Brothers, I couldn't speak to you as to spiritual, but as to fleshly, as to babies in Christ. I fed you with milk, not with meat; for you weren’t yet ready. Indeed, not even now are you ready,for you are still fleshly. For insofar as there is jealousy, strife, and factions among you, aren’t you fleshly, and don’t you walk in the ways of men? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” aren’t you fleshly?
Carnality will keep us from understanding spiritual things. As long as we live in division from each other, we will not be able to handle anything of spiritual substance. We will be perpetual babies in need of having the truths of God feed to us second hand. Never coming to know the reality of the Kingdom but only the shadow. What shame is brought to the body of Christ by those who are actually proud of the fact that they are followers of men. One says "I'm a Calvinist another says "I'm of Wesley", aren't we fleshly?
Who then is Apollos, and who is Paul, but servants through whom you believed; and each as the Lord gave to him? I planted. Apollos watered. But God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are the same, but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s farming, God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another builds on it.
Paul, unlike today's preachers, refuses to take the center stage in the lives of believers. This was Paul's chance to seize power. All he had to do was tell those carnal Corinthians that he, Paul, was the one who first brought them the Gospel and they should therefore be loyal to him. Instead he blows his chance and tells them that he is only one of many workers. He recognizes his role as a "wise master builder" was to lay the foundation while another will build on it. Rather than living off of the church he laid the foundation for, he moved on to make room for others to build on it. He was only one part of an ongoing process.
But let each man be careful how he builds on it. For no one can lay any other foundation than that which has been laid, which is Jesus Christ. But if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or stubble; each man’s work will be revealed. For the Day will declare it, because it is revealed in fire; and the fire itself will test what sort of work each man’s work is. If any man’s work remains which he built on it, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned, he will suffer loss, but he himself will be saved, but as through fire.
There is only one foundation for the church and that foundation in Jesus Christ. We are only building on a foundation that others have laid. Many have built on the foundation, but they have used inferior materials. They build with memberships, programs and money. These are temporal things that will only be burned up in Judgement. The precious materials are harder to come by. They involve faith, hope and love. Things that last forever.