A Sign of Spiritual Immaturity (1 Corinthians 3:1-3)

1 Corinthians 3:1-3 (ESV)


1 But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, 3 for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?


Paul is here continuing to chide the Corinthians for their factionalism. They are quarreling among themselves because each little group is more fond of a different leader. Paul has already told them that this is a wrong way to behave, and he will continue that argument through chapter 3.


Here at the beginning of the chapter, Paul talks about the spiritual immaturity of the Corinthians. He says that he did not feed them solid food, but only milk for babies, because they were not ready for it. Here he says they are still not ready for solid food; they are still spiritual infants. How does he know? He knows because of the way they are quarreling about which leader is the best. When they fight about following Paul or Peter or Apollos, they display that they are immature.


I wonder, from this section, how often local churches are beset with immaturity of the sort we see here in the Corinthian church. How often do we fight and quarrel more over the personalities of leaders than over the message of the gospel? I fear it is far more than we would like.


We want to be wise here as we call on the church to follow faithful elders. Faithful is key. If a man is not given to opening the word of God and exposing to the congregation the actual meaning of a text, he is not faithfully handling the word of God. If a pastor is teaching or pressing an obscure and doubtful doctrine as if it is central to the Christian life, he is not being faithful. If a pastor will not care for the congregation, he is not being faithful. If a pastor is not a person of character, but his life is marked by moral compromise, he is not faithful. You cannot ultimately follow such a man if that man will not repent of such faithlessness.


Is your pastor faithful to the word of God? Is your pastor loving toward the people of God? Is your pastor a person of character? If he is, follow him. Follow him, even if his personality is not exactly like yours. Follow him even if he is not as dynamic as somebody you download from the Internet or as the guy at the church building down the street. Follow him as he follows Christ.