[Note: In the Greek, "nepios" is the word to describe a young adult who knows nothing - he is ignorant. This is a VERY insulting word that Paul is using here. If you go back to the previous chapters and also review the epistle to the Galatians, you will see that Paul is dealing with believers who are choosing to operate on their own thinking/righteousness instead of learning doctrine and then applying Jesus' thinking/"Divine Righteousness" in the Way they live their life. Spiritually speaking, they are "born again" but have not developed into mature adults.]
I have fed you
in contrast not"
[Note: In the previous chapter, Paul talked about two alternatives: operating under the power of the Spirit or operating using the person's own creature power (sarx/ flesh). Paul is talking to believers in Corinth (like Las Vegas today) who have not grown in spiritual maturity primarily because of their sins - there are just so many temptations around them they never even tried to resist before salvation.
They sin (remember to just THINK it, is to do it in the eyes of God) and do not use I John 1:9 to recover fellowship. They remained indwelled by God the Holy Spirit, but they "grieve" or "quench" the Spirit and operate on the lusts of their flesh (borrowing how Paul phrased it to the Galatians).]
For while [gar hotan]
is Paul?"/"Of what quality is Paul?"
is Apollos?"/"Of what quality is Apollos?"
[Note: The background is "divisions" within the Body of Christ. Some are saying they are BETTER because they are "of Paul". Others say they are better because they are the faction of Apollos and HE is a better orator! That is what the contrast appears to be in this section - their "quality of oral communication of the Word".]
the instrumentality of whom" [dia hos]
[Note: Paul will get into each "builder" on the foundation work that Jesus laid, "builds up" the Church (body of Christ). Both Paul and Apollos were teaching the doctrines of Jesus. That they had different styles and skills made no difference - the "content of speech" was the same. That is what is important!]
[Note: Jesus taught us by example and Word the method/doctrines of how to Walk in a more excellent righteous Way of God. He (and God the Holy Spirit) assign at least one spiritual gift to each believer at the point of salvation. Paul and Apollos each were given communicative spiritual gifts. Paul was an apostle and a pastor-teacher. Apollos was known to be a pastor-teacher at the church in Corinth (after Paul and before Timothy). Paul's method of evangelizing a foreign area was to find local believers who personally accepted Christ and, thereafter, proved to have the gift of pastor-teacher. He then taught them so they could teach local congregations (where others with the gift of pastor-teacher would become known and trained). This is the example that all missionaries should follow for maximum results.]
I have planted.
[Note: Paul was the missionary who came to the Corinth area and "planted" (founded) the church.]
watered/"irrigated with the water of the Word".
[Note: Paul's job was to make sure Apollos was straight on Jesus' teachings. Then he moved on to the next town. Apollos was then left to "water" the crops (baby believers are the seeds).]
in contrast [alla]
[Note: We need to remember that all believers in Christ are indwelled by God the Holy Spirit. He makes "what is taught" REAL to us. We need to study with an accepting attitude. He will take what is correctly taught and metabolize that Truth into the norms and standards of our soul. That way the "human" who teaches can make mistakes, yet not harm the congregation if they are following the proper protocol of the "line upon line, percept upon precept . . ." method of teaching outlined in Isaiah 28:10.]
So then neither is he that plants anything,
[Note: Again followers of the Way of Jesus Christ are to remember that "we" are little. What "we" do has no righteousness in the eyes of God. It is only when we allow HIM to produce Divine Good through us, that there is Divine Righteousness and the credit is His. Here both Paul and Apollos were correctly exercising their spiritual gifts. And, God took their teaching of the Word and "caused" the congregation to "grow in grace (they did not earn it or deserve it) the KNOWLEDGE (Divine Viewpoint Thinking/wisdom) as demonstrated by Jesus Christ. And Jesus is the only manifest member of the Godhead. They all think alike, but Jesus' thinking is our example.]
[Note: This has a dual meaning here. The first meaning - as we will see in the rest of the verse - is that each person is "one" (separate) in the sense of being separate people and rewarded by God for allowing Him to produce Divine Good through them. But, this also has the second meaning that both Paul and Apollos actually are part of the same Body of Christ (Paul will cover this later). We are in union with Christ and are on the same team - parts of the same body. Can an eye see without a brain? A stomach digest without a mouth?]
[Note: All unbelievers and most immature believers are operating on the lusts of the flesh (operate on human viewpoint thinking). They put many obstacles in the path of the person trying to Walk in the Righteous Ways of God. Whether God has decided to "test" the mature believer with vast riches or poverty, both paths will be blocked with much trouble and toil. That is how the doctrine in your soul can be tested and proved to be REAL in time. The one man in the Church Age who was almost on the level of maturity with Paul in understanding the Grace of God was Barnabas. He was tremendously wealthy. Barnabas gave all he owned to the Church (Acts 4:37). He later joined Paul in his missionary work . Barnabas may have decided the "poverty testing" was an easier test for him. And, people abuse the Word all the time. This does NOT mean you have to give up all your money to be "spiritual"! Paul and Barnabas sacrificed for us! It was under what Paul called the "law of supreme sacrifice". It was his free will choice to do so. It is NOT a commandment of God. Paul will describe this principal (even mentioning Barnabas) in chapter 9 of this book.]
we are co-workers belonging to God.
9b~~You are God's "cultivated field"/farm. [eimi Theos georgion]
are God's building/edification. [Theos oikodome]
Proverbs 23:6c says, "For as he
thinks in his 'right lobe'/
John 1:1 goes on, "In the beginning was the Word (the Thinking of God) and the Word WAS God (the Thinking/Viewpoint of the bible is so close to being "God" that we could say "as God thinks, so He is".
And further in John 1:14, "and the Word became flesh". This refers to the humanity of Jesus. His Thinking was pure Divine Viewpoint.
Now then, as a privileged believer in Christ in the Church Age, you have the opportunity to study God's thinking and replace your own standards with His Divine standards. You can build an "edification complex" in your soul - the bricks being individual precepts - one doctrine upon another. Your body is a "tabernacle" - it holds God's Thinking. That is part of the tabernacle joke God is playing on Satan. Jesus "tabernacled" with us a short time. He said he could tear down the "tabernacle"/temple and rebuld it in 3 days (His body 3 days in the grave) (see the prophecy in Amos 9:11 and Jesus' reported comment in Matthew 26:61). Now "The Tabernacle" (Jesus in Resurrected Body) tabernacles with God in heaven awaiting the 2nd Advent! (Revelation 21:3).]
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