Thursday, April 8, 2010

1 Corinthians 3 DEVO: Spiritual Retardation

Chapter 3:
Whenever we don’t get along in our home, it affects family relationships: parents, siblings, inlaws & outlaws. The same is true in God’s house and Paul addresses that in chapter 3.
After beginning the topic of divisiveness in 1:10, he picks it up again, this time calling it worldly and childish. When we bicker about things that in the end don’t matter, it brings out self-centered and selfish behavior that is so prominent in our world. These people were inexcusably immature. Mental retardation is a tragedy, but is not a condition we are responsible for. Spiritual retardation is one’s own doing because of selfishness & worldliness.
The problem here was loyalty to those who had led them to Jesus: Paul, Peter, Apollos, etc… Paul sets them straight by noting “What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” Great reminder Paul!
He then makes an architectural analogy. Paul was a foundation layer. God used him to establish churches is Asia Minor, Greece, Macedonia, etc… by preaching Christ. Others came along and built these churches up from that foundation. Paul rightfully saw himself not as the source, but as part of the process (vs. 9) of knowing Jesus and making Him known. How others built on this foundation differed. Some worked hard showing dedicated spiritual service to build up God’s church – represented by gold, silver & costly stones. The efforts of others was shallow and of no eternal value – represented by wood, hay & straw. And one day our work will be tested by fire and…….you can guess which efforts will stand the test.
Paul concludes with yet another argument that human wisdom cannot save. Why? So we won’t raise up people or their “wisdom”……“So then, no more boasting about men! All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.”
*How long have you been a believer? Would Paul have considered you a “spiritual retard?” Lord please help us to daily know you more and make you known more!
*Where do you see yourself in the spiritual reproduction process? Art you a planter? A waterer? Let’s remember to ask God to bring the growth in our own lives and the lives of those within our circles of influence!
*What have you boasted about recently – outwardly or inwardly? Lord, teach us to only boast in YOU!

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