1 Corinthians 3:1-4
3 Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? 4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings?
It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to blog, life changes has had me getting up at 4:30 am for work 5 days a week for the last 6 months. Not only has it taken it’s toll physically since I have commitments several days a week from 7-9pm, I discovered I really missed this opportunity to share my journey and dig into the word of God through this medium.
Whether anybody reads this is another story, but not one for me to concern myself with.
So provided I can keep the momentum going this could be the start of a new series. I was introduced to a bible reading program from a friend who goes to The Rock in Orange County California called Solid Life Journal.
What I realized in that process is that since coming to Christ authentically over 4 years ago I have found myself committed to daily SOAP (Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer) either through this blog or now through that journal which has been my morning foundation in God’s word that supplanted blogging during this time away from the keyboard. Maybe I can combine them both now.
So today’s chapter is 1 Corinthians 3 and I didn’t make it past the opening paragraph before being drawn into the question, what does it look like to be “acting merely human” and how does mine and other’s life reflect Spirit or flesh throughout the day.
Paul calls out the behaviors of the church of Corinth here, with them drawing division among themselves by saying that even though their theology in the Trinity of God is exactly the same, Paul is calling out their self-imposed divisions over the non-essentials.
Hmmm, let’s see if this 2000 yr old problem is applicable to today…
The Catholic church split, then Reformation split off from Catholicism, and now there are literally 50,000 different denomination within the Reformed church; each having their own unique dogma that says – my way is unique, correct, better, right for me.
This Apostasy (not everyone holds my view that this is biblical apostasy but it breaks my heart we aren’t TRULY one body) is that ALL of Christianity isn’t united. So many of my apologetic friends in both Catholicism and Evangelical circles consider their calling to convince the “other side” that they are wrong; and here’s why. There are hundreds of books detailing why Catholicism and Reformation are right or wrong and powerful testimonies of conversion on either side.
Are these testimonies of people being won over to Christ?
Or is it simply that the addition or removal of human behaviors and beliefs over the doctrines of worship made them “feel” like they were closer to God. Did there position in Christ change? Are they more or less children of God now? Has their calling and divine appointment changed?
My heart aches as it seems to me we have taken our eyes off the great commission to “make disciples“. Isn’t that exactly what Paul is saying here. Stop taking sides and creating imaginary division and go tend to lost and broken hearted.
Our faith walk is hard enough without making other believers our intellectual enemies.
I’m not saying that every person doesn’t have a unique calling in the body of Christ and that apologetics doesn’t have it’s place, but how is trying to convince people who already believe in Christ that their beliefs are misplaced truly serving the Great Commission of sharing the Gospel and converting NON-believers?
Is not the ultimate purposes of God that we OURSELVES be transformed into the likeness of Christ, that we may love each other with a purity, purpose and passion that transcends human likeness?
And is not the very foundation and word of Christ rooted in love?
And is not Love defined purely and perfectly by God Himself in His word?
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
It would seem Satan has had a gigantic victory by urging us to take our eyes off the incredibly difficult and nearly impossible task of “removing the log from our own eye” first in our own transformation into the likeness of Christ and instead becoming “merely human” in our intellectual pursuits to prove who’s right and wrong and in the process tear down another’s faith in Christ, creating division, fear, doubt, resentment.
Christ is the Only One that is right, always and forever. He is to be our only focus, our only purpose and passion. When we realize the depth of our brokenness and become prone in front of the cross, our heart will ache for that which aches God’s own heart.
And what does God weep over? My sin. Yes The Cross covers my sin, but when I operate from my sin nature by “acting merely human” in whatever form that takes, whether through selfishness, pride, lust, arrogance, anger, resentments, isolation, or the myriad of other “merely human” behaviors… I believe God weeps.
This is not a legalistic condemnation, my heart has become one who earnestly seeks it to be broken by the things that break God’s heart, and in that is forever being revealed the next layer of sinfullness in my own character and a heart that aches for those who aren’t living in pursuit of Christ in their own life.
I don’t have to convince people “how” to love Christ, I have to model for them how Christ’s love is changing me.
Father God, you know the condition of my heart. As Peter lost sight of your calling on his own life after his denial of You, Your response was merely to remind him that he does in fact love You, and remind him of his commission, to feed Your sheep. Lord, my sin pulls me away from You, but in Your incredible grace and through the resurrection power of the Cross I am made new each day and I believe the calling is the same, to love not only You and others, but myself in a manner that glorifies You Father. Help us all Lord, those who know You and those who don’t come to recognize what is truly important and what the ever-present pull of being merely human does to minimize your Glory. In Jesus’ name I pray…