• Matt Beaney

#481 (15/11/21) INFANTS IN CHRIST (1 COR. 3:1)

Updated: Nov 15



This week’s devotionals are based on 1 Corinthians 3:1-9.

'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.' (1 Corinthians 3:1)

This is a strong challenge to say the least! How would you and I take to being confronted in this way? Are we humble enough to receive and even welcome criticism? ‘Brothers and sisters’ - family in Christ - love each other enough to give and take loving rebuke.


i) ARE WE FAILING TO LIVE BY THE SPIRIT?

The Corinthians are failing to ‘live by the Spirit’ - they are not listening to the Spirit in regard to their relationships: we will see that there is serious sexual immorality among them (5:1-12); they are taking each other to court (6:1-11); they are not honouring marriage (7:1-18) etc. They are also dividing over preferred leaders, which is the specific issue that he is correcting in today’s text; to divide over good Christian leaders is to grieve the Spirit and is living like a baby Christian.


ii) ARE WE WORLDLY AND INFANTILE IN OUR RELATIONSHIPS?

He tells them that they are ’still worldly - mere infants’. To be worldly is to be infantile. ‘Worldly’ is the word ‘flesh’. To live according to the flesh is to live in opposition to the desires of the Holy Spirit. These Christians, like all Christians, have the Holy Spirit, but they are grieving Him in their relationships. To be an infantile Christian is to listen to and obey sinful temptations over and above the voice of the Holy Spirit, specifically, in regard to relationships. In this context, Infantile Christians have a worldly approach to leaders - they respect or disrespect them based upon a worldly value scheme.


IN RESPONSE

Are you and I listening to the Holy Spirit or the flesh in our relationships? Specifically, regarding our leaders, are we infantile? Could we make it a habit to pray for our leaders more faithfully? Do we value leaders for their faithfulness to scripture and the gospel or because of charisma and presentation? Could we be more proactive by encouraging them from time to time? Do you and I expect too much from our spiritual leaders and have we allowed bitterness to sour our relationships? Do we expect too little from our leaders, failing to see them as having God-given authority in our lives? Take a moment to pray for the spiritual leaders that God has put into your life.


OVER TO YOU - PRAY AND WORSHIP OUT OF THE BIBLE

I’ve made a few comments. However, it’s more important that you engage with the text yourself. Take a moment to pray and listen to God’s voice out of today’s text.

'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.' (1 Corinthians 3:1)

I find it helpful to use the following questions which are based upon The Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6:9-13).


1. Praise - What does this text teach me about God? What can I praise Him for?

2. Petitions - What does this teach me about His will for me and others? What could I pray for from this text? This is a good time to pray for our non-believing. friends. It’s good to ask, Is the Holy Spirit leading me in any specific response?

3. Peace-making - Is the Holy Spirit convicting me of sin for which I need forgiveness? Do I need to forgive others?

4. Protection - Ask for God’s protection generally and for any specific areas of vulnerability. Am I believing lies regarding the truths in this text?

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY


1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.


We have our second gift day on the 21st of November. Let's be praying for How the Father wants us to get involved.

2. Icebreaker

How has God spoken to you from the Bible this week?

2. Focus on the carol service

I'd like us to focus on sharing, planning and praying for our carol service which is coming up on the 5th December.


Let's watch this short video together (The image below is the link)



1. Who are you planning to invite to the carol service on 5th December?

2. Do you plan to do anything special to connect (SIV) with your friends outside of the church during this Christmas season?

3. Prayer

i) Let's spend some time in prayer for ourselves, that we would be courageous and invite people.

ii) Pray for our friends to be receptive.

iii) Pray for the carol service in general and Adrian in particular.


Here is the link for you to book ticket for yourself and your friends:

https://www.communitychurchputney.com/carol-service-2021



3. Recap of Sunday's message - please share in your group


On Sunday, Nev spoke from 1 Corinthians 3:1-9

‘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 quarrelling 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? 5 What, 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. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.’ (1 Corinthians 3:1-9)

The Corinthians are dividing over many things; he tells them that they are infantile because there is 'jealousy and quarrelling' among them.

Nev, focussed on verse 9, where we see that the church is 'God’s field, God’s building'. The church, like any garden or building, should reflect the skill and design of the builder; therefore, love and unity that reflects the Gospel should be rich in every church.


Discussion questions

1. What is the 'milk' and 'solid food' that this text refers to?

2. Why does he tell them that they are 'worldly - mere infants'?

3. What do verses 6-8 teach us about the correct attitude toward leaders?

4. The local church is 'God's field, God's building'. How would our relationships with leaders and others be if we allowed God to build us as He would want?

5. As 'God's cultivated field', Nev challenged us with this question that we can discuss together: How do you ensure that you put your roots into Jesus each day?





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