1 Corinthians 3 (NIV) (2024)

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The Church and Its Leaders

3Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit(A) but as people who are still worldly(B)—mere infants(C) in Christ. 2I gave you milk, not solid food,(D) for you were not yet ready for it.(E) Indeed, you are still not ready. 3You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling(F) among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? 4For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,”(G) are you not mere human beings?

5What, after all, is Apollos?(H) And what is Paul? Only servants,(I) through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6I planted the seed,(J) Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor.(K) 9For we are co-workers in God’s service;(L) you are God’s field,(M) God’s building.(N)

10By the grace God has given me,(O) I laid a foundation(P) as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. 11For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.(Q) 12If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13their work will be shown for what it is,(R) because the Day(S) will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work.(T) 14If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward.(U) 15If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.(V)

16Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple(W) and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?(X) 17If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.

18Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise(Y) by the standards of this age,(Z) you should become “fools” so that you may become wise. 19For the wisdom of this world is foolishness(AA) in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”[a];(AB) 20and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.”[b](AC) 21So then, no more boasting about human leaders!(AD) All things are yours,(AE) 22whether Paul or Apollos(AF) or Cephas[c](AG) or the world or life or death or the present or the future(AH)—all are yours, 23and you are of Christ,(AI) and Christ is of God.


  1. 1 Corinthians 3:19 Job 5:13
  2. 1 Corinthians 3:20 Psalm 94:11
  3. 1 Corinthians 3:22 That is, Peter

Cross references

  1. 1 Corinthians 3:1 : 1Co 2:15
  2. 1 Corinthians 3:1 : Ro 7:14; 1Co 2:14
  3. 1 Corinthians 3:1 : 1Co 14:20
  4. 1 Corinthians 3:2 : Heb 5:12-14; 1Pe 2:2
  5. 1 Corinthians 3:2 : Jn 16:12
  6. 1 Corinthians 3:3 : Ro 13:13; 1Co 1:11; Gal 5:20
  7. 1 Corinthians 3:4 : 1Co 1:12
  8. 1 Corinthians 3:5 : S Ac 18:24
  9. 1 Corinthians 3:5 : 1Co 4:1; 2Co 6:4; Eph 3:7; Col 1:23, 25
  10. 1 Corinthians 3:6 : Ac 18:4-11; 1Co 4:15; 9:1; 15:1
  11. 1 Corinthians 3:8 : ver 14; Ps 18:20; 62:12; Mt 25:21; 1Co 9:17
  12. 1 Corinthians 3:9 : Mk 16:20; 2Co 6:1; 1Th 3:2
  13. 1 Corinthians 3:9 : Isa 61:3
  14. 1 Corinthians 3:9 : Eph 2:20-22; 1Pe 2:5
  15. 1 Corinthians 3:10 : S Ro 12:3
  16. 1 Corinthians 3:10 : Ro 15:20; S Eph 2:20
  17. 1 Corinthians 3:11 : Isa 28:16; Eph 2:20
  18. 1 Corinthians 3:13 : 1Co 4:5
  19. 1 Corinthians 3:13 : S 1Co 1:8; 2Th 1:7-10; 2Ti 1:12, 18; 4:8
  20. 1 Corinthians 3:13 : Nu 31:22, 23; Jer 23:28, 29; Mal 3:3; S 2Th 1:7
  21. 1 Corinthians 3:14 : S ver 8
  22. 1 Corinthians 3:15 : Jude 23
  23. 1 Corinthians 3:16 : 1Co 6:19; 2Co 6:16; Eph 2:21, 22; Heb 3:6
  24. 1 Corinthians 3:16 : S Ro 8:9
  25. 1 Corinthians 3:18 : Isa 5:21; 1Co 8:2; Gal 6:3
  26. 1 Corinthians 3:18 : S 1Co 1:20
  27. 1 Corinthians 3:19 : ver 18; Ro 1:22; 1Co 1:20, 27
  28. 1 Corinthians 3:19 : Job 5:13
  29. 1 Corinthians 3:20 : Ps 94:11
  30. 1 Corinthians 3:21 : 1Co 4:6
  31. 1 Corinthians 3:21 : Ro 8:32
  32. 1 Corinthians 3:22 : ver 5, 6
  33. 1 Corinthians 3:22 : S 1Co 1:12
  34. 1 Corinthians 3:22 : Ro 8:38
  35. 1 Corinthians 3:23 : 1Co 15:23; 2Co 10:7; Gal 3:29
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3And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.

2I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

3For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

4For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

5Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?

6I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.

7So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

8Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.

9For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.

10According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.

11For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

12Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;

13Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.

14If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

15If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

16Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

17If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

18Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.

19For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.

20And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.

21Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are your's;

22Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are your's;

23And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's.

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