God Gives the Increase
1 Corinthians 3
I. It is always exciting to grow.
II. It is always important to remember who gives the increase.
I. GOD IS THE FOCUS OF MATURE CHRISTIANS (1-4).
A. It is carnal to follow men.
1. They were spiritually immature (Col 3:1-2).
2. They were carnal.
a. "My friends, you are acting like the people of this world" (CEV).
3. They were babes in Christ (Heb 5:12-14).
a. Result: (vs. 4, cf. 1:10-13).
II. GOD GIVES THE INCREASE (5-9).
A. Preachers/teachers are:
1. Ministers (servants) (Col 1:25).
2. Assigned men.
a. "As the Lord has assigned to each his task" (NIV).
(1) Paul planted (Ax 18:7-8).
(2) Apollos watered (Ax 18:27-19:1).
3. Nothing apart from Christ (2 Cor 12:11; John 15:5; Luke 17:10).
a. One thing - servants.
b. Equal - one in Christ.
c. United - working together for the same cause.
5. God's fellow workers (2 Cor 6:1).
a. "For we are labourers...together...with God!"
B. God is:
1. The one who gives the increase (2 Cor 3:5-6).
2. The one who owns the church (vs. 9).
III. GOD HAS A PLAN (10-15).
A. A wise master builder.
1. Faithfully preach the gospel.
2. He works by grace.
B. A foundation is laid (vs. 11, cf. Isa 28:16).
C. Good building supplies (vs. 12).
1. Chirst-centered Xians.
2. Preacher-centered Xians.
IV. GOD HAS A TEMPLE (16-17).
A. The temple of God is where the Spirit of God dwells.
B. The temple of God is holy.
C. The temple of God is the church of Christ (1 Pet 2:5-9).
D. The temple of God is not to be defiled (destroyed).
1. What would defile or destroy the church?
a. Worldly wisdom.
b. Self-exalted preachers.
c. Preacher-centered members.
V. GOD IS TO RECEIVE ALL THE GLORY (18-23).
A. To glory in men is:
1. To be deceived.
2. To be foolish.
3. To be deprived.
a. All things are ours (vss. 21-22, cf. 1 Tim 6:17; Rom 8:28; Rom 13:7).
B. To glory in God is:
1. To be wise.
2. To be Christ's (vs. 23)
3. To be mature.
I. We can thank God we are growing.
II. We can thank God for allowing us to be His fellow laborers.
III. We can thank God by giving Him the glory.
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