Seventh Sunday after the Epiphany (February 19, 2017)
- First reading
- Second reading
1 Corinthians 3:10-11; 16-23 | New Living Translation (NLT)
Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ.
Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you? God will destroy anyone who destroys this temple. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.
Stop deceiving yourselves. If you think you are wise by this world’s standards, you need to become a fool to be truly wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As the Scriptures say,
“He traps the wise
in the snare of their own cleverness.”
“The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise;
he knows they are worthless.”
So don’t boast about following a particular human leader. For everything belongs to you— whether Paul or Apollos or Peter, or the world, or life and death, or the present and the future. Everything belongs to you, and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.
This week’s reading picks up right where we left off last week. It is a reminder that Jesus Christ is the foundation for everything – including the church. As we build the Kingdom of God – the only foundation we should be building on is Jesus Christ. Last week, Paul wrote, “After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News.” The church is not build on people or personalities, but upon the sure foundation of Jesus Christ. Anything else as the hymn says, “is sinking sand.”
I think this is a great reminder that each one of us builds on the legacy of the other. Sometimes we as leaders forget that and sometimes we seek to do it our own way.
Paul writes, “Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?” As my good friend Mark Wilson likes to say, “You can’t go to church, cause the church is you.” Each one of us has a crucial role in building the Kingdom of God and we need always to remember that this is Christ’s Kingdom and not ours. We need to be building on his foundation, not ours.
I am so thankful that the Holy Spirit led me to start a weekly prayer meeting. God is working by working on our hearts. I’m not doing anything special and I know that I can’t do anything without the help of Christ. Our church is praying for a harvest of souls. Not so that I get the glory or our church gets the glory. Paul says don’t boast about following a particular leader. We are in this thing together. The church belongs to Christ and Christ belongs to God.