1 Corinthians 3
Why if you have been saved – if you have been set free – do you live like your non-Christian brothers and sisters? Why has the thing that has saved you not changed you? Paul ponders this question. And the thing that triggers it: how they are treating each other. Envy, strife, tribal alignment fueled by arrogance and exclusivity.
It’s not okay to be saved and not progress toward spiritual maturity; toward a changed life. And if we are being transformed, we love more. We don’t do the things we used to do. The citations for their rebuke are convicting: Envy…uh oh. Strife…ouch! Spiritual elitism around a “team” or particular leader …oh my. They aren’t the typical “sins” we think of that would cause people to say we are not on team Jesus. They are indicators of our heart and our priorities. They are things that show how we are loving our neighbors. These things lead Paul to conclude that though they may be saved, they are not living out their faith. Jesus is not in the Lordship position of their lives.
Do we rest in our salvation and stop there, or do we strive for more? More Jesus. Deeper relationship. More wisdom. More displayed fruit of the Spirit in us. More grace. More compassion. More forgiveness. More love.
Paul uses an analogy of feeding. For a time, milk is appropriate. We all start off as “babes in Christ.” But like the physical development of a child, spiritual development should be seen in believers. The Corinthians should be ready for solid food, but they are still serving each other milk, and this is not okay. The expectation is growth. The goal is to progress over time. At some point, we need a serious heart evaluation if we are still satisfied with milk alone to sustain us. Are we moving forward?
I fear so many of us are content to say we have accepted Christ as our Savior, go to church more often than not, try to be a “good” person, pray here and there….but never fully surrender, fully strive for obedience, fully declare Jesus as LORD of our life. And this puts us in the category Paul is rebuking. Believers who are still going for the bottle of milk instead of the solid food. Or worse, forgoing even the milk for the delicacies of the world.
God, help me never to become so complacent that I fail to thrive; fail to grow. Let me always strive for a deeper relationship with you. I don’t want to just get by and get through this life. I want to step into all you have ordained for me. I want to ready myself for spiritually solid food; I want more of You.
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