3. Building a Healthy Church on Christ's Foundation (1 Corinthians 3)


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The church is the sacred temple of God, Paul tells the Corinthians. Pictured here are the ruins of the Temple of Apollo in Corinth with the Acroacropolis in the background. Photo by Alun Salt, used by permission under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License.
The church is the sacred temple of God, Paul tells the Corinthians. Pictured here are the ruins of the Temple of Apollo in Corinth with the Acroacropolis in the background. Photo by Alun Salt, used by permission under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License.

1 Corinthians is a rich book because we learn so much from Paul's corrections of this troubled church. Chapter 3 is especially useful in that we learn some valuable truths about the nature of the local church, the role of Christian leaders, and how we should behave within the Christian community. And as we'll see, these lessons are as important to the twenty-first century Church as they were to the Church in the first century.

Worldly vs. Spiritual Believers (3:1-3)

"1 Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly -- mere infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?" (3:1-3)

Fee contends that one of the main themes of 1 Corinthians is a misunderstanding of what is "spiritual." In chapter 2, Paul describes the spiritual person as one who communicates through the Holy Spirit with "the mind of Christ." In chapter 3, Paul addresses the question again. Behavior -- in this case, jealousy and quarreling -- are diagnostic indicators of a Christian's level of spirituality. Jealousy and quarreling indicate that the Corinthians as a whole fail the test.

"Spiritual" is pneumatikos. In classical Greek the word refers to spirit as the inner life of a human being. But in the New Testament, the word means "having to do with the Divine Spirit, caused by or filled with the Divine Spirit, pertaining to or corresponding to the Divine Spirit." Here it means something like "possessing the Spirit, the one who possesses the Spirit."60

"Worldly" (NIV), "people of the flesh" (NRSV), "carnal" (KJV) is sarkinos61, found in 3:1, 3, and 4, literally, "consisting/composed of flesh, fleshy." In the New Testament the word can mean (1) "human, physical, made of flesh," as well as, (2) pertaining to being human at a disappointing level of behavior or characteristics, "(merely) human," as in our text, with focus on the physical as being quite mediocre, transitory, or sinful -- "earthly, mediocre, merely human, worldly."62 A similar word, sarkikos occurs in 1 Corinthians at 3:3-4 and 9:11.

Rather than people walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16), with their minds set on things of the Spirit (Romans 8:5-9), the Corinthians are controlled by their merely human nature and impulses. This doesn't mean that they aren't Christians, only that they haven't grown much. They are mere "infants"63 in Christ. We think of babies as cute. But five-year-olds like the Corinthians who still act like babies aren't cute, they're pathetic. Grow up! says Paul.

When I was with you, says Paul in verse 2, I fed you on milk -- a baby's diet. You weren't ready for solid food -- and you still aren't! Paul is trying to shame the Corinthians into changing their behavior.

Their present behavior is typically human, with "jealousy and quarreling among you" (3:3). "Jealousy" (NIV, NRSV), "envying" (KJV) is zēlos, "intense negative feelings over another's achievements or success, jealousy, envy."64 "Quarreling" (NIV, NRSV), "strife" (KJV) is eris, "engagement in rivalry, especially with reference to positions taken in a matter, strife, discord, contention."65

How often we see jealousy and rivalry among church members and between Christian workers. Dear friends, we're just showing our gross immaturity in the faith!

Q1. (1 Corinthians 3:1-3) In behavioral terms according to these verses, how would you classify yourself in terms of hunger for the Word? In terms of jealousy and quarreling? -- infant, child, teenager, adult? What will it take for you to grow to the next stage?
http://www.joyfulheart.com/forums/topic/1329-q1-carnal-vs-spiritual/

The Essential Unity of God's Fellow Workers (3:4-9)

"4 For when one says, 'I follow Paul,' and another, 'I follow Apollos,' are you not mere men66? 5What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe -- as the Lord has assigned to each his task." (3:4-5)

Apollos was an eloquent preacher from Alexandria (Acts 18:24-28; 19:1) who ministered in Corinth for a while and led many to Christ. But he and Paul are both merely servants (diakonos67) of the Lord, each doing the job to which their master assigned him. They aren't called to become leaders of a sect in their own name. Rather, their job is to point people to Christ.

Paul uses an agricultural analogy to illustrate his point.

"6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. 7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. 9 For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building." (3:4-9)

The Corinthians have been exalting the intermediary, the diligent farmer, rather than God himself "who makes things grow" (3:7). Apollos and Paul have been assigned by God to be fellow workers.68 But at the end of the day Paul and Apollos are mere farm hands, God owns the farm, the "field."69 The Corinthians have become divided over the farm hands. How silly!

Q2. (1 Corinthians 3:4-9) In what ways do denominations encourage Christian unity? In what ways do they foster disunity? Does belonging a "non-denominational" church make any difference regarding unity throughout the body? How can we tear down the barriers that divide us?
http://www.joyfulheart.com/forums/topic/1330-q2-denominations-and-unity/

Building God's Temple, the Church (3:9b-15)

With the words, "you are God's field, God's building.70" Paul shifts from an agricultural analogy to a construction analogy. The building Paul is referring to is actually God's temple as we see in 3:16.

Paul attributes his effectiveness to God's grace.

"10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds.
11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ." (3:10-11)

Paul reminds the Corinthians that he planted their church as "an expert builder." The phrase is made up of sophos, "wise" and architektōn (from which we get our English word "architect"), "master builder."71 Plato noted that you might be able to buy a carpenter for 6 minas, but you'd need more than 10,000 drachmas for a master builder.72 Paul is seeking to regain some credibility with the Corinthians by saying that he wasn't just any worker in wood or stone -- a carpenter or mason -- but the highly skilled contractor who directed such laborers.

Paul laid the foundation73 of faith in Jesus Christ himself. The cross and resurrection were his basic message (15:3-4; 2:2). Yet the Corinthians were glorifying later construction workers over the founder, the highly skilled master builder.

Christian Workers Are Responsible for their Work (3:12-15)

Paul admonishes each Christian leader at Corinth to "be careful74 how he builds75" (3:10b). Every person is held personally responsible for the quality of workmanship he or she provides to build the congregation. Now Paul explains how their work will be evaluated.

"12 If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 his 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 man's work." (3:10-13)

The temples built by Solomon, and later by Herod, were made of fine materials -- "gold, silver, costly stones." In the temple, gold and silver plated many surfaces. The "costly stones" (lithos) aren't jewelry here, but quarry-cut stones such as limestone and marble that were reserved for the finest buildings -- such as the temple (Mark 3:1).76 Wood was expensive, since it was rare in many places. It was used for lintels or rafters. However, wood would burn, while metals and stones would not.

I always thought "hay or straw77" were rather foolish building materials. Yes, they were inferior, but they were legitimate components to strengthen the mud bricks that constituted most of the buildings in the Mediterranean region. Straw provided a binding substance to keep bricks and large pieces of pottery from cracking when they dried (Exodus 5:10-18).

The test will be the fire of the Day of the Lord, the Day of Judgment. Peter says that on the Day

"The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare."
(2 Peter 3:10, also verses 7 and 12)

This brings to mind a poem by C.T. Studd (1860-1931), a British missionary to the Congo. He was famous as a cricket player. But when his brother became seriously ill it affected him deeply. "What is all the fame and flattery worth," he wrote, "when a man comes to face eternity?" He realized, "I knew that cricket would not last, and honor would not last, and nothing in this world would last, but it was worthwhile living for the world to come." He wrote a poem which has since been set to music, with the refrain:

"Only one life, 'twill soon be past, 
Only what's done for Christ will last."78

Q3. (1 Corinthians 3:9-13) In terms of building congregations in our day, how would you assess quality vs. slip-shod building materials and methods? How important is improving your ministry skills through training? Prayer? Practice? Diligence? Faithfulness? Doctrinal accuracy? Devotional life? Openness to spiritual gifts? Etc.
http://www.joyfulheart.com/forums/topic/1331-q3-quality-construction/

Rewards for Christian Workers (3:14-15)

"If what he has built survives79, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames." (3:14-15)

"Reward" is misthos, literally, "remuneration for work done, pay, wages," then by extension, "recognition (mostly by God) for the moral quality of an action, recompense." While the word can be used in an unfavorable sense as "requital" for the wicked, it usually positive, referring to our rewards in heaven.80

"Suffer loss" (NIV) is zēmioō, in classical Greek, "to cause injury or inflict punishment," here "to experience the loss of something," with implication of undergoing hardship or suffering, "suffer damage/loss, forfeit, sustain injury." Perhaps the idea of "be punished" is also present.81

"Saved" is sōzō, "to save or preserve from transcendent danger or destruction, save/preserve from eternal death."82 Christ's salvation sustains us, even though the image is escaping from a burning house. We escape with nothing, perhaps not even the clothes on our back.

This passage teaches rather clearly that God will reward his servants for their service -- but not with salvation. Salvation is a gift they have already received through Christ's redemption, not as wages for work done (Ephesians 2:8-9).

These rewards for service sound very much like Jesus' Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30) and Parable of the Pounds or Minas (Luke 19:12-27), where the returning master calls in each of his servants, has them report on what they've accomplished, and rewards them appropriately.

Paul himself writes about the judgment seat of Christ,83 where the same thing takes place.

"We will all stand before God's judgment seat.... So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God." (Romans 14:10, 12)

"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him84 for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad." (2 Corinthians 5:10)

This idea of rewards for service occurs a number of times throughout the New Testament. For example, Jesus says, "great is your reward in heaven" (Matthew 5:12), a "reward from your Father in heaven" (Matthew 6:1), "a righteous man's reward" (Matthew 10:41), a reward for labor in church planting (1 Corinthians 3:8, 14), "rewarded fully" for a conscientious Christian life (2 John 8). The rewards are distributed at Christ's coming, "rewarding your servants the prophets" (Revelation 11:18), probably at the "judgment seat of Christ."

By now you may be feeling rather uncomfortable. That's because the idea of receiving rewards for our good works here on earth is embarrassing to modern-day Christians for two reasons:

1. Free grace. First, some of us have been so indoctrinated concerning God's free grace that a reward for "works" doesn't seem to fit into our theology. However, rewards (payments for work done) are nearly always distinguished in Scripture from salvation (freely offered by God's grace). Paul clearly differentiates them in our passage and Ephesians 2:8-9.

Salvation by grace is the rock solid foundation that we do not lose, because it is anchored by our faith in the finished redemption of Christ on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins. Rewards for works are the "icing on the cake."

To work for rewards seems somehow unappreciative of the freeness of God's grace in salvation. Salvation seems like enough -- more than enough -- all we could ever ask or think. But no matter how you or I might feel emotionally, the New Testament clearly teaches that there will be rewards in addition to the gift of salvation, when Christ returns.

2. Sincere love. Second, we pride ourselves on serving out of pure love for God, not for any gain. Surely, obeying the first commandment, to "love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind" (Matthew 22:37) should be the motivation for our work -- our "labors of love," as we call them.

But in spite of that love, Jesus -- and his Apostles Paul and John -- teach us that we will be rewarded for our labors.

Paul is concerned that his converts continue in their faith so that he won't have labored "for nothing" (Philippians 2:16; 1 Thessalonians 3:5). Yes, Paul loves God supremely, but he is looking forward to glorying in these "trophies of grace," when Christ appears, much like the master in the Parable of the Talents, who invites the faithful servant to "enter into the joy of your master," to join in the welcome-home party that is going on inside the house in celebration of the master's return (Matthew 25:21). Indeed, their faithful service is an indication that these servants loved their master, just as the refusal to use the "talent" given him is an indication of the unfaithful servant's hatred for his master (Matthew 25:24-26).85

God's Spirit Lives within the Church -- God's Sacred Temple (3:16)

We've taken a bit of a detour talking about rewards, but Paul's topic has been an analogy concerning the importance of using quality materials and workmanship in building a building. Now he reveals that the building in the analogy, the church, is actually God's temple.

"Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple86 and that God's Spirit lives in you?" (3:16)

It is important to observe that here "temple" refers to the church. In 6:19 "temple" refers to a person's body. How can "temple" refer to both the church and the body? "Temple" is used in both places as an analogy to make a point. The church is like a temple, in that the Holy Spirit dwells in your midst. The body is like a temple, in that the Holy Spirit dwells within you.

This image of the church as a temple occurs twice more in Paul's writings. In each case he is stressing the sacredness, the inviolability of the temple.

"What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God...." (2 Corinthians 6:16)

"In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord." (Ephesians 2:21)

Warnings about Doing Harm to the Church (3:17)

Because of the sacredness of God's temple, anyone who does it harm will be severely punished. Paul is probably thinking of the harm done to the church in Corinth by their divisions.

"If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple." (3:17)

"Destroy" (NIV, NRSV), "defile" (KJV) occurs twice in verse 17, in both instances using the verb phtheirō. Literally, the verb means, "to cause harm to in a physical manner or in outward circumstances, destroy, ruin, corrupt, spoil."87 The word is used to describe ruining financially, seducing a virgin, bribing an official so as to corrupt him, tracking dirt on a carpet to ruin or spoil it, breaking the rules of a contest, etc. The second time the word is used ("God will destroy him") it has the idea of "to inflict punishment, destroy," in the sense "punish with eternal destruction."88

This verse is sometimes applied to the punishment of those who commit suicide because they destroy the "temple." While I'm sure suicide grieves the heart of God, this verse isn't talking about the body as a temple of the Holy Spirit -- that reference is in 6:19. To apply this verse to suicide is careless interpretation. God, who knows the heart, is the Judge, not we.

Perhaps a better sense of this verse might be, "If anyone harms or corrupts God's temple, the church, then God will punish him." An offense against the church is an offense against God himself!

Once I served as pastor of a church where a very influential member had a particular agenda and saw the retirement of the previous pastor as the best time to accomplish it. She gathered her followers around her and turned them against the new pastor by means of a series of false rumors. Then she tried to force her agenda outside the duly instituted government of the church. When she failed, she and about one third of the congregation literally walked out of the church. This hurt the remaining congregation badly -- as it was intended to do -- and crippled the church for years to come. Since that time there has been no apology or repentance.

What punishment will God visit on this woman, and the thousands like her in churches across the world, who either deliberately or unknowingly, by their selfish and divisive actions, harm the church? "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God!" (Hebrews 10:31).

My dear friend, God holds you responsible to do everything in your power to protect the church of Christ and do nothing to harm it. It's so easy to be caught up in our own ego -- or some leader's rhetoric -- that we take actions that hurt the church. God help us! If God has shown you that you have been party to such a thing, I urge you in the name of Jesus to repent and earnestly seek forgiveness! Otherwise, you lie under a terrible punishment from God himself.

God's temple, the church, is sacred. And we must not defile or harm it!

Q4. (1 Corinthians 3:17) Division and church splits injure people, especially tender new believers. Why do you think there is such a harsh punishment for those involved in hurting Christ's church? What are better ways to deal with differences in the church?
http://www.joyfulheart.com/forums/topic/1332-q4-accountability-for-schism/

Worldly Wisdom Is an Illusion (3:18-20)

Paul is summing up now. He began with deriding worldly wisdom, argued that true wisdom was necessary to build the church with solid construction, and warned against anyone threatening God's sacred temple. Now he returns to his beginning theme of wisdom.

"18 Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a 'fool' so that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight. As it is written: 'He catches the wise in their craftiness89' [Job 5:13]; 20 and again, 'The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.' [Psalm 94:11]" (3:18-20)

The Corinthians were deceiving themselves. Many of them had bought into the wisdom and spirit of the age and used those empty standards to judge Christ's apostle and Christ's church.

Dear friend, how about you? Are there teachings in the New Testament that embarrass you, that you're ashamed to read or tell others? If so, then you've probably absorbed the spirit of our age to the degree that you believe it's so-called "wisdom" rather than the wisdom of God's revelation in Jesus Christ. I've seen relatives and family members drift from true Christianity, only to find themselves fully immersed in the "wisdom" of this world, actually rejecting the wisdom of Christ.

Paul warns us as he warned the sophisticated Corinthians two millennia ago, that "the wisdom of the world is foolishness in God's sight" (3:19a). One day the values of our world will be judged by God's standards.

"For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead." (Acts 17:31)

All Things Are Yours! (3:21-23)

"21 So then, no more boasting about men! All things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future -- all are yours, 23 and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God." (3:21-23)

The Corinthians have been stupid, narrowing their allegiance to a single human leader, when they have the privilege of receiving from God through all of God's apostles and preachers. Since everything belongs to Christ -- life and death, the present as well as the future -- they are all yours. And Christ himself shares in all of God. We are fabulously rich, if we can just understand it.

But, dear friends, we have been so narrow! In businesses you often run across a "not invented here" attitude. That unless your company has developed an idea or product, it is somehow unworthy and suspect. In their narrowness they feel like they need to "reinvent the wheel." How foolish!

1 Corinthians: Discipleship Lessons from a Troubled Church, by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
Available as a book in paperback, PDF, and Kindle formats.

But Churches are like that, too. For example, some reject the marvelous heritage of the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches as suspect. And so they miss out on receiving wisdom from all the wonderful saints of God who lived during a time before Martin Luther was even born. And Catholics and Orthodox miss out on the wonderful work of God through the Reformers and revivalists and missionaries of the subsequent centuries. If we are willing to stand on the shoulders of giants then we are rich indeed. And if we narrow ourselves through prejudices and party spirit, then we are immeasurably impoverished. Get this message!

"No more boasting about men! ... All are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God." (3:21, 23)

Prayer

Our Father, so often we have sinned against you and your Church through our narrow party spirit and our selfish urge to get our own way. The result is, too often, grievous harm to your temple, the Church. Please forgive us! Give us love and grace to see beyond our own narrow group or denomination or ideology so that we can receive from the richness that you have bestowed across party lines. In Jesus' name we humbly pray. Amen.

Key Verses

"Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly -- mere infants in Christ. (1 Corinthians 3:1)

"I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor." (1 Corinthians 3:6-8)

"Each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 3:10b-11)

"The fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames." (1 Corinthians 3:13b-15)

"Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple." (1 Corinthians 3:16-17)

Endnotes

60. Pneumatikos, BDAG 837, 2bβ. Pneumatikos occurs in 1 Corinthians at 2:13-15; 3:1; 9:11; 10:3-4; 12:1; 14:1, 37; and 15:44, 46.

61. Sarkinos, BDAG 914, 1.

62. Sarkikos, BDAG 914, 2.

63. "Infants" (NIV, NRSV), "babes" (KJV) is nēpios, "a very young child, infant, child." (BDAG 672, 1bα).

64. Zēlos, BDAG 427, 2.

65. Eris, BDAG 392. The KJV includes the word "divisions" dichostasia, "the state of being in factious opposition, dissension." It is well attested (p46 D 33 614 Byz, etc.), but missing in many early manuscripts (p11 Aleph B C P Ψ etc.) leading the United Bible Societies Editorial Committee to suspect "the intrusion of a Western gloss, derived perhaps from the list of vices in Galatians 5:20. There being no sufficient reason to account for the omission, if the words were present originally, the shorter reading is to be preferred." They give their decision a {C} confidence level, "considerable degree of doubt" (Metzger, Textual Commentary, p. 548).

66. Greek sarkikos.

67. Diakanos, "one who serves as an intermediary in a transaction, agent, intermediary, courier" (BDAG 230, 1).

68. Fee (1 Corinthians, p. 134) points out that in the Greek grammar of the sentence, the emphasis is on God, rather than the worker's sort of equality with God as workers (as the KJV suggests). Perhaps, the NRSV states it most accurately, "For we are God's servants, working together," or as Fee suggests, "God's we are, being fellow workers." But elsewhere, we see this kind of co-laboring with Christ (2 Corinthians 6:1).

69. "Field" (NIV, NRSV), "husbandry" (KJV) is geōrgion, "an area of land used for cultivation (as opposed to pasture land), cultivated land, field" (BDAG 195).

70. Oikodomē, "a building as result of a construction process, building, edifice" (BDAG 697, 2b).

71. Architektōn, BDAG 139.

72. Plato, Amatores 135b.

73. "Foundation" is themelios, "the supporting base for a structure, foundation," here used figuratively (BDAG 449, 2a). Paul uses the idea of foundation variously in his letters. For example, to the Ephesians he refers to the church "built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone" (Ephesians 2:20).

74. "Be careful" (NIV), "choose with care" (NRSV), "take heed" (KJV) is the common verb blepō, "to see." Here, the sense is, "look out for" -- "be ready to learn about something that is needed or is hazardous, watch, look to, beware of" (BDAG 179, 5, though Danker suggests meaning 6c, "to process information by giving thought, direct one's attention to something, consider, note").

75. "Builds" is epoikodomeō, "to build something on something already built, build on to" (BDAG 387, 1b).

76. Lithos, "stone" (BDAG 595, 2a).

77. "Hay" is chortos, "grass, hay" (BDAG 1087). "Straw" (NIV, NRSV), "stubble" (KJV) is kalamē, "stalk, straw" (BDAG 502).

78. Information on C.T. Studd is from a Wikipedia article on "Charles Studd".

79. "Survives" (NIV, NRSV), "abide" (KJV) is menō, "remain, stay," here with the sense, "to continue to exist, remain, last, persist" (BDAG 632, 2b).

80. Misthos, BDAG 653, 2a.

81. Zēmioō, BDAG 428, 2.

82. Sōzō, BDAG 983, 3.

83. The judgment seat of Christ sounds suspiciously like the Great White Throne judgment of Revelation 20:12, where people are judged "according to their works." I know that Bible teachers say these are separate judgments, one for rewards and the other for salvation, but I think that's a bit arbitrary.

84. Komizō, "to come into possession of something or experience something, carry off, get (for oneself), receive," frequently as recompense. In 2 Corinthians 5:10, "receive a recompense" (BDAG 557, 3).

85. This section adapted from my book, 1 and 2 Thessalonians: Discipleship Lessons (JesusWalk, 2013), pp. 44-46 on 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20.

86. "Temple" is naos, "a place or structure specifically associated with or set apart for a deity, who is frequently perceived to be using it as a dwelling, temple" (BDAG 665, d).

87. Phtheirō, BDAG, 1054, 1b.

88. Phtheirō, BDAG, 1054, 3.

89. "Craftiness" is panourgia, in the New Testament exclusively, in an unfavorable sense, "(rascally, evil) cunning, craftiness, trickery," literally, "readiness to do anything" (BDAG 754).


Copyright © 1985-2017, Ralph F. Wilson. <pastor@joyfulheart.com> All rights reserved. A single copy of this article is free. Do not put this on a website. See legal, copyright, and reprint information.

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