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  • Writer's pictureMatt Beaney

#490 (26/11/21) NO MORE BOASTING ABOUT HUMANS (1 COR. 3:21-23)

This week’s devotionals are based on 1 Corinthians 3:10-23.

‘So then, no more boasting about human leaders! 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 back to the theme of dividing over leaders which is the backdrop to this section. They are boasting in certain leaders, which is bringing division into the church.

I would suggest that some of the leaders and teachers in Corinth were treating the members of their group as their own disciples. In other cases, such as that of Paul, Apollos and Cephas, church members were treating themselves as disciples of these leaders even if it was not the leader’s intention. Members of these cliques, it seems, were boasting in their leaders and dividing from other leaders and groups.

Paul had told them earlier, “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” (1:31). They are not to boast in any human. They are not to put their faith in human leaders! This does not preclude respect or praise of human leaders; but we must not boast - put our faith in them. They are not our Lord and Saviour!


Paul tells them an astounding thing:

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.

As God’s people, as God’s children, they own everything! All of creation is their possession! Every leader is God’s gift to serve the church. This is the amazing dignity of God’s people.


However, in saying that Christians are gifted with all leaders and all of creation, he now reminds them that they are ‘Christ’s as Christ is God’s’. Their relationship to leaders and creation is to be submitted under Jesus as Jesus submitted to the Father. Jesus is to be the model.

Are we seeking to submit to the Father as Jesus submitted to the Father?


I’ve made a few comments. However, it’s more important that you engage with the text yourself. Take a moment to pray and listen to God’s voice out of today’s text.

‘So then, no more boasting about human leaders! 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)

I find it helpful to use the following questions which are based upon The Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6:9-13).

1. Praise - What does this text teach me about God? What can I praise Him for?

2. Petitions - What does this teach me about His will for me and others? What could I pray for from this text? This is a good time to pray for our non-believing. friends. It’s good to ask, Is the Holy Spirit leading me in any specific response?

3. Peace-making - Is the Holy Spirit convicting me of sin for which I need forgiveness? Do I need to forgive others?

4. Protection - Ask for God’s protection generally and for any specific areas of vulnerability. Am I believing lies regarding the truths in this text?



1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

Let's be talking, planning and praying about who we could invite to our carol service.

Please feel free to use these as a digital invite for your friends.


2. Icebreaker

How has God spoken to you from the Bible this week?


2. Focus on the carol service

If you didn't watch this video last week, please do so now. (The image below is the link)

Here is the link for you to book ticket for yourself and your friends:

3. Recap of Sunday's message - please share in your group

On Sunday, we looked at 1 Corinthians 3:10-17

'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.' (1 Corinthians 3:10-17)

We are to do two things;


When we first become a Christian, when we put our faith in Jesus, we are unshakably saved. We are justified, adopted and have the hope of glory by grace alone! However, having become a Christian, we must be careful to keep our lives built on the only true foundation.


We are urged to build our lives and that of others with precious materials rather than rubbish. These precious materials are love and truth. We see in 1 Corinthians 13, that all of our works are worthless unless they are motivated by love - for the good of the other.

We are told that those who build themselves and help to build others on the love and truth of Jesus will be rewarded.

Discussion questions

1. What is the only true foundation? (2:1-2; 3:10-11)

2. What is the 'gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw' that we are to build ourselves and others upon? (2:13; 13:2; 2 Tim. 3:16; Jude 1:20)

3. How will our identity as 'God's sacred temple' affect how we build our lives and the church?

4. SIV - Let's share, plan and pray about those that we are inviting to the carol service on 5th December.

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