Joel Jammal on 1 Corinthians 3:1-9

Hey everyone. The reading I’ve got this week is from 1 Corinthiansb3, verses 1 to 9:

“But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh – as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it, and even now you are not ready for you are still of the flesh, for while there is jealousy and strife among you are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way. For when one says, ‘I follow Paul’ and another, I follow Apollos, are you not merely human? What then is Apollos. What is Paul? Servants through whom you believe, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth, so neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labour. For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field – God’s Building,”

And that’s where the reading ends. Ther e’s actually a lot in there for just nine verses, I’ll be curious after Sunday to hear what you guys have to say: about this, but a few things stick out. Paul basically starts off by saying ‘I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it’. What does that mean? I mean, to me that means that there’s a lot of varying levels of concepts throughout the Bible and you’ve got to get the fundamentals right before you can sort of move on. A lot of people, a lot of kids, they really love jumping at the most difficult stuff because it’s interesting. You know. They want to look for … I don’t know – they want to look at the Book of Revelation. They want to look at a lot of, the really interesting things about giants and  such in the Old Testament, and it’s like, ‘hang on guys’. We could get the fundamentals right. Christian Living like what is truth, what are the Commandments? How do you live a fruitful life? How do, you get your, you know, the foundation of your life set, and then you can sort of move on to sort of the more complex things going on and you can start taking on certain leadership roles and start teaching others and start covering some of the more complex areas.

Now I’m not saying this from a position of ‘I know what is going on here’, I’ve just recognized that when it comes to getting the fundamentals right in Christianity, everyone is constantly trying to improve their fundamentals and their Christian living, and it’s a constant struggle. I understand that more than most. I’ve done a few Bible studies, especially with young men, and it can be very difficult for them. There’s a lot of things being thrown at them nowadays, Technology has changed. The ease of access to pornography, and, you know, dating is completely changed, but also, you know, there’s a lot of things with regards to Christian living, whether it be lying, whether it be stealing, and being able to get away with these sorts of things. You know, these are fundamentally things that people need to actually address in Christian living aspects and make sure that they are solid as an individual.

Now … solid foods. It’s very clear that, particularly in the Jewish context when this book was written. It was basically the Jews and the Greeks that really built that idea of debate and thinking, and you see that in Rabbinical writings, you see that in the writings of ancient Greeks – that debate that goes back and forth – and they love to debate these sorts of things, and that that’s great, that’s really good. That’s helped develop Western thinking, but you can get carried away with it. Rather than you know talking about fundamentals about how to live a good life for you, your family and your society, people can get carried away talking till Kingdom come about some of those complex things in the Bible like the Book of Revelation when, in actuality, then this need to perhaps spend more time in the Gospel.

Moving on. They did also talk about Paul talks about in this the idea of some almost worshiping people on Earth Servants of God, like Paul, like Apollos and, the idea that those men should be worshiped is frowned upon by Paul. He says ‘guys it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if Paul ended up planting and Apollos watered. It was God who made it grow’.

Now, what’s the message there? it’s basically that (and I’ve used this analogy before) we are all members of, an orchestra. We play our instruments and we follow the conductor, God, and if we follow our part, it sounds like a masterpiece, it sounds beautiful, but if we all start to, you know … doing our own thing and, you know, hitting the violinist and the violence hitting the cellist, and the cellist throwing his bow at the trumpeter, it starts to fall apart, whereas if you’ve got a situation where Paul and Apollos recognize their roles and all Christians recognise their unique role, just as unique as their DNA is, and they play their part, because God gives us all unique skills, then it starts to work as a well-oiled machine.

And we may not be able to see the success or the fruit of our labour, but God definitely sees it from his vantage point. In fact, for many of the things that you do in your life that are Christian living, or even acts of service to other people,, you may not see the fruit of that until years to come when that person’s, like “you know what you said that to me five years ago, and that really changed my life”, but you might not know about it. You might never find out about maybe you will, and that’s very rewarding for you.

And so, the idea here is that you don’t worship, people. Don’t worship leaders? That’s when you, you start to stray a bit. Full Glory goes to God always. We can’t do anything without him, and that’s the idea here. It’s God who makes it grow. We are all workers of God, and we should rejoice when each other are able to actually improve the world and be constructive.

Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall inherit the earth. We are all Servants of God, and if we’re committed to the blood of Jesus and the message he gave and spreading that gospel. And the idea that, you know, any one of us is the second coming of Jesus, is just ludicrous. Jesus does say, you know, people will come after me that will do greater things than myself, but that doesn’t mean that we glorify ourselves above Jesus. We are still but cogs in this machine of that are guided by the Holy Spirit, and we follow exactly what the Holy Spirit guides us to do, aligned, of course, with the word of God which keeps us like a compass where we should be going.

But anyway … going back to the scripture here … Paul and Apollos, and the Jewish people and the Gentiles that are converting, particularly in Corinth at this time, because this is a letter to Corinth, the Corinthians. This has got a lot of meaning in it – these are these nine verses, and I think I’ll leave at that.

I’ll be curious to hear what you guys have to say on it. I love Corinthians. It’s one of my favourite books, particularly 1 Corinthians chapter 12, but … what do you guys think? Let me know, and by all means, if I’m dead wrong on this you know just tell me,

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