First Corinthians 3:10


Paul switches from the farming illustration to that of construction of a building.

Paul switches from comparing Apollos and himself (Paul plants, Apollos waters) to comparing himself (the expert builder who laid the foundation) to those who are currently building in the Corinthian church.


Romans 15:20

These are called (indefinite pronouns):

1)     “someone else”

2)     “no one”

3)     “each one”

4)     “anyone”

These others are currently building in the Corinthian church with inferior building materials.


In this analogy:

1)     The building is the local Corinthian church

2)     God is the owner of the building (local church)

3)     Paul is the on who laid the foundation and is the founder of the Corinthian church




Kata  thn   carin tou            qeou thn doqeisan     moi

“By   the    grace (charis) God      has given    me, 

The “grace” (charis) is Paul’s apostolic ministry. 

As an apostle Paul was responsible for revealing divine revelation and

establishing the church universal and establishing local churches.

Romans 12:3 – “by the grace given me”

Paul continually returns to tell the Corinthians he is their apostle:

1)     4:15-17

2)     9:1-2

3)     2 Cor. 3:1-3

4)     2 Cor. 10:12-16




wV   sofoV      arcitektwn         qemelion      eqjka

“as   a wise    master builder     a foundation   I laid”


I laid a foundation as an expert builder,


sofos” is from sophia and means “wise”


arcitektwn” /archetekton/ -

1)     This word is more than the word simply for “carpenter” which is tektwn.

2)     This is not the word for “workman” which is “”

3)     arcitektwn” or “expert builder” refers to a person who is both the architect and the chief engineer.

4)     arcitektwn” means “architect, master worker, skilled craftsman”

5)     A workman (ergastikos) provides the labor for the project but the arcitektwn  the knowledge (This is how Plato differentiates the two.)


Someone else is building on it.”

“Someone else” is not Apollos or Peter because:

1)     In verse 3:5-8 Paul is working together with them.

2)     Paul is addressing those who are currently working and building in Corinthian church.  Apollos and Peter are not there.


epoikodomei “epoikodomei” is “builds on” and is in the present tense giving it the                  meaning of continual action.  This is contrast to Paul’s “laid” a foundation      which is aorist.


“Each one should be careful how he builds.”

“Each one” is “hekastos” (‘ekastoV

1)     It speaks of individual responsibility

2)     “Each one” refers to:

a.      the Corinthian teachers

b.      the church leaders

c.      the individual church members


The only true foundation of the Christian faith, the Christian church, the Christian             believer is Jesus Christ.


The Corinthians (teachers, leaders, members) are replacing Jesus Christ with the             foundation of worldly wisdom.


1:23 – “Christ crucified”

2:2 – “I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”


Acts 4:12, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under      heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”



If any man builds on this foundation”



“using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw”

“costly stone” is “liqous timiouV” (“stones precious”) means:

1)     here valuable stones for building structures such as granite and marble

2)     It can also refer to stones used for ornamentation


“Wood, hay or straw” were all building materials also.

 - cortoV is “grass or hay”

“Straw” - kalamH is “stalk, straw” which was used as a roofing material for

thatching roofs.



His work will be shown for what it is


The Day will bring it to light.”

“The Day” is ‘h gar hmera is “the for day” and refers to a specific well-known


1 Thessalonians 5:4;  Hebrews 10:25 – refer to “the Day”


This “Day” is the day of judgment

Malachi 3:1-4 – “who can endure the day of his coming?”

Malachi 4:1 – “the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace.”

Romans 4:10 – “bema seat”

Romans 14:12 – “each of us will give an account (“logos” a word or saying which            one gives by word of mouth)

2 Cor. 5:10 – komisotai – to receive back. It is rewarding or punishing by giving               back the deeds (Col. 3:23-25)

Rev. 22:12 – reward is


It will be revealed with fire



The fire will test the quality of ach man’s work.”




If what he has built survives

“If” is in the first-class condition and the statement is assumed to be true.


He will receive his reward.”

“reward” is misqov and refers to the wages if the building worker whose work has        been approved.

This word is also used in Rev. 22:12



If it is burned up

“burned up” means it is burned up completely


He will suffer loss



He himself will be saved



But only as one escaping through the flames.”




Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple

This is a rebuke.

This negative questioning and expecting a postive answer “yes, we do know” is             used by Paul 10 times in this letter. (only one other time outside of 1 Cor.)


Two words for Temple in Greek:

1)     hieron – the temple shrine including all the buildings, etc. in the complex.

2)     Naos – the sanctuary or the shrine were the deity was present.  Used in 1 Cor. 3:16.

God’s Spirit lives in you

Temple” is singular and refers to the church.

“you” is plural and refers to the individual as the temple as also in 1 Cor. 6:19



If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him

“destroy” means “to corrupt, to ruin, to spoil”


God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.”