Corinthian Style Magazine – A Series on First Corinthians

The New Baby Diet – 1 Cor. 2:14-3:5

I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. (1 Corinthians 3:2-3)

 

 

I. THE NATURAL MAN 

[14] The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.  (1 Corinthians 2:14)

The Natural Man: lit. “soulish human.” All Natural… no preservative.

II. THE SPIRITUAL MAN

[15] The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. [16] “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:15-16)

The Spiritual Man: lit. “Belonging to the Spirit.” Not Natural… there is preservative – Holy Spirit – our preservative.

III. THE CARNAL MAN [BABY]

[1] But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. [2] I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. (1 Corinthians 3:1-2)

men of the flesh = 

sarki-kas = which means “LIKE THE” flesh. fleshly, ruled by the flesh…

not sarki-nois = of the flesh. the flesh.

Romans 8:12 – So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.

Paul uses this distinction deliberately to place these Corinthians under a distinct position. They are BABES!

Milk – milk is not bad. Its fine and necessary for babies

1 Peter 2:2 – like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation.

infants in Christ they are still in Christ, they are just like infants, the do what the flesh tells them.

babies aren’t bad –  they’re cute: thumb sucking, kiddie pools, baby talk, fighting over stupid things… their kinda cute. But if there are a grown up, then it ain’t cute! Which is what they are—- grown up babies. The Corinthian church was 5 years old.

And even now you are not yet ready, [3] for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? (1 Corinthians 3:3)

Even Now! – This marks a shift in thought. The past several verse Paul has been speaking in the passive tense, now he shifts to the present tense.

Not yet able – once again the word “able.” The “yet” represents a process. The process is one of growth. A baby grows, and so does the believer, Unfortunately, Paul’s issue with the Corinthians is that their growth is too slow!

For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature… (Hebrews 5:12-14 ESV)

Why does Paul call them babies? 

[2] And even now you are not yet ready, [3] for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? [4] For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human? (1 Corinthians 3:2-4)

jealousy and strife – they are called babies (carnal) because of their petty selfishness and fighting.

behaving only in a human way – acting like mere men. Men with out the spirit. Men with out discernment.

DISCUSSION: In what ways is it clear that you have grown up in maturity? In what areas are you still sucking on a bottle?

FURTHER DISCUSSION

What does a mature Xtian look like? White board…

An infant is a receiver… not a giver: looks at the church, its people, and its programs through the eyes of a self centered child.

-What will it do for me?  What will I get out of this?

-often fusses over rights, over the hoped apologies of another, over wrongs suffered, over personal wants and desires.

-concerned with argument rather than action. (see vs 3)

CONCLUSION

Remember last week Paul ended with the glorious concept that we have the mind of Christ.

Philippians 2:1-11 – This Sounds like some sort of extraordinary love. And it is to be sure, the greatest best picture of love, but i want to push back on that just a little and say it could very well be ordinary love. Its just love. Its what love looks like. not extraordinary love – just normal love.

We can’t fall any further, If we can’t feel ordinary love

And we cannot reach any higher, If we can’t deal with ordinary love

“Ordinary Love” – U2

If you love then you will consider others greater than yourself etc… don’t have to be extraordinary. Just have to love!