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What did Paul mean by everything belongs to you in 1 Corinthians 3:21-22?

Paul writes in chapter 3:21-22 that everything belongs to Christians (the church) the world, life, death, the present, & the future.  What is meant by everything belongs to us?

1 Corinthians 3:21

MSG - 21 I don't want to hear any of you bragging about yourself or anyone else. Everything is already yours as a gift - Paul, Apollos, Peter, the world, life, death, the present, the future - all of it is yours, and you are privileged to be in union with Christ, who is in union with God.

Clarify Share Report Asked February 27 2014 Water lilies Katrice Johnson

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Mini Sung Park Father to 4 Boys & "Assiduous Contemplater" of the Word
This is not an easy passage to understand simply by looking at v. 21 alone. We need to look at the context of Paul's argument and how "all things are yours" fit in it. 

The larger context is Paul's rebuke of the Corinthian church's division between those who claim to follow Paul or Apollos (v. 4-6). This is natural considering the prominent roles both men play in the life of the Corinthian church. Paul uses the building analogy, more specifically temple, to remind the believers that the foundation is Christ and they are the temple. Paul reminds them of the futility of the worldly wisdom in v. 18 and the foolishness of men's wisdom since the division is the result of boasting on certain man's wisdom. So Paul writes, "Let no one boast in men." The underlying reason is "All things are yours." Starting with teachers, Paul, Apollos, and Cephas. They are "yours." They are in the ministry to help the believers to grow in Christ. The believers do not belong to these teachers but rather they do. Paul then goes on to include everything in all sense (world, life, death, present and future) ringing with the truths in Romans 8 where all things work together for our good. The crux of the argument is that all these are ours because we belong to Christ who belongs to the Father. All this to say, therefore, there is no boasting anything but in Christ with whom we are co-heirs. Their ownership of everything should quiet all boasting based on to whom they owe their allegiance. 

I hope this helps.

March 19 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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