Summary: Paul is clear to the Corinthians that there are two levels of Christian living. Some believers are living in the flesh, the carnal and others are living in the spiritual. This is still true today. Some believers are still on milk while others eat meat.
Paul begins the 3rd chapter of his letter by telling the Corinthians that there are two levels of Christian living.
Some believers are living in the flesh... in the carnal, ..... and some are living in the spiritual.
Through the discernment of the Holy Spirit, ....it was made clear to Paul ..... that the Corinthians were living in the flesh. (Pause)
You will find the word flesh or in many other translations the word carnal ..... three times in our text today.
Paul was convinced that it would be useless to speak of spiritual things..... to those in the church ..... who were walking in the flesh.
The Corinthians were Believers, ... Christians,....... babes in Christ; ....... But there was one deadly fault......they were carnal .... they were still living in the flesh.
He seems to be saying: "I cannot teach you spiritual truths .... about the spiritual life ..... for you have chosen ..... to live as the world....in a fleshly state.
It was not because they were an ignorant or stupid people.
They were a people full of knowledge, ....yet a people who were unwilling to yield from their fleshly .... their carnal ways.
We each must make a decision .....as to which level of Christian life we desire....... Do you seek the carnal .... or do you seek the spiritual.
To fully take to heart ..... the meaning of these Scriptures .....we need to begin ..... by addressing the attributes of this carnal state.
I am convinced that this carnal.... this fleshly state ..... is one..... of prolong infancy. (Pause)
Paul had started his ministry in Corinth ....around 50 AD.
And He wrote this letter to the Corinthian Church ...from Ephesus in 56 AD ..... about 6 years later.
Paul states...... that by this time .....you should have reached early adulthood, ..... but you are still babes ... you have not matured in Christ. (Long Pause)
Is there anything more delightful ..... than a six-month-old child?
But suppose you saw this same child again ....when they had turned one ..... and the child had not grown.
The parents would probably say and you would probably think, "There must be something wrong; ..... the child isn't growing."
If after three years you saw that this same little boy or girl .....and they still had not grown you would not be surprised to hear:...... "The doctor says the child has a terrible disease and cannot grow."
You return six years later there is still no growth.
The doctor goes on: "It is a wonder ....that this Child is alive."
Babyhood is a most beautiful thing,.... but babyhood continued too long ....is a burden..... a sorrow, .....a sign of a disease .....or a disorder.
And when Paul wrote this letter .....that was the exact state ..... of many of the Corinthian believers. (Long Pause)
Now, what are some of the attributes .... of a baby?
Well...a baby cannot help itself,..... and a baby cannot help others.
And that was the life of many in the Corinthian Church ....and sadly that is the state of many.... in the Western Churches .... Today. They are like ....small babes.
They do not know how to feed on the Spiritual Word.... they do not know how feed themselves.... They choose to be spoon-fed...if they choose to be fed at all.
The fleshly .... The carnal Christian..... has become stagnant in their relationship..... with God.
They have stopped growing .....or in some cases spiritually reverted back .....to infancy.
They may desire to be spiritual. Yet....they do not even set aside time ..... to be with their Lord.
They reject or ignore Christ's instructions,
They seldom pray... and they rarely pick up Gods word and read on their own.
They have lost their first Love.
They reject or ignore Christ's instructions to be faithful...... "If you love me, (Slow) keep my commandments"
Often The carnal Christian has lost the spiritual joy ....that permeates a mature relationship with God.
For a little child, .... For a spiritual babe of three months, ...... to be carnal ..... to not understand ..... is natural.
But when a follower of Christ continues year after year ....to not grow or mature .....something ....something is radically wrong.
Nothing can keep a child in prolonged infancy except ...... some disease or some disorder.
So (1 Finger) this carnal.... This fleshly state is one of prolong infancy. And (2 Fingers) In this state sin and failure become the master.
What proof does Paul give that these men and women are fleshly?
He first charges them..... that they are not a spiritual people..... and then he asks them a question (vv. 3-4).