Thursday, June 21, 2018

2018.06.21 Hopewell @Home ▫ 1Corinthians 3:1-8

Questions for Littles: How couldn’t Paul speak to the Corinthians (v1)? In what two ways did he speak to them? To what does he compare the spiritual food he gave them (v2)? Why didn’t he give them solid food? What proof does he give them that they are still fleshly minded in v3? What does this envy, strife, and division look like (v4)? What are Paul and Apollos called in v5? What did the Lord give to each one? What does Paul do in v6? What does Apollos do? What does God do? Which of these is “something” according to v7? What is the relationship between the planter and the waterer (v8)? According to what will each receive his reward? 
In this week’s Epistle reading, we were reminded of the two unflattering options for those who foster party-spirit in the church. Either they are acting like the most infantile believers possible, or they are acting as if they are not believers at all, but still in their flesh—what the NKJV calls “carnal.”

We’ve met them before—people who either make themselves or someone else the litmus test for favor in the church. Either you are for them, or you are for the other guy, but the way they describe it, you can’t be for both.

It’s no wonder that Paul says that when someone is thinking like this, they have to go all the way back to square one and start over with the gospel as if they are just now hearing it for the first time.

If we don’t realize that God’s work in this world is all about God, all about Christ, and that the best of men are still servants at best… then how can all of our hope be in God? How can all of our hope be in Christ?

Paul is basically calling them out for their own inability to recognize the wisdom in his preaching. As we go along in 1-2Corinthians, we realize that there were many in that church who preferred the false “super-apostles” to the genuine apostle, Paul. One of the reasons was because they thought their preaching sounded much wiser than Paul’s.

But Paul has just finished saying that since the wisdom of his preaching is Holy-Spirit-wisdom, only Holy-Spirit-people are able to receive it. And now he says that is exactly why the majority of the congregation at Corinth could not receive it. Yes, the same congregation that he has generally acknowledged under the title “saints” just two short chapters ago.

This is a frightening condition: to have quenched the Spirit to the point that we act so fleshly that our behavior is indistinguishable from unbelievers.

How is it with you, dear reader? Is there some believer that you so identify with (or so identify against!) that you make them a litmus test of unity and familiarity? Do you not see how to make so much of them is to make little of Christ? To make little of God? God spare us from such a mindset!

Let us instead rejoice in all of the Lord’s work, giving special attention to whatever we have the privilege of serving in—knowing that the fruit belongs to God, but that He rewards us for our labor in whatever part He has assigned to us (for the sake of His grace in Christ!).

Let us rejoice in Him! And let us prepare to feed upon the solid food that is only digestible through that rejoicing.
How do you work at staying connected with everyone in the church and not just one group?
Suggested songs: ARP197 “Christian Unity” or HB473 “Blest Be the Tie That Binds”

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