1 Corinthians 3:1-8 (NIV)
1Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly—mere infants in Christ. 2I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men? 4For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere men?
5What, 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. 6I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. 7So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor.
I. The Food of the Carnal Christian is Meager Fare.
A. Designed For A Tender Appettite
***Much like Sarah cannot digest a steak, the carnal Christian is not up to a hearty course of Gospel truth. The word is like a sword that cuts him. It makes his belly ache. He would rather be rid of it than allow it to inflict its healing pain.
B. Deficient Nutritionally
*** In an episode of the Peanuts cartoon strip, Snoopy sat droopy-eyed at the entrance of his doghouse. He sighed, "Yesterday I was a dog. Today I'm a dog. Tomorrow I'll probably still be a dog. There's such little hope for advancement."
II. The Friction of the Carnal Christian is Man-made Divisions.
A. The Friction of Animosity
*** There is a cunning little proverb from the sunny land of Spain, but in Northland or in Southland, Is its meaning true and plain; Write it deep within your heart, neither lose nor lend it - Two it takes to make a quarrel; One can always end it.
B. The Friction of Allegiance
***If we are about the business of taking sides, we are not all on the same side. and we are not all working for the same end.
*** A young man once studied violin under a world-renowned master. Eventually the time came for the student's first recital. Following each selection, despite the cheers of the crowd, the performer seemed dissatisfied. Even after the last number, with the shouts louder than ever, the talented violinist stood watching an old man in the balcony. Finally the elderly one smiled and nodded in approval. Immediately the young man relaxed and beamed with happiness. You see, the man in the balcony was his teacher, and thus the applause of the crowd had meant nothing to him until he had first won the hearty approval of his master.
III. The Failure of the Carnal Christian is Mutual Labor
A. Mutual Servant Hood
*** An admirer once asked the famous orchestra conductor Leonard Bernstein what was the most difficult instrument to play. He responded with quick wit: "Second fiddle. I can get plenty of first violinists, but to find one who plays second violin with as much enthusiasm or second French horn or second flute, now that's a problem. And yet if no one plays second, we have no harmony."
B. Mutual Purpose
*** Casey Stengel, former manager of the New York Yankees, once said, "It's easy to get good players. Gettin' 'em to play together, that's the hard part."
C. Mutual Accountability
*** Most serious thought William Gladstone, the renowned statesman,
was asked, "what is the most serious thought which enters your
His instant reply was, "My personal accountability to God."