Volume: 928 October 16, 2023
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“And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. 2 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. 3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?” I Cor. 3:1-3
The church in Corinth was often rebuked for its lack of spirituality. As much as Paul the Apostle wanted to preach and teach the harder and more spiritual principles of living the Christian life, he could not because of their immaturity.
Many may have been saved for a longer time, but they still had not learned or practiced the basic spiritual concepts they had been taught. Paul had to repeat and reteach principles they should have known and incorporated into their lives.
Why did they not grow in the things of the Lord? Why were they still at the same spiritual level as some who had just been saved?
It was not their intellectual level that was holding them back from growth. It was their carnal trust in their leaders rather than Christ Himself. They had good, godly leaders, but their trust was more in the man who had taught them the principles of God than faithfully following the One the preacher spoke of!
“For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? 5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? 6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.” I Cor. 3:4-7
They boasted and were more proud that they had had Paul or Apollos as their preacher than that they were Christians and were following all the principles taught by Christ Himself. Their carnality and immaturity were because they were not following Christ!
Today, similar carnality abounds! Instead of obeying all they read from God’s Word, people choose to give earthly leaders and religions more credence than the Bible’s truths.
When asked if a person is going to Heaven, one often hears, “I’m Catholic” or “I’m Methodist.” Sometimes, one hears, “I went to Billy Graham’s church,” or another popular preacher.
We all need to attend a good, Bible-believing, Bible-obeying local church faithfully. Still, one must never put their faith in any leader, church, or even their teachings, especially if they do not align with God’s Holy Word. Just being a member of a Presbyterian, Pentecostal, Baptist, Lutheran, Episcopalian, Catholic, Hindu, or Islamic group and following their teachings alone also will not save anyone, nor will anyone ever grow spiritually!
That kind of “religion” only creates more carnal followers. That is why this world is full of religionists and baby “Christians” rather than God-obeying Christ-followers. Grow in a good ministry, but most importantly, be a Christ-follower!
“According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I [Paul] have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” I Cor. 3:10-11
“Ah, vain world! Thou art a poor reward for the loss of Christ and Heaven. While Satan is pleasing thy fancy with the rattles and baubles of the Earth, his hand is on thy treasure, robbing thee of that which alone is necessary. It is more necessary to be saved than to be in Hell.”
— Curnall, 1617-1679
Like a subtle merchant, the world offers us a good sample of bad wares and outwardly presents the best end of the stuff to our view. The innermost and middle parts of what was offered are usually coarse and unsatisfactory. What we are tempted to partake in is slight and unworthy. What we end up with is counterfeit and purposely falsified. We find all this out when it is often too late to change our minds, and a life is often ruined by what the unsaved world offered.
“If you can get along with the world, then you are out of step with God.” — Dr. Harold Sightler
As a boy, I read of an ice palace built one winter at Petersburg. The walls, the roof, the floors, the furniture were all of ice and were finished with taste. All that was in the ice palace could be found in a royal palace. The ice, while in the state of water, had been previously colored so that all seemed formed of proper materials to the eye, but all was cold, useless, and transient.
Had the cold continued until now, the palace might have still stood, but with the returning spring, it melted away. There should have been one stone in the building with an inscription reminding people of what once had stood on the spot, as there was no sign of it after the spring thaw.
Men build and plan as if their works were to endure forever, but time passes, and they are often gone. After all their preparations and labor, there is usually no reminder of what they spent their money, passions, labors, and priorities on. They put their life’s priorities on temporal things rather than those that would last for eternity. Their priorities were spent on the wrong temporary things.
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” I John 2:15
Men in the valley of poverty, disgrace, or pain often think that if they were on the top of a certain mountain, they would be far above their current position and be in a better place. They think if they were there they would have riches, honors, fewer problems, more delights, and would be happier.
King Solomon had gotten to the top of that mountain and realized what he had done to get there. It was there he said, “Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.” Eccl. 2:11. The things of this world can only bring temporary satisfaction.
“Those who go to the limit to enjoy all the things that the devil provides in this world find that the way in the end is hard. For the moment, sin appears to be the thing that you need, and there is a thrill in sin, but the thrill soon destroys the sinner, and it becomes a burden and a heartache.”
— Dr. Harold Sightler
In Chile, where the ground is subject to frequent shocks from earthquakes, the houses are built of low height and are unenduring structures. It is useless to dig deep foundations and pile up high walls where the earth is so unstable. It would be foolish to build something that would stand for ages, when the whole edifice might be in ruins in a week.
Herein, we read a lesson as to our worldly schemes and possessions. This poor, fleeting world deserves not that we should build our hopes and joys upon it as though they could last us long. We must treat it as treacherous soil and build but lightly on it.
“Let us use worldly things as wise pilgrims do their walking staves and other necessaries they pack for their journey. So long as they help us forward in our way, let us use them and accordingly esteem them. But, if they become troublesome hindrances and cumbersome burdens, let us leave them behind us, or cast them away.” —Lowname, 1644.