Summary: Maturity, Growth, Division, Purpose
GROWN UP CHRISTIANS – Babies Are Cute, but Not When They Have to Shave
1 Corinthians 3:1-9 (p. 794) May 17, 2015
Steve Farrar wrote a great book called “Point Man.” It focuses on godly men leading their wives, families and friends. He says:
“We’re all selfish. Selfish to the core. God sometimes chooses to deal with our selfishness by giving us someone to care for who is infinitely more selfish than you. Babies are not only the cutest creatures on the face of the earth, they are by far the most selfish. Farrar goes on to write: “The way God deals with my own selfishness is to give me someone to serve who has zero interest in serving me. You can’t tell me that God doesn’t have a sense of humor. Not too many people in the world could out-selfish me one-on-one. But every time we’ve had a baby, I’ve met my match. Each of my kids resembled me. I don’t mean they looked like me, I mean they were as selfish as me. That meant that somebody in the family was going to have to grow up. Guess who was nominated?”
We know who gets nominated! He did! I’ve entitled this message, “Babies are (cute) nice but not when they have to shave!”
Just because you hear a Spirit filled message on Sunday morning doesn’t mean you’ll listen to the Holy Spirit when He asks you to apply it on Wednesday or Thursday.
James says, “Do not merely listen to the Word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the Word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.”
The Corinthians had been given the “milk” of God’s Word, the gospel...the essential vitamins of infancy in Christ...but they remained “worldly” people....how could you tell? Jealousy...quarreling.
The Apostle Paul had given them the foundation of Jesus to build on, but instead of building a solid temple for God’s Spirit to dwell in and work through...They build a worldly “little pig” house out of wood, hay and straw.
Instead of growing as spirit led men and women walking in faith, the Corinthians are still on the bottle and barely able to crawl. Both men and women... “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.”
Let me start by saying:
I. GOD INTENDED FOR BABIES TO BE DEPENDANT ON OTHERS
[When Kari was born her mother Nancy almost died because of an infection in her body...she came very close to having her leg amputated. She was in a hospital in Panama City Florida...and for the first 9 weeks of Kari’s life she was with her aunt Joy in New Jersey. It wasn’t possible for Nancy to take care of her, so Joy did. Kari bonded with Joy in a way that still shows its strength even today. Why? All of us know...baby Kari needed nourishment, protection and love...and God did just that through Joy. By the way...I cannot even fathom how hard that must have been for Nancy and Ken who loved their first child and were fighting for Nancy’s life.]
Babies are the most dependant creations on the face of the earth. Left alone they will not survive for long. Babies have to have people caring for them...and MAN! They’ll let you know when they want something! Even if it’s 2 am.
When scripture tells us in Philippians chapter 2 that “Jesus made himself nothing...being made in human likeness being found in appearance as a man...He humbled himself...
An understatement? The creator of the entire universe...the one John’s Gospel (chapter 1) says “Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.” (v. 3)
The creator of all things is born of a virgin, through the miraculous intervention of God’s Spirit...And the Word...The Logos of creation becomes “flesh”...an infant...the most dependant of all His creation...a baby to be cared for...Humbling Himself...yeah...kinda!”
God would understand every aspect of humanity...what you and I go through by experience...“We have someone who is able to empathize with our weaknesses, one who was tempted in every way like we are – yet, He did not sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)
God intended for babies to be dependent on others....He even experienced that Himself through Christ.
No wonder spiritually we go through the same process as being born...only it’s a rebirth, being born again according to Jesus... “Unless you are born again you cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)
Spiritual conception comes with conviction of our sin, faith leads us to respond to that seed being planted with confession, repentance, baptism...and the Spirit of God is a gift...just as He was used in Mary’s physical conception...He is the agent of our Spiritual rebirth. Jesus said, “Flesh gives birth to flesh but the Spirit gives birth to Spirit...you should not be surprised at me saying you must be born again. (John 3:6-7)