16
Oct
13

Pick Up A Spoon

There are three instances in the New Testament where the author refers to his audience as babies who are in need of spiritual milk.  One of those instances is here in 1 Corinthians 3.

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. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? – 1 Corinthians 3:1-3 (NIV)

The other instances are found in Hebrews 5:12-13 and 1 Peter 2:2.  In today’s passage, we see that Paul is frustrated with the Corinthian Christians because they were not maturing in their faith.  Obviously, when a baby is born, he or she needs milk.  Their digestive systems cannot handle steak!  As they grow and mature, they can begin to handle foods that are more difficult to digest.  First, there is cereal and Goldfish crackers.  Then there is the introduction of more solid foods.  A baby nurses for a while and then is fed with a spoon by his or her parents.  Then, one day, they are expected to pick up a spoon and feed themselves.
Spiritually, we are to be growing and maturing so that we are able to handle more difficult aspects of faith and doctrine.  We begin to handle tougher passages of Scripture as the Holy Spirit sanctifies us and helps us grow.  We pick up a spoon and start to feed ourselves on a diet of Scripture reading and Bible study.  There are too many Christians who have been going to church for 20 years or more and they still don’t know how to pick up a fork and spoon!
Paul’s complaint against the Corinthians was that they were “worldly” because there was “jealousy and quarreling” in the church (1 Corinthians 3:3, NIV).  There was no difference between the behavior of these Christians and those who were outside of Christ.  Jesus didn’t die so that we could be merely human!  He died to transform our lives and make us more like Him!  How do we become more like Jesus?  We grow and mature in our faith by a steady diet of His Word.
Sitting under the teaching of a pastor or preacher for 25-35 minutes a week is not enough.  Read your Bible!  Get a devotional book like My Utmost for His Highest or Streams In The Desert or Everyday Blessings by Max Lucado.  Subscribe to a blog such as Max Lucado’s Daily Devotional or Rick Warren’s Daily Hope.  Get in a good Bible study at your church.  Learn more from God’s Word by doing a reading plan at www.bible.com.  God’s Word is a smorgasbord of delicacies from which we can feed ourselves.  It’s hard work, but as we grow and mature in our faith we will discover that it is very much worth the effort.

1 Corinthians 3

New International Version (NIV)

The Church and Its Leaders

3 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. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? 4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings?

5 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. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.

10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.

16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.

18 Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age,you should become “fools” so that you may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”;20 and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.” 21 So then, no more boasting about human leaders! All things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, 23 and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.

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