Job 15 & 1 Corinthians 3

Job 15

    Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said:

    “Should a wise man answer with windy knowledge,
        and fill his belly with the east wind?
    Should he argue in unprofitable talk,
        or in words with which he can do no good?
    But you are doing away with the fear of God
        and hindering meditation before God.
    For your iniquity teaches your mouth,
        and you choose the tongue of the crafty.
    Your own mouth condemns you, and not I;
        your own lips testify against you.
    “Are you the first man who was born?
        Or were you brought forth before the hills?
    Have you listened in the council of God?
        And do you limit wisdom to yourself?
    What do you know that we do not know?
        What do you understand that is not clear to us?
    Both the gray-haired and the aged are among us,
        older than your father.
    Are the comforts of God too small for you,
        or the word that deals gently with you?
    Why does your heart carry you away,
        and why do your eyes flash,
    that you turn your spirit against God
        and bring such words out of your mouth?
    What is man, that he can be pure?
        Or he who is born of a woman, that he can be righteous?
    Behold, God puts no trust in his holy ones,
        and the heavens are not pure in his sight;
    how much less one who is abominable and corrupt,
        a man who drinks injustice like water!
    “I will show you; hear me,
        and what I have seen I will declare
    (what wise men have told,
        without hiding it from their fathers,
    to whom alone the land was given,
        and no stranger passed among them).
    The wicked man writhes in pain all his days,
        through all the years that are laid up for the ruthless.
    Dreadful sounds are in his ears;
        in prosperity the destroyer will come upon him.
    He does not believe that he will return out of darkness,
        and he is marked for the sword.
    He wanders abroad for bread, saying, ‘Where is it?’
        He knows that a day of darkness is ready at his hand;
    distress and anguish terrify him;
        they prevail against him, like a king ready for battle.
    Because he has stretched out his hand against God
        and defies the Almighty,
    running stubbornly against him
        with a thickly bossed shield;
    because he has covered his face with his fat
        and gathered fat upon his waist
    and has lived in desolate cities,
        in houses that none should inhabit,
        which were ready to become heaps of ruins;
    he will not be rich, and his wealth will not endure,
        nor will his possessions spread over the earth;
    he will not depart from darkness;
        the flame will dry up his shoots,
        and by the breath of his mouth he will depart.
    Let him not trust in emptiness, deceiving himself,
        for emptiness will be his payment.
    It will be paid in full before his time,
        and his branch will not be green.
    He will shake off his unripe grape like the vine,
        and cast off his blossom like the olive tree.
    For the company of the godless is barren,
        and fire consumes the tents of bribery.
    They conceive trouble and give birth to evil,
        and their womb prepares deceit.”

(Job 15 ESV)

1 Corinthians 3

    But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human?

    What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God's fellow workers. You are God's field, God's building.

    According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw—each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

    Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple.

    Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” So let no one boast in men. For 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 Christ's, and Christ is God's.

(1 Corinthians 3 ESV)

1 Corinthians 3: How tragic that men regenerated and newly created through a spiritual heart transformation by the work of the Holy Spirit can still find themselves living and behaving like other ordinary men. The apostle Paul declares that the petty division among the Corinthian church is a sad result of the congregation acting in a “human way” and being “merely human”. He goes on to say that such behavior identifies such people as an “infant in Christ” and as mere beginners in the life of faith and Christian experience. 

We might acknowledge that from the foundations of the created cosmos, God has chosen to work through weakness to advance His will and magnify His wisdom. Paul and Apollos were two ordinary and flawed men. However, when assigned by God to be His servants, they worked together to become extraordinarily faithful men who helped build His church. Just as Paul and Apollos were God’s “fellow workers”, so we among the church body need to stop boasting about our favorite Christian leaders and instead work together to build up a church body united through the extension of amazing grace and by the power of God's glorious gospel.