First Corinthians 3 is the next stop on our look at God’s New Testament building work. The building is first mentioned in verse 9, and verses 1 to 9 show that this is a building in life. The life elements are:
• infants (v. 1), with a need for growth
• milk and solid food (v. 2), the nourishment for growth
• planting and watering (v. 6-8), care for what is alive
• God giving growth (v. 6-7), the development of life
• God’s farm (v. 9), a commune of living things
First Corinthians 3:10-15 focus on the building, showing that:
• the foundation is Jesus Christ (v. 10-11)
• our building work must be upon this foundation (v. 12, 14)
• the materials we use will be tested and revealed by fire (v. 12-13)
• the proper work will remain and the improper work will be consumed (v. 14-15)
Verse 9 ties the life and growth to the building, saying that we are God’s farm/field/ husbandry and equally we are God’s building. Humanly, these are separate but God has a living building, an organism where growing is building.
(Although physical materials are listed in v. 12, these are symbols of the actual, spiritual building materials. This parallels milk and solid food as symbols of spiritual nourishment, and planting and watering as symbols of the gospel and care for new believers.)
Let us give ourselves to take both the milk of the word (1 Peter 2:2-3) and the solid food (Hebrews 5:13-14) so that we may grow with the growth given by God for His building. Eventually we will all be mature and we will all be in New Jerusalem.
The image is a scientific graphic by a NASA-U.S. Dept. of Energy-Fermi LAT collaboration.