Summary: 1 of 10. Paul reveals the traits of unspiritual men. Unspiritual men are unable to exist in harmony. But Why? Because...No mere men can Overcome...
NO MERE MEN-I—1Corinthians 3:1-9
Superman—1950’s TV show/Always opened with these statements about Superman...‘Faster than a speeding bullet’—‘More powerful than a locomotive’—‘Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound’—‘Look...up in the sky, its a bird, its a plane, its superman! Yes, its superman, strange visitor from another planet who came to earth with powers & abilities far beyond those of mortal men.” Superman...who can change the course of mighty rivers...Bend steel in his bare hands”..... “fights a never-ending battle for truth, justice & the American way!”
Obviously Superman is No Mere man!
There has always been an abundance of superhero-based movies & TV. All mankind realizes that their world is in need of a savior. Realizing that No Mere Men can accomplish the world’s greatest need…dealing with sin.
Paul reveals the traits of unspiritual men.
Unspiritual men are unable to exist in harmony.
Why are the unspiritual unable to live in harmony?
1—No mere men can Overcome...
:1—“And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ.”
Note that though Paul chides the church for being “carnal” they are still considered & identified as “brethren” as well as being “in Christ.” So these are saved yet sinning. This is no condition in which the Christian should find satisfaction/relief.
Though these are “brothers” & “in Christ,” yet Paul(& Sosthenes/Silas) cannot relate to them as to other more mature believers.
*What does ‘maturity’ entail? Minimally it encompasses a willingness to forego self & grow in Christ rather than to be satisfied with our own preferences. It is a desire to see others served to the exclusion of having our own wants & needs met(Php. 2:3-4).
His ability to relate the things of God to/concerning them is hindered. He found it impossible to “speak” in the same manner that he would normally “speak” to those who are “spiritually” aware/conscious.
Paul rather had to relate to these who should have been “spiritual,” in a manner that was “as to carnal.” He had to reveal the truths of God in the same manner as he did to fleshly(“carnal”) people in the initial stage of their walk with the Lord!...Or possibly even as if they were lost! They were like mere “babes” in their relationship with Christ.
A man of flesh & a “babe” in Christ are very nearly synonymous in regard to behaviors, which stem from our heart attachments. Both signify a spiritually ill-equipped person.
Evidently this “carnal” relationship “in Christ” resulted from their own willful choice—a lack of attention to &/or neglect of the relationship— as his audience obviously consisted of adults.
Such an immature relation to Christ was appalling to Paul & should be to any Christian.
Js. 5:19-20—“Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, & someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death & cover a multitude of sins.”
“Spiritual”—pneumatikoiv—Plural Adj.—1) Relating to the human spirit, or rational soul, as part of the man which is akin to God & serves as his instrument or organ—1a) That which possesses the nature of the rational soul; 2) Belonging to a spirit, or a being higher than man but inferior to God; 3) Belonging to the Divine Spirit—3a) Of God the Holy Spirit, 3b) One who is filled with & governed by the Spirit of God; 4) Pertaining to the wind or breath; windy, exposed to the wind, blowing. Strong—Non-carnal, i.e. humanly--Ethereal(as opposed to gross), or daemoniacally--A spirit(concretely), or divinely--Supernatural, regenerate, religious.
“Carnal/of Flesh/Worldly”(See :3, 4)—sarkikov—Adj.—1) Fleshly, carnal—1a) Having the nature of flesh, i.e. under the control of the animal appetites—1a1) Governed by mere human nature not by the Spirit of God, 1a2) Having its seat in the animal nature or aroused by the animal nature, 1a3) Human: with the included idea of depravity, 1b) Pertaining to the flesh—1b1) To the body: related to birth, linage, etc. Sarkikov means fleshly, that which is controlled by the wrong desires which rule in the flesh, flesh often being understood in its broad sense, see sarx. It describes a man who gives the flesh the dominion in his life, a place which does not belong to it by right. It means distinctly opposed to the Spirit of God, anti-spiritual. Strong—Pertaining to flesh, i.e. (by extension)--Bodily, temporal, or (by implication)--Animal, unregenerate. Used 11X.
“As to”—wv—Adverb—1) As, like, even as, etc.. Strong—probably adverb of comparative from ov; Which how, i.e. In that manner(very variously used...).
“Babes/Infants/Babies”—nhpiov—Adj.—1) An infant, little child; 2) A minor, not of age; 3) metaph.--Childish, untaught, unskilled. Strong—from an obsolete particle nh-(implying negation) & epov[a word]; Not speaking, i.e. An infant(minor); figuratively--A simple-minded person, an immature Christian.
Rom. 7:22-25—“For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, & bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God--through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.”