Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings?
What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building. (I Corinthians 3:1-9).
Paul has just been talking about the difference between the person who is spiritual, and who can therefore understand spiritual truths, and the person whose interests and aims and ideas do not go beyond earthly and physical life; one who is unable to grasp spiritual truth.
He now accuses the Corinthians of being still at the earthly and physical stage. The fault that Paul find with the Corinthians is not that they are made of flesh—all people are—but that they have allowed this lower side of their nature to dominate all their outlook and all their actions.
What is the proof of that? What is it about their life and conduct that makes Paul hurl such a rebuke at them? The proof is their spiritual strife, their factions, their divisions. This is extremely significant because it means that you can tell what a person's relationship with God is by looking at a person's relationship they have with others.
If a person is distant from others it is a good possibility that that person is distant from God. If a person persistently sows seeds of division it is a good possibility that that person is divided from God. If a person loves God wholeheartedly they will love others unconditionally.
We have always to remember that God may use human vessels to bring to others the message of Christ's truth and love; but it is God alone who lifts the hearts of people to new life. As God alone created the heart, so God alone can re-create it.
Jason E. Royle
Welcome to my blog. I'm an open-minded theologian committed to Christ-like compassion & understanding.
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