Dear brothers and sisters, when I was with you I couldn't talk to you as I would to spiritual people. I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in the Christian life. I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren't ready for anything stronger. And you still aren't ready, for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn't that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren't you living like people of the world? (1 Cor 3:1-3)
You want meat, you want the essence of life, the deeper things of God. (See also Bible Gem 34 for a deeper understanding of broma - meat) How can you handle meat when you are still babies is the inference? Paul says, “I have to talk to you like infants. You can’t handle the meat yet. Your sinful nature, your fleshlyness [σαρκικός – sarkikos from σαρx - flesh] is showing. Paul uses this word three times for the Corinthians. You are being fleshly guys. Inference being: Snap out of it people. You want deeper things but you can’t handle deeper things. You are like babies who want to run before they can walk. You are just the same. You can’t handle the deeper things of God when you are still stuck on your flesh.
Paul goes on to use three other interesting words.
ζῆλος - zēlos which has a positive sense of or ardour or zeal but has a negative sense of jealousy, enmity, malice, envy
ἔρις – eris which means quarrelling, wrangling, being contentious, strife
διχοστασία – dichostasia meaning being in two states disunion, dissension or even seditious to the pulling something down.
Why did Paul not use just one of these words? One would have sufficed. But instead he uses all three and uses the word fleshly three times. Paul is making a very strong point here. Oh you want the spiritual, you want the deep things but you can’t handle the basics. You are full of envy, strife and dissensions. You are far from the spiritual and deeper things of God.
Paul is setting the Corinthians up for what follows. He has built his argument to the point where he now addresses the issues he wants to talk about. He has heard what has been going on through Chloe’s group and others and now addresses the issue head on.
Delayed obedience is disobedience
It's not what you know that shapes your life, but what you worship.
I believe in the separation of church & hate. Rick Warren
LOVE is the secret ingredient to EXCELLENCE. Do everything with love...