Summary: 5 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-V—1Corinthians 3:1-9
I weed-eat the empty lot beside the pastorium. Its a ‘bear’ to get it all done in one day. In fact, it could never be completed in one day if it were not for the weed-eater itself. A tool before which tall weeds cower & which strikes fear into the heart of ground-hugging weeds! By the power of the weed-eater our weeds are knocked down to a manageable/controllable size. I could never get the job done by hand, by uprooting every plant or even tearing the top off of each one. I need something more(strength, speed, precision, energy, etc.) than I am humanly capable of.
When it comes down to it, without tools, Mere Men’s abilities are severely limited, accomplishing only a very small amount of the work they desire.
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?
Because...No mere men can Overcome...
And as we have discovered previously—No mere men can Overcome...
8—No mere men can Overcome
:6—“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.
It is easy for individual members of a team to err in considering themselves individually as the ‘main attraction.’ One is decidedly gifted & ‘better at’ “planting” while the other is gifted & ‘better at’ “watering.”
But then carnal/babes in Christ(sinning sinners)(:1) tend to compare apples with oranges rather than apples to apples. Thus differentiating the two not in terms of fulfillment/complementation(?Dr. Seuss word?) of a team but in terms of ‘comparison’ within the team, thus destroying the ultimate potential of the team.
“Planted”(See :7)—futeuw—1) To plant. Strong—from a derivative of fuw[probably originally, to "puff" or blow, i.e. to swell up; but only used in the implied sense, to germinate or grow (sprout, produce), literally or figuratively]; To set out in the earth, i.e. Implant; figuratively--To instill doctrine. Used 11X.
“Watered”(See :2—“Fed/Gave”; :7)—potizw—1) To give to drink, to furnish drink; 2) To water, irrigate (plants, fields etc.); 3) metaph. To imbue, saturate one's mind. Strong—from a derivative of the alternate of pinw[to imbibe (literally or figuratively)]; To furnish drink, irrigate.
“Gave the Increase”(See :7)—auxanw—1) To cause to grow, augment; 2) To increase, become greater; 3) To grow, increase. Strong—a prolonged form of a primary verb; To grow("wax"), i.e. Enlarge(literal or figurative, active or passive).
:7—“So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.”
Its not about who is ‘better’ than another.
Its about ‘Whom do you glorify.’ & ‘Who brings about “the increase” in God’s kingdom?’
If there is any “increase”/growth it should NOT be because of the hand of man but due to God’s provision. My/Your allowing(thru my/your obedience) benefits God’s desire toward fulfilling His intention, in an unhindered manner.
“Every worker is equally insignificant before God.”—ECNT
“Anything”—tiv—Pron.—1) A certain, a certain one; 2) Some, some time, a while. Strong—an enclitic indefinite pronoun; Some or Any person or object.
Gal. 6:3— “For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.”
Jn. 15:1-5—“I am the true vine, & My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; & every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, & I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, & I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
2Cor. 12:9-10—“And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Seemingly but not actually Insignificant!
1Cor. 12:4-11, 12-27—“There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one & the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.” “For as the body is one & has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free--& have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be? But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; & our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are the body of Christ, & members individually.