• Matt Beaney

#482 (16/11/21) READY FOR SOLID FOOD? (1 COR. 3:2)



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

'I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.' (1 Corinthians 3:2)

I remember our children only having milk and the slow progression to having more and more complex solid food. My wife, I hasten to add, took the initiative and made a plan; I looked on at the progress. It’s very pleasing to see progress in children. Progress is healthy. Progression from dependence to increasing, wise independence is a parent’s aim. Some of the Corinthians were of concern to Paul. He had planted this church some 4-5 years earlier, but many were not making healthy progress in their spiritual lives; this is a very relevant message to all of us is it not?


i) WHAT IS MILK?

Firstly, it’s important that we understand what Paul means by ‘milk’ and ‘solid food’.

Milk is the message of the gospel. Milk is understanding the message of the cross and how it reconciles us to God. The life-saving and life-giving milk of the gospel is well put in the previous chapter,

‘When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.’ (1 Corinthians 2:1-2)

ii) WHAT IS SOLID FOOD?

Both milk and solid food are food. They are not radically different. They are the same thing but with more complexity. What Paul terms ‘solid food’ is the gospel understood more deeply and applied more widely. Solid food is reading the whole of scripture through the lens of the gospel. It’s making moral judgements based upon the power of the gospel in our lives. It’s having the skill to say, ‘therefore’ in light of the cross.


ii) YOU WERE NOT READY FOR SOLID FOOD

Some in the Corinthian church were drinking and feeding on the polluted streams and the rancid fare of this world. Their divisions and pride were far from the humility and love that come from those who drink and eat from the gospel. It’s so often true that we can all be more ‘ready’ for the vacuous, perverted and self-made teachings of this world than we are for God’s perfect, life-giving truth!


IN RESPONSE

Are you ready for ‘solid food’? Are we as a church ready and desiring solid food? Are we progressing in our understanding of God and His word? Are we diligent students? Here are a few practical ways to help you:


i) Pray for the Holy Spirit to give you hunger and insight.

ii) Be faithful to attend church, Community Groups and prayer meetings. We learn from others.

iii) Make notes on the Sunday message and look at them prayerfully.

iv) Read the Bible daily - using a study guide or a study Bible is helpful.

vi) Questioning a text (as below) is very helpful as we learn much better when we are active in our learning.

v) Begin your devotions by thanking God for the gospel and how He saved you in Christ.

vi) Read good books that will teach you how to read and understand God’s word. Dig Deeper by Nigel Beyond and Andrew Sachs is a great guide to how to read the bible.


God wants to see in us the mature attitude of the Bereans who, although just entering the Christian faith, showed the maturity that God wants us to exhibit,

‘Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.’ (Acts 17:11)


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.

'I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.' (1 Corinthians 3:2)

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 start by focusing on sharing, planning and praying for our carol service which is coming up on the 5th of 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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