Well hey there! I found some interesting things when I did a study on 1Corinthians 3. Here are a few points that have helped me.
The Corinthians were classified as being carnal. This was so because of the fact that there was envying, strife and divisions among them. They behaved as natural men, as men ruled and guided by their senses and not as spiritual people. Therefore Paul spoke to them as babes in Christ because of their carnality. Verses 1-4
Yes, there is such thing as a carnal Christian. Carnality speaks heavily of lack of spiritual maturity, which is characteristic of someone who has just come to the acceptance of Christ’s saving grace and into discipleship. We are supposed to come to Christ as we are but once in Him, we are to be transformed into His likeness. There has to be consistent growth. So the question is, are you carnal? What are your debates about? Are you quickly offended? Are you ruled by your senses and emotions?
Carnality /immaturity cripples the spiritual man and prevents you from experiencing God’s fullness. Immature persons require the basics (milk) which can promote and/or sustain growth up to a certain stage. After a time it is necessary to add solid food to the babe’s diet to facilitate growth. If not so, the child can suffer mental and physical retardation. As it is so in the natural, it is so concerning spiritual growth and fruit bearing.
The second key point that I discovered come from verses 5-9.
“5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?
6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.”
These verses bring to light a vital concept of the work of the ministry. It is this: that labourers cannot bring forth the harvest but it is the Lord of the harvest who gives the increase or who causes a harvest to come forth.
Every man’s work complements the other. One plants, another waters but the glory is God’s and the increase is His. The recipient cannot ascribe his coming forth or conversion to any man, neither can the labourer pride himself in the increase of God, for the glory is God’s! No labourer is more important than the other, neither is the work thereof. The praiseworthy thing is the increase which neither one can lay claim to. With this understanding, pride dies and humility prevails.
I strongly believe that the understanding of this principle will eliminate a lot of the competition that is prevalent in the body of Christ. We must understand that we are working together to accomplish the same Kingdom mission. Every individual’s gift, calling and mandate is equally important in seeing the increase of God manifested through souls getting saved and transformed.
Father, I know you desire that I grow from glory to glory, to be transformed into the likeness of Jesus Christ. I submit to You today and I ask You to please expose the areas in my life that are lacking growth and help me, because I want to be like You! Help me to support my fellow brothers and sisters as we work together to see Your glory manifested in the earth. I rebuke the spirit of contention and competition in the body of Christ and I pray for the hearts of God’s people to be united even as Christ prayed the same. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.