Summary: View of the Church Part 1 of 2 in the series of I Corth.

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(Part 1)

1 Corinthians 3:1-9


A. The Corinthians were proud of their gifts and their wisdom. They seemed to be critical of Paul’s simple message.

B. Paul tells them he must keep his teaching simple because they are “mere infants in Christ” (v. 1).

C. I wonder what this did to their pride?

D. Paul goes on to give three different viewpoints of the church. We will deal with the first two in this message.

It’s sad to watch someone who has deceived themselves.

1. people who talk the talk, but can’t walk the walk.

2. this was the situation Paul faced in Corinth, as we’ve seen in the first few chapters.

3. this group of believers were sure of their own spirituality, based on their giftedness and their wisdom

4. but as Paul makes very clear in this pointed statement, they were deceiving themselves

5. while Paul corrects this church and perhaps us, he exposes the works of our flesh, shows us the Biblical response, and gives an example this is as relevant as tomorrows newspaper.

I. Paul Views the Church as a Family (vv. 1-4).

A. Paul calls them “brothers” (v. 1). He goes on to say they are not “spiritual” because they are “worldly” and “infants.”

1. They need to be taught but they have already accepted Christ as Savior. Edification or teaching is a constant need in the Christian life.

2. The new birth gives us entrance into Christ as infants. We should grow.

3. Mature Christians are, in a sense, older brothers or sisters to the immature Christian. They need to help in the growing process.

4. not spiritual, but “worldly”, word used=”fleshly”

B. The Corinthians were living on “milk” (v. 2) and Paul wanted to give them “solid food.” Are we mature enough to take “solid food?” Are we growing spiritually?

but the Corinthians were fleshly, and remained so, acc. To v2

C. Their “jealousy” and “quarreling” (v. 3) were proof of their immaturity.

1. Mature people have good relationships; children fuss and pick fights.

now that doesn’t seem so bad, does it? After all, they are just “part of human nature.”

2. Children pick heroes. These immature Christians were arguing over preachers (v. 4).

3. Progress is evident in the growth of children. Do some remain spiritual infants?

5. Children follow and imitate others. What lessons in your life teach others in the church?

II. The Church as a Field (vv. 5-9).

A. The word “servants” (v. 5) is the word we translate as “deacon” or “minister” in some other passages.

1. They were servants through whom the Corinthians first heard the gospel which resulted in their belief in Christ.

2. It was not their intent to develop followers for themselves.

B. God uses us to make things happen in His church (vv. 6-8).

1. We do different things but God makes it successful (John 4:34-38).

2. Our purpose should be that of serving God. We will be rewarded.

1. we fall into self-deception because the works of the flesh seem so right to us

2. we are offended and we get angry, we are opposed and we quarrel, someone else does better and we get jealous.

Il) Old song, “it can’t be wrong, when it feels so right”

3. but make no mistake about it. Paul, in very sharp language, is making a statement.

Il) words of one commentator, -- “Stop it! People of the Spirit simply must stop behaving the way you are”

maturity in Christ is not based on what we know,


1. in Corinth, certain teachers had attracted loyal followers.

2. in 21st century US, would have started two denominations, or at least two churches.

3. fine men, gifted to teach and lead the church

4. Paul makes it clear what’s wrong with it in vv5-9

6. not “who” but “what” is Apollos, what is Paul?




7. merely servants, messengers, and to focus on the messenger instead of the message once again makes us “mere men”

8. when we idolize the man, the human, we are guilty of worshipping the creature instead of the Creator.

9. who, after all, gave the gifts, gave the power, gave the strengths, gave the personality we are so drawn to? God!

10. Paul and Apollos just workers on the farm, construction workers on the building.

11. we in America are star-struck, so prone to follow people.


12. some fine people to follow as examples, but not to make the person him or herself the object of our worship.

13. this is a real curse of the American church

14. and here is the antidote! Recognize who we worship!

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