“According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it.”
Verses 10 through 17 transition from the metaphor of agriculture to building an edifice.
According to the grace of God which was given to me,
The phrase “according to the grace of God” is emphatic by position in the Greek. The words “according to” mean norm, standard, and criterion. God’s grace is the standard by which Paul ministered. God is the Supreme Builder; therefore, the glory goes to God.
as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it.
The “master builder” is someone who is an expert in construction, a master contractor. Paul, as an apostle, was the contractor who directed the erection of the edifice of the church at Corinth. He “laid the foundation” of the church. Paul was the first to arrive at Corinth to start the Corinthian church. Apollos came later and built on Paul’s foundation.
Ro 15:20, And so I have made it my aim to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on another man’s foundation…
But let each one take heed how he builds on it.
Paul issues a warning of how we do God’s work – the words “take heed” mean beware. We cannot do God’s work with schism and division.
God’s grace is the standard by which we do God’s work.
God issues a warning about how we do Christian work. If it is not by grace, then it is not God’s work. We can make no claims on God’s grace, for it is all of Him. God has a prerogative and monopoly on what He does; therefore, production is always based on God’s provision or grace.