And when I preached to you, I had to approach you as men with natural, not with spiritual thoughts. You were little children in Christ's nursery, and I gave you milk, not meat; you were not strong enough for it. You are not strong enough for it even now; nature still lives in you. Do not these rivalries, these dissensions among you show that nature is still alive, that you are guided by human standards? When one of you says, I am for Paul, and another, I am for Apollo, are not these human thoughts? Why, what is Apollo, what is Paul? Only the ministers of the God in whom your faith rests, who have brought that faith to each of you in the measure God granted. It was for me to plant the seed, for Apollo to water it, but it was God who gave the increase. And if so, the man who plants, the man who waters, count for nothing; God is everything, since it is he who gives the increase. This man plants, that man waters; it is all one. And yet either will receive his own wages, in proportion to his own work. You are a field of God's tilling, a structure of God's design; and we are only his assistants.
With what grace God has bestowed on me, I have laid a foundation as a careful architect should; it is left for someone else to build upon it. Only, whoever builds on it must be careful how he builds. The foundation which has been laid is the only one which anybody can lay; I mean Jesus Christ. But on this foundation different men will build in gold, silver, precious stones, wood, grass, or straw, and each man's workmanship will be plainly seen. It is the day of the Lord that will disclose it, since that day is to reveal itself in fire, and fire will test the quality of each man's workmanship. He will receive a reward, if the building he has added on stands firm; if it is burnt up, he will be the loser; and yet he himself will be saved, though only as men are saved by passing through fire.
Do you not understand that you are God's temple, and that God's Spirit has his dwelling in you? If anybody desecrates the temple of God, God will bring him to ruin. It is a holy thing, this temple of God which is nothing other than yourselves. You must not deceive yourselves, any of you, about this. If any of you thinks he is wise, after the fashion of his fellow-men, he must turn himself into a fool, so as to be truly wise. This world's wisdom, with God, is but folly. So we read in scripture, I will entrap the wise with their own cunning. And again, The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, and how empty they are. Nobody, therefore, should repose his confidence in men. Everything is for you, whether it be Paul, or Apollo, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or the present, or the future; it is all for you, and you for Christ, and Christ for God.