Thursday, March 14, 2013

How’s Your Appetite?

Our Youth Minister’s toddler has a good appetite. It has grown over the months of his life. At first, his appetite was for milk. His Dad told us he's progressed through Cheerios to ‘Nilla Wafers, and has a definite appetite for them. He has not progressed to the finer cuts of meat and would not appreciate an excellent cut of prime rib. I would. The toddler was the first example in Wednesday night's lesson.

And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. (1 Corinthians 3:1-2 KJV)

Yep – we’re still in 1 Corinthians – you remember from yesterday, a church divided in loyalty to men. Paul is still explaining to them that he does understand their situation – they are carnal Christians. We know that because he addresses them as brethren, though he could not speak to them of spiritual truths.

For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? (1 Corinthians 3:3 KJV)

He does not question their salvation. He knows they love the Lord, though they love the men who led them to Him, too.  Enough that they identify with those men. Paul returns to the subject of verse 12 in chapter 1:

For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? (1 Corinthians 3:4 KJV)

How is your appetite for meat? For the spiritual meat that we are able to bear when we move from carnal to spiritual:

For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. (1 Corinthians 2:11-12 KJV)

Paul gives us the result of carnal in Christians – envying, strife, divisions. Seeking affirmation from the one who brought them to Christ, not from Christ.

Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? (1 Corinthians 3:5 KJV)

The men who led us to the Lord, who spoke His words to us and helped us understand them, are not the One we worship.

I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. (1 Corinthians 3:6 KJV)

That’s the spiritual part of it all – God gave the increase. God gave us His grace, His mercy – not the person who led us to Him.

Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. (1 Corinthians 2:13 KJV)

Listen to the spiritual, not the carnal. Ignore the envy, do not participate in the strife and never allow divisions to keep us from the spiritual meat that is laid before us. Grow that appetite!!

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Thank you for taking time to read and comment on the blog. Comments should take into consideration this verse: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8 KJV)