January 13 I Monday
“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. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly…” —1 Corinthians 3:1-3
Worldliness is defined as mundane or temporal, being absorbed with material things and not being spiritual. Not only was the church in Corinth divided, but they also had disciplinary problems. Rather than demonstrating maturity in Christ, Paul says they are still worldly, mere infants in Christ, who are not ready for solid food.
In Paul’s letter to the church of Corinth, He writes about different issues in the church. Such as sexual immorality, “…whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your bodies” (1 Corinthians 6:18-20). Paul also wrote addressing Christians suing each other and bringing their cases before pagan judges rather than a church council. But not only that, there were people getting drunk at the Lord’s Supper and feasting rather than upholding a deeply reverent time of worship. There were also quarrels on the importance of one spiritual gift over another. As a warning, Paul gives an account of Israel’s history and God’s discipline in the wilderness.
Towards the end of Paul’s letter, he outlines their ultimate problem—their disregard for the basic fundamental Christian doctrine. Paul reminds them, “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve” (1 Corinthians 15:3-5). These events did not happen in a vacuum, but in accordance with prophetic Scripture. Some were denying the resurrection of the dead to which Paul adamantly responds, “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith” (1 Corinthians 15:14).
Corinth was a major port city, where vagrants and criminal elements made their home. It was also entrenched in centuries of pagan philosophies, tradition and the worship of idols. Many people may have considered the church in Corinth hopeless. But whatever our environments, backgrounds or prior beliefs, the work of Jesus Christ in our lives is a work in progress. We all start off on milk, and first need to reach unity in essential Christian doctrine of which resurrection of the dead is fundamental. When we begin to see the world and those around us as God does, through a loving and sacrificial heart, may we progress to solid food, as we desire to serve God with our whole being.
Prayer: Almighty God, help me be ready for solid food. Give me a clear understanding of the essentials in Christian doctrine, and grant me a selfless, loving heart that sees the world as You do. Thank You, Lord.