If the apostle Paul were commenting on your Christian maturity, how could he describe you?

Children

Read 1 Corinthians 3 v 1-4

  • - How does Paul describe the Corinthians (v 1-2)?
  • - What proves that they are like this (v 3-4)?

Paul is writing to them as children because they just don't seem ready for anything more. And this is their fault. They had had every opportunity to grow in Christ--Paul had lived among them and Peter (ie: Cephas) seems to have visited them (1 v 12). Paul is not asking, spiritually speaking, a three-year-old to hold an adult conversation; he is asking a 33-year-old to move on to proper food.

.............................................

APPLY

  • - Are you growing in Christian love, knowledge, obedience, godliness... in other words, Christian maturity?
  • - Looking back over the last couple of years, how have you been growing?
  • - Looking forward, in what areas do you need to "grow up?" What will you do in order to mature?

.............................................

The seed

Read verses 5-9

  • - What does Paul teach us about Christian ministry here?
  • - How is this reassuring? How is it humbling?

The building

Read verses 10-17

God is the one who directs the various workmen He employs, because the church is His. And a true church is built on the foundation of Jesus Christ (v 11). God owns the church; and God lives in the church (v 16-17).

  • - How will "church work" be judged (v 12-15)?

.............................................

APPLY

  • - How should this affect our attitude towards our local church?
  • - And towards our work for our church?

.............................................

All is yours

Read verses 18-23

  • - How is verse 21 a summary of Paul's argument through chapters 2 and 3?

A mature Christian realizes there's no need for division in a church; no need to seek reflected glory by backing a particular pastor or speaker or organization. Why? Because everything God has promised is already theirs, not through following Paul, Apollos or Cephas, but by belonging to Christ (v 22-23). While worldly wisdom tells us to put ourselves forward, godly wisdom urges us to enjoy all we have in Jesus, and exalt Him. Praise Him now for giving you real life, no fear of death, and a place in His world to come.

.............................................

This devotional is taken from Explore—a daily Bible-reading devotional from The Good Book Company which enables you to engage with Scripture and which will encourage, equip and inspire you to live for Christ. Explore features contributions from pastors such as Dr Timothy Keller, Mike McKinley and Tim Chester.

Click here and enter the code bstexplore61 when you check out to get the next quarter’s Explore for $5.84, a 10% discount.

Click here and enter bstexploresub when you check out to buy a year’s worth at 25% off—just $16.

Keep a record of what God is teaching you with "My Bible" at BibleStudyTools.com

MORE BIBLE READING PLANS