Believers Who Act Like Unbelievers
1 Corinthians 3:1-4

© 2006 Steve Lewis - contact@SpiritAndTruth.org

COURSE

Introduction

The Facts of Their Immaturity (1 Cor 3:1-2)

Paul’s Three Comparisons:


Notice the comparative word “AS” in each phrase.
  1. “NOT as to spiritual” = These people belonged to the group of SPIRITUAL men, but Paul was forced to speak to them as if they were not part of that group.
  2. “But as to fleshly” (sarkinos) = made of flesh, consisting of the material of flesh. Paul is saying that he must speak to them like he might speak to ones who were completely made of flesh (the Natural man).
  3. As to infants” (nepios) = literally, “not speaking” - like very small children. This clearly implies that the Corinthians had experienced the new birth in Christ and belonged to the category of Spiritual men. The normal progression is from the natural man, through conversion, to a babe in Christ, followed by a normal growth toward maturity. There is nothing wrong with starting the Christian life as an infant - infancy is a normal stage of life. But Paul is not saying they were babes because they were newly born into the family of God, but because they were inexcusably immature.
Natural ManSpiritual Man
One nature = the old, fleshly, fallen nature Two natures = old nature + new, spiritual nature
UnsavedSaved
At home in this worldAn alien to this world
Independence from GodSubmission to God

Their Prolonged Infancy (1 Cor 3:2)

The Evidence for Their Immaturity (1 Cor 3:3-4)

Points of Application

Two natures beat within my breast: one is foul, the other blest;
The one I love, the one I hate; the one I feed will dominate.