As we continue through First Corinthians, Paul is teaching the church about human wisdom versus that which is from God. This is because they had developed factions based upon their favorite teachers. Paul lets them know that this is a result of worldly thinking.
So then, no more boasting about men! All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future — all are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.
1 Corinthians 3:21-23
Paul brings us to the bottom line of the discussion. If you’re truly operating in the wisdom of God, then you will not be boasting about which teacher you like the best.
That’s because we need a multitude of teachers in order to understand the full counsel of God. It takes a wide variety of personalities, styles, and ministries in order to bring the church to where it should be.
I’d like to think that my teaching has a lot to offer the body of Christ. However, if I’m the only one you’re listening to, then you have a very poor and imbalanced spiritual diet.
The apostle explains that everyone God places before you has a role to play in your life and development. They are yours. They’re a gift from God to help you grow.
It’s not up to us to decide who we want to sit under. To reject someone that God has sent is to reject the work of the Holy Spirit in you. I’ve received some great blessings from people who seemed, to me, to be the least qualified.
But Paul doesn’t stop there. He goes on to lay a foundation for some incredible spiritual truths. It’s not just teachers that are ours, but other things as well.
We are told in this passage that the present world system is ours. That’s an important concept to understand. We’re members of a kingdom that has greater authority than the kingdom of this world.
As believers, we need to walk in this knowledge. We shouldn’t be trying to live according to the world’s expectations. Our life is on a higher level. If we truly understood this, we wouldn’t spend our time trying to get society’s acceptance.
Another thing that’s ours is life and death. This truth should make us constantly sensitive to God’s plan in us.
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
The Holy Spirit wants us to produce fruit for the kingdom of God. That involves both the speaking of life and death. Yes, you heard me correctly; sometimes we need to speak death over things. It’s clear from reading the book of Acts that the apostles understood and walked in this.
As an example, we had a large New Age school that operated in our town. It was a hotbed of occultic activity. During our prayer meetings, we would curse it (not the people, but the organization).
After a few years of this, it was closed. I believe that this was a direct result of God’s people taking authority over the enemy’s kingdom.
We’re also told that the present and the future are ours. Where we find ourselves now as well as where we’re headed is in our control. It all has to do with our submission to the work of God’s Spirit within us.
I can’t complain about where I’m at. It’s my own choices that brought me here. It’s by my own choices that I can move on to new levels in Christ.
The most important point of this is that through us, it all belongs to God. If we lay hold of these things, even though the enemy rules this present world, God is free to move by His Spirit. As we allow the Lord to work through us, we can see changes in our sphere of influence.
We must be the catalyst of change that God’s called us to be.
Question: How is God calling you to affect your surroundings?
© 2019 Nick Zaccardi