Summary: We are all construction workers. What kind of a builder are you in God’s building project? Are you the sloppy, get it done fast kind - or an expert builder. Find out how to become a master tradesman in God’s kingdom.
For an audio copy of this message, go to www.LivingWatersWeb.com and search for 2003-017.
When I was a high school student I admit I didn’t understand wood shop. I just didn’t get why it was so important to build a bird house in just the prescribed manner. I didn’t care much about building at all. I would slap stuff together that seemed to get the job done at the time. It wasn’t until much later, after I actually did work on my own home – that I learned the value of being a good builder. This became especially important when I discovered that I would still be relying on my construction projects a decade after they were completed – I am ashamed to admit – some of them didn’t last the test of time.
So today we come to the question – when it comes to construction projects in your life – what kind of a builder are you – the sloppy, finish quickly, don’t worry about the long term kind – or what I call the heroic builder?
Paul finishes Chapter 2 by saying “But we have the mind of Christ.” God has revealed to us things by His Spirit that the world doesn’t understand. But that doesn’t mean that all Christians understand those things in the same way – and not all Christians are building the same way as they serve God. That was one of the big problems in Corinth.
Remember the main themes of the book: Immaturity, carnality, and a world view that was ascetic or hedonistic – overly rule-oriented or overly sin-oriented. Immaturity is the breeding ground of it all. If you don’t grow in knowledge and faith, then you fill in the blanks – and that’s what led to the divisions that racked the church – and still do to this day. And Paul takes them to task – after showing them that they had access to the spiritual truths of God’s own Spirit – not available to the world – he slams them for taking on the world’s attitudes instead of God’s.
1 Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as 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 quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men? 4 For when one says, "I follow Paul," and another, "I follow Apollos," are you not mere men?
Being in “infant” in Christ is okay. There is so much love and sincerity about a new believer – whose sins are washed away in Jesus. I remember how excited I was as a new Christian – the excitement and zeal –its wonderful. I didn’t understand many of the deep things of God, only the basics. I drank up the “milk” of the Word – learning about Jesus, stories from other believers of the great things God had done – but I knew practically nothing about theology – the “why” behind what I had experienced.
I remember when we had kids – and first they drank just milk, then we mushed up carrots and stuff for them – it was practically pre-digested. I never thought of giving them a big juicy steak – they’d choke on it. So too with young believers – they need the simple truths of God’s love – sort of predigested.
It’s after we have been in Christ for a while that He begins showing us freedom not only from sin, but also freedom from the flesh. We discover that God is in the transformation business – the more we understand Him the more we cede our lives and our will to Him.
But we have a choice as a Christian – we can live by the Spirit – or we can continue to live in our carnal nature. It’s a fight – the Spirit against the flesh. Listen to what Paul wrote in Romans 8:5-8
5 Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7 the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.
If we let the flesh control our thoughts, desires, and actions – then we are a carnal Christian – saved, yes, but not pleasing God. To go to the next level we need to start letting go of the flesh and start taking on solid food. Milk is only a perfect food for babies. Try just drinking milk your whole life!