1 Corinthians 3:4-8
For while one said, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are you not carnal?…
I. EVERY MAN IS A WORKER.
1. For a livelihood. "He that will not work neither let him eat." Masters as well as servants, princes as well as peasants, are subject to this great law, and those who strive to evade it are the veriest slaves.
2. To mould the character and life of all among whom we mingle — either for good or evil.
3. At the task of forming our own eternal character, and we are either becoming assimilated to the image of God, or are marring the precious materials of heart, intellect, &c., which we have received from Him.
4. Either aiding or hindering the great moral movements of the day; either making our fellows happier or lending our power to prolong the duration of human darkness, degradation, and woe. Here there is no neutrality. "He who is not for Me is against Me."
II. EVERY MAN'S WORK SHALL BE JUDGED OF BY ITSELF.
1. God has created every man complete and responsible in himself. A man is not a mere part of a mass of humanity. He has to deal for himself with the great question of duty, and by himself to answer to the Eternal Judge.
2. This solemn truth —
(1) Is frequently forgotten, and more frequently neglected. Men act in masses, and lose the sense of individual responsibility. But this does not lighten its pressure or annihilate it.
(2) Involves most important practical consequences. Since I am personally responsible —
(a) No human priest can come between me and my Maker.(b) Any attempt to deprive me of my liberty of conscience is to be sternly resisted.(c) I must not measure my duty by the services of others.(d) It is my wisdom to cultivate a solemn sense of my responsibility.
III. EVERY MAN'S WORK SHALL RECEIVE ITS DUE WAGES. This is true of —
1. The money-maker. He gets what he works for.
2. The pleasure-seeker.
3. The culture worshipper.
4. The Christian, who receives his wages —
(1) In the quiet approval of his own heart.
(2) In seeing good accomplished by his efforts.
(3) In contemplating the final triumph of his cause.
(4) In the approval of his Master — "Well done," &c.
(G. D. Macgregor.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?