1 Corinthians 3:10-15
In vs. 9 Paul abruptly changes his metaphor for the spiritual work which had been done among the Corinthian Christians. Previously he had used an agricultural metaphor, with the planting of the gospel seed and the reaping of the gospel harvest. Now, he refers to an architectural metaphor- the construction of a large and ornate building.
As we look at our text this morning, we see that our spiritual lives are absolutely dependent on God- God alone through Jesus Christ is the one who can save us, and he is the one who can and will change us. But Paul is emphasizing the elements of human instrumentation and human responsibility in this sanctification process. When a person is a failure as a Christian, either now or later, he cannot blame God! God will help us, God will strengthen us in our spiritual walk, and God will transform us; but we must not be passive in this process, but extraordinarily active.
In the greater context, Paul is referring to the building of the assembled church- so there is both a corporate and personal application to his teaching.