They were not natural men; but they were carnal (not spiritual) men, so
that the apostle had to feed them with milk and not with meat which was
only fit for those that were of full age. That with which they nourished
their pride was a proof of this-their divisions into schools of doctrine.
Paul, no doubt, had planted; Apollos watered. It was well. But it was God
alone who gave the increase. Moreover the apostle had laid the foundation
of this building of God, the assembly at Corinth; others had built
since-had carried on the work of the edification of souls. Let every one
take heed. There was but one foundation; it was laid. But in connection
with it, they might teach things solid or worthless and form souls by one
or the other-perhaps even introduce souls won by such vain doctrines among
the saints. The work would be proved, sooner or later, by some day of
trial. If they had wrought in the work of God, with solid materials, the
work would stand; if not, it would come to nothing. The effect, the fruit
of labour, would be destroyed-the man who had wrought be saved, because he
had built on the foundation-had true faith in Christ. Yet the shaking,
caused by the failure of all that he had thought genuine, [see note #5]
would be apt, for himself, to shake the consciousness of his connection
with, and confidence in, the foundation. He should be saved as through the
fire. He who had wrought according to God should receive the fruit of his
labour. If any one corrupted the temple of God-introduced that which
destroyed fundamental truths, he should be destroyed himself.
The subject then is ministerial labour, carried on by means of certain
doctrines, either good, worthless, or subversive of the truth; and the
fruits which this labour would produce. And there are three cases; the work
good as well as the workman; the work vain, but the workman saved; the
corrupter of God's temple-here the workman would be destroyed.
Finally, if any one desired to be wise in this world, let him become
unintelligent in order to be wise. God counted the wisdom of the wise as
foolishness, and would take them in their own craftiness. But in this the
saints were below their privileges. All things were theirs, since they were
the children of God. "All things are yours"-Paul, Apollos, all things-you
are Christ's, and Christ is God's.