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If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17

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Investing in God’s people from life to life

These pages are designed to aid study or investigation for Christian discipleship through individual Bible study, Cell groups, Home groups, or meeting one to one.  The questions could be used alone allowing each person to use their own Bible.

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Introduction

We are God’s partners in ministry, His fellow workers!  Wow!  What a privilege!  


In partnership we work with Him to make disciples of those He brings us.  This partnership is not equal; God could do the whole thing Himself, but He delights to work with us and include us in His work.


Bible Zone

As junior partners with God we aim to live up to His opinions and values.  However, we live among people and there is the constant temptation to be focused on their opinions and values. Paul addresses this issue in 1 Corinthians 3.


Partners in the gospel

  1. How is God’s partnership in mission described?
  2. How does each person figure with regards to the Lord? Notice words in bold.
  3. What purpose do Paul and Apollos have?
  4. How does this purpose influence your ministry?


1 Corinthians 3:  5What, 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. 6I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. 7So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. 9For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.


Building Materials

We build by faith with the people and materials God gives.  Anything less than this is merely loading up fuel for the fire!

  1. What is the foundation on which Paul built?
  2. What would be involved in building on another foundation?
  3. With what does Paul build?  
  4. What do wood and precious stones symbolise?
  5. What is the fire that reveals our work?


1 Corinthians 3:  10By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. 11For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13his 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 man's work. 14If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.


The manner of working

Note that in this passage the word you is plural.

  1. What makes a people God’s temple?
  2. How does God value His temple?
  3. What are wisdom and foolishness from God’s perspective?
  4. Where there is boasting what is the focus of the ministry?
  5. Maybe in your ministry the focus has shifted from Jesus.  How could you return the focus to Jesus?


 1 Corinthians 3:  16Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? 17If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple.  18Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a "fool" so that he may become wise. 19For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight. As it is written: "He catches the wise in their craftiness"; 20and again, "The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile." 21So then, no more boasting about men! All things are yours, 22whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, 23and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.


Background of trouble

Now we go back to the beginning of the passage to pick up on the context.

  1. What evidence of worldliness as against spirituality is given?
  2. One of the most common failings of those who work with God is exactly jealousy and quarrelling.  How are these conflicts observed?
  3. How does true spirituality overcome factions?
  4. How could you overcome factional tendencies?


1 Corinthians 3:   1Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly—mere infants in Christ. 2I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men? 4For when one says, "I follow Paul," and another, "I follow Apollos," are you not mere men?

LEADING WITH GOD