Paul speaks of the tendency of humans to raise people above GOD. This is not necessarily a conscious act, but it does have its consequences. On the surface of the epistle, Paul is speaking of how different ministers of the Gospel are being weighed one against another as if one has a more effective ministry than the other. The question is how do you weigh a ministry’s effectiveness? Is it in the masses or numbers of individuals touched by the LORD through His servants? Is it in the one-on-one opportunities that allow the deeper needs of the person to be addressed? Is it the size of the congregation, the teachings, or the number of missionaries sent out into the world?
To be honest, it is all of the above and more. Where the dilemma lies is in the way that we as humans perceive the individuals who minister. There are some who are more visible than others, namely, evangelists who are more visible through the media. These ministers of The Word receive more recognition because they are obviously doing the work. We should thank GOD for them. However, there are many who will never be visible to the masses on an international, national, or perhaps even regional level. These are the saints who labor each day in the local ministry; who perform the work without thought of reward or recognition. Yet, even among these ministers people tend to make comparisons, forgetting that the author and finisher of our faith is our LORD Jesus Christ.
Paul admonishes those who do not realize that the entire work of ministry is through The Spirit of The LORD, sent by Christ to labor with us here on earth as our guide, teacher, and comforter. No one performs a perfect work except through Him; the recognition should be in Him. Paul speaks of faith and hope that is realized through the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We must be careful to give GOD the praise, not we as His servants.
As born-again Christians, we should not be hampered by the veil which was split in two on the day of Christ’s death, thus the day of redemption. We have complete access to Heaven because this veil no longer exists. All of our needs are supplied directly by communication to the Spirit of GOD . Do not honor man but honor The LORD. You shall receive your full reward through Him.
GOD Bless You, Charlene
1 Corinthians 3 NIV
3 Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? 4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings?
5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.
10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.
16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.
18 Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”[a]; 20 and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.”[b] 21 So then, no more boasting about human leaders! All things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas[c] or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, 23 and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.
2 Corinthians 3 NIV
3 Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? 2 You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. 3 You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
4 Such confidence we have through Christ before God. 5 Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. 6 He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
The Greater Glory of the New Covenant
7 Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, transitory though it was, 8 will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? 9 If the ministry that brought condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! 10 For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. 11 And if what was transitory came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!
12 Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. 13 We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to prevent the Israelites from seeing the end of what was passing away. 14 But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate[a] the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
a. 2 Corinthians 3:18 Or reflect