1 Corinthians 3:18-23

18 Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise.

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

20 and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.”

21 Therefore let no one boast in men. For all things are yours:

22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or things present or things to come — all are yours.

23 And you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.

no one (v.18) — the “any man” of v.17 — more evidence that the temple is the individual and not the church

seems to be wise (v.18) — should be “thinks he is wise”

Quote in v.19 is from Job 5:13 (in the Septuagint)

Quote in v.20 is from Psalm 94:11 (substituting “wise” for “men”)

catches (v.19) = grasps, grips — as a firm hold on something slippery

craftiness (v.19) = unscrupulous conduct — using the world’s wisdom to bring about one’s own benefit

futile (v.20) = vain, void of effect

That all things [v.21] belong to believers does not mean that they can make what use they like of anything. The whole statement (presenting the possessions first comprehensively and then in detail) is to be viewed in the light of the relationship between the possessors and Christ. Only as we belong to Him do things belong to us. Since we are members of Christ, and all things are under His authority and control, they are ipso facto subservient to our real welfare (Romans 8:28). Every adverse circumstance caused by the world operates for our present and eventual benefit. Life with its vicissitudes and experiences, that to which we naturally cling, and death, from which we naturally shrink, but which is far less serious than life, are ours to be viewed as the apostle does in Philippians 1:21. “Things present” comprehend all the contingencies and possibilities of this life; “things to come” extend to the eternity beyond. — Vine, pages 27-28.

Paul/Apollos/Cephas (v.22) — they were servants of God and their message was for all, not just for a select few. To presume to elevate one messenger of God over another is to put your wisdom above that of the messengers themselves.

Christ is God’s (v.23) — not inferiority, but submission — Christ came to do God’s will

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