I Corinthians 3 The Function of the Christian Ministry An Immature View of the Ministry • Read Verses 1-4 • How do these verses enlarge on 1:11,12? • In what respect were the Corinthians “infants?” • When do Christians show that they are spiritually childish? • How does a Christian move forward from infancy to maturity? Ministers are Fellow Workers with God • Read I Corinthians 3:5-9 • What was the difference in the ministry of Paul • • • and Apollos? What made their ministry the same? “labor” = toil, hard work, nothing to do with results – What determines how you pay your called workers? What has nothing to do with it? Why should differences between ministers not cause factions or strife? True ministers are builders of God’s temple (part 1) • I Corinthians 3:10-20 • What is the serious responsibility of all ministers • • • • of Jesus Christ? What distinction between ministers may develop as they build on the foundation of Jesus Christ? How will the quality of their building be determined? What makes false teaching a serious sin? What’s the connection between false wisdom and unfaithfulness in temple-building? Ephesians 2:19-22 – why are we built on the foundation of the crucified Christ? • 19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. 1 Peter 2:5,6 – Why are we built on the foundation of the crucified Christ? • 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” True ministers are builders of God’s temple (part 2) • How does this section refute the notion of • • • universalism: that all people will be saved? Give examples of “shoddy” building materials (wood, hay, straw) What may prompt pastors to use shoddy building materials in their ministry? Why must congregations take action against pastors who destroy God’s temple? Ministers are not to be served, but to serve (part 1) • I Corinthians 3:21-23 • How does Paul correct the factions in the • • • congregation? What had the Corinthians failed to take into consideration as they attached themselves to selected spiritual leaders? In what respect are ministers of the gospel “yours?” How are “the world, life, death, the future” yours as a child of God? Ministers are not to be served, but to serve (part 2) • How will your belonging to Christ keep you from abusing your “ownership” of your minister? • What are the blessings of accepting all ministers of the gospel as your servants?