VITAL SIGNS: Unity is spread through spiritual maturity | 1 Corinthians 3:1-9 | Devotional
1 Corinthians 3:1-9
Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as 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 men? For when one says, "I follow Paul," and another, "I follow Apollos," are you not mere men? 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 made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.
“Act your age!” If I had a quarter for every time my mom said that to my oldest brother…and my next oldest brother…and me…the Wall Street stuff would have no impact on my financial future. More often than not when we get together, we regress in those same types of conversations and actions (I refuse to get into the specifics). My mom is gone now, but we can still hear her words—“Boys, act your age!” Paul says much the same thing to the Corinthian believers.
The number of years you have been a Christian and attended church does not automatically develop you into a growing believer. The church-goers in Corinth were “mere infants in Christ.” They wanted “deep Bible study” but choked on the meat. Paul could only offer them milk. Notice Paul’s back-to-the-basics criteria for immaturity: “For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?” Acting like mere men…now, there’s a description of a non-Spirit-controlled life. This immaturity resulted in men following men rather than growing stronger (and more mature) as followers of Christ. Following men is futile because “only God…makes things grow.”
God is not impressed by our years among the saints if we are not growing as a saint. God is not impressed by our years of service if we are not growing as a servant of Christ. God is not impressed with our giving if we are not growing closer to the Giver. You can put in a lot of church years, but if those years are not building up the church, you are, in Paul’s words, acting like mere men and in need of “milk,” not meat.
Father, remind me that it is not about me getting into Scripture, but Scripture getting into me. Remind me that saying I am a Christian and acting like a Christian are two different things. Remind me that jealousy and quarreling are serious sins. Lord, by your Spirit, grow me as a follower of your Son. I pray in his name, Amen.