought of dedication and of holiness is suggested by these words. Temple something detached, cut off, separated, taken out of the common, secular, corrupt world and marked out for other and higher uses; not to be employed again for any service that is low, vulgar, profane, for any service but what is pure and Divine; to be kept holy, undefiled, and perfumed with the incense of sweet thoughts and prayers. Keep the temple holy which He has made His own.

IV. And, finally, remember that the temple is a witness for God. And we are to be as living temples among the crowd of men, bearing witness of the Spirit of God that dwells within us, forcing upon their unbelieving minds thoughts of the Christ whom we love, showing in speech, temper, and conduct, the image or the Invisible, proving to the world that God is near and that Christ is living by the Divinity and Christlikeness of our faces.

J. G. Geeenhough, The Cross in Modern Life, p. 192.

The Divine Indwelling (A Motive to Holiness)

1 Corinthians 3:16

I. Let us consider the fact to which the Apostle appeals: 'Ye are the temple of God the Spirit of God dwelleth in you'.

(1) This is not, first of all, merely a recognition of the presence of God in Nature. Doubtless, the sense of God's encompassing, all-pervading life must be one of the main factors in the thought of every thinking man who believes in the existence and spirituality of God. He conceives of God as the Being from Whom it is literally impossible to escape. 'Whither shall I go then from Thy Spirit? or whither shall I go then from Thy presence? if I climb up into heaven, Thou art there: if I go down to hell, Thou art there also. If I take the wings of the morning, and remain in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there also shall Thy hand lead me; and Thy right hand shall hold me.'

God, the everywhere present, enwrapping, upholding, penetrating through and through each creature of His hand, yet in His Uncreated Essence distinct from all, is before the Psalmist's soul. Man, if he would, cannot be where God is not, cannot place himself outside this all-pervading ubiquity of God. Thus the universe is the temple of God, and the Spirit of God dwells in it.

(2) Yet the Apostle does not mean that the Corinthian Christians were only God's temple as being a part of His universe. For, first of all, man, as man, is differently related to the Divine Omnipresence from anything else in Nature. Man alone can feel it, can acknowledge it, can respond to it. God is just as present with a plant or an animal as with man; but neither animal nor plant is conscious of the Divine contact; both animal and plant offer only the homage of an unconscious obedience to God's law. Man, however, can know and adore his God, by the homage of his intelligence and of his moral freedom; and thus the human soul is a temple of God, in a distinct sense from any of the lower forms of life. It is a living temple, whereof each wall, each pillar, each cornice, nay the arches and the very floor, are instinct with the life whether of thought or feeling, so designed and proportioned as even by their silent symmetry to show forth their Maker's praise. To those among Adam's children who are alive in Jesus Christ, God manifests His presence by His Spirit; and this manifestation makes them His temples in an altogether intenser sense than is possible for unregenerate man.

(3) For the presence referred to by the Apostle is not only the presence of the Holy Ghost in the Church. Primarily, indeed, the words imply that truth, 'Ye are the temple of God,' 'the Spirit of God dwelleth in' or 'among you'. It is indeed in the Church as a whole, and not in the individual, that the full majesty of the Spirit's presence is to be witnessed. The 'whole body of the Church is governed and sanctified 'by the Spirit, in a deeper sense than any individual can be.

(4) The presence upon which he insists is ultimately a presence in the individual. It differs from the presence of the Spirit with saints and prophets under the Jewish Covenant, and still more from the occasional visits which He may have vouchsafed to heathens, in that, so far as the will of the Giver is concerned, it is normal and continuous. 'The Spirit of God dwelleth in you.' No passing visit is here, no sudden but transient illumination, no power, fitfully given and suddenly withdrawn. 'I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.' Such was to be the law of the Messianic kingdom: each of its subjects was to be gifted with an inward presence of the Holy One.

II. If we have difficulty in habitually realising such a truth, it is, I believe, because we fail to do justice in our ordinary thoughts to that higher side of our composite being, which is the seat of the Spirit's Presence within us. Man is not merely a perishing animal gifted with life, a ψυχή : he is an immortal spirit, a πνεῦμα .

III. Let us observe, in the substance of the Apostle's appeal, all the conditions of a really powerful religious motive.

(1) Of these the first is, that the truth or fact appealed to should not be an open question in the mind of the person to whom the appeal is made.

(2) A second condition of a strong religious motive is, that it shall rest upon a positive and not upon a merely negative conviction.

(3) A third condition of a strong working religious motive is, that it shall rest upon what is felt to be a present truth.

(4) A fourth condition of a strong religious motive is, that it shall appeal to the better side, to the more generous natural impulses of human nature.

IV. Lastly, be it observed that this conviction furnishes the true basis both for the moral training of children, and for real self-improvement in later life.

H. P. Liddon.

References. III. 16. C. Perren, Outline Sermons, p. 228. M. G. Glazebrook, Prospice, p. 182. Bishop Winning-ton-Ingram, A Mission of the Spirit, p. 123. A. Maclaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture Corinthians, p. 47. III. 17. Expositor (4th Series), vol. i. p. 202. III. 18. Phillips Brooks, The Mystery of Iniquity, p. 153. Expositor (6th Series), vol. i. p. 93; ibid. vol. xii. p. 30.

Two Estimates of Foolishness

1 Corinthians 3:18-19

St. Paul touched a sensitive place when he talked in this way. If there was one thing which a Corinthian could not bear to have pricked it was his conceit in the matter of wisdom. To call that in question was the unpardonable insult. He was not particularly vain of his personal appearance, of his clothes, or his property; but he was always more than a little puffed up with intellectual pride. Of the two he would have much preferred an empty purse to a thinly furnished head, and he would almost rather be known as a criminal than be regarded as a fool. These words of St. Paul must have been like needles to him, unless he laughed them away as sheer stupidity. 'If any man among you seemeth to be wise, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.' The first point on which the Apostle insists here is

I. That there are two estimates of folly God's estimate and the world's estimate; and these two are often as contrary as light and darkness. 'The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.' And if a man seems to be particularly wise in the eyes of the world, the best thing he can do is to become a fool in men's eyes in order to be called wise by God. That is St. Paul's extreme way of putting it, and it sounds extravagant. And yet it covers a profound and unquestionable truth.

'The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.' And, on the contrary, what seems to the world folly is often, in God's sight, the highest and divinest wisdom. An honest life will not be always called wise; a life of purity will occasionally win cheap sneers. If you pursue great ideals, if you kneel often in prayer, if you spend your energies in self-denying labours, if you give freely to help your fellowmen if you often lift your eyes from the dust toward the heavenly crown, if you seek God's 'Well done!' rather than the praises of men, you are sure to be called by the baser sort, as all good men have been called fools. Take it with a smile. Pin the name upon your breast, as a mark of honour. For it is an honour to have that name given by those who have no greatness of soul. You are in the way of God's wisdom, and it is of infinitely more consequence, both now and hereafter, that you should not be deemed a fool by Him, whatever you are in the eyes of men. For what He thinks folly now all lips will call folly some time, and the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. The second thought which St. Paul gives us here is

II. That a man is never wise until he feels himself a fool, and just trusts in that higher wisdom which is not his own. 'If any man seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.' Some of us have had this grace given, to know that the human will is weak and the heart often prejudiced and darkened, that the most cultured mind cannot?ee a step before it, and the wisest mind stumbles unless God illumine, direct, and show the way. And we feel that we dare not take any important step in life until we have laid it before God in prayer. It is then that we become wise then when we say

An infant crying in the night,

An infant crying for the light;

'Show me Thy way, O Lord'; 'Take Thou my hand and lead me'. Then do we understand what St. Paul meant when he said, 'If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise'.

J. G. Greenhough, The Mind of Christ in St. Paul, p. 139.

References. III. 19. E. A. Bray, Sermons, vol. i. p. 361, and vol. ii. p. 1. Expositor (4th Series), vol. xiii. p. 119; ibid. (5th Series), vol. viii. p. 308. III. 21. Brooke Herford, Courage and Cheer, p. 235. T. Phillips, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xlvi. p. 307. Expositor (6th Series), vol. i. p. 94. III. 21, 22. B. J. Snell, The All-Enfolding Love, p. 145. A. Maclaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture Corinthians, p. 56.

1 Corinthians 3:21 ; 1 Corinthians 3:23

'Who,' asks R. H. Hutton in his review of Renan's Paul, 'who that has studied St. Paul at all has not noticed that bold, soaring, and I might almost say by an audacious anachronism, if it did not give so false a conception of its intellectual motive Hegelian dialectic, with which he rises from the forms of our finite and earthly thought to the infinite and the spiritual life embodied in them?... "Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours, and ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's." What ease and swiftness, and power of wing in this indignant upward flight from the petty conflicts of the Corinthian Church; an upward flight which does not cease till the poor subjects of contention, though he himself was one of them, seem lost like grains of sand beneath the bending sky!'

References. III. 21-23. Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xliv. No. 2589. J. Caird, Sermons, p. 247. F. L. Goodspeed, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xlviii. p. 121. T. Arnold, Sermons, vol. iv. p. 47. W. L. Alexander, Sermons, p. 122. J. W. Boulding, Sermons, p. 21. A. Maclaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture Corinthians, p. 65. III. 22. C. Perren, Revival Sermons in Outline, p. 211. Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xv. Nos. 870 and 875. Expositor (6th Series), vol. vi. p. 309. III. 23. C. Perren, Revival Sermons in Outline, p. 335.

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Bibliographical Information
Nicoll, William Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3". Expositor's Dictionary of Text. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/edt/1-corinthians-3.html. 1910.