In his letters Paul used a number of metaphors to describe the church or assembly, e.g. Body of Christ, God's Temple. In this chapter he mixes metaphors splendidly! He is a gardner who plants while Apollos then waters the garden of the church.. (v6) Then, a Master Builder laying the foundation of Christ on which the the church is built, (10-11) Then, he describes the church as God's temple (16-17). Does the reference to God's temple being under threat of destruction indicate how seriously he felt the church at Corinth was being threatened by division? (v16-17)
Have you ever felt your work was being undone by someone who took over from you?
Are you ever guilty of being precious about your work or 'your people' or 'your' church?
Verses 18-21 suggest that pride and vanity was once more the basic problem at Corinth with their high but inflated opinions about their own wisdom.
Paul seems to suggest that a big dose of realism about ourselves, and a proper humility might be the cure (21)
'Nothing in my hand I bring - simply to thy cross I cling.'