Bro. Tom’s Weekly Bible Study
  Week #36
Posted: March 10, 2005

IN CHRIST
A Study of Positional Truths

Our study of Positional Truth takes us this week to an “In Christ” statement of I Corinthians 3:1-3.  Paul says, “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you, as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk and not with meat: for hitherto you were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.  For ye are yet carnal…  Let us look at three things from out text.  A Spiritual Declaration, A Spiritual Diet, and A Spiritual Demonstration.   

A SPIRITUAL DECLARATION  

There are three types of people mentioned in the Bible.  Only two are mentioned in our text.  The one missing is the natural man.  He is the unregenerate or lost man.  He has nothing to control him but his fallen, depraved nature.  One overriding characteristic of the natural man is ‘he receiveth not the things of God’. (I Corinthians 2:14)

In our text, Paul mentions the other two types of people.  The Spiritual man is one who is controlled, directed, and dependent upon the indwelling Holy Spirit.   The overall view of the church at Corinth was that they were not a Spiritual Church.  The third type he mentions is a Carnal man.  This individual is controlled by his senses.  He is controlled by how he feels, what he sees, and what he hears.  They are touchy-feely oriented.  They are described as babes.  Paul taught and dealt only with birth-truths at Corinth.  The amazing thought in these two kinds of people is that they are saved and positionally In Christ.   

A SPIRITUAL DIET 

Paul tells us in verse 2 that he desires to feed them meat but had to feed them milk.  We know from Peter’s writings that milk is baby food.  He said ‘as newborn babes desire the sincere milk of the word’.  The writer of Hebrews said in chapter 5, ‘for every one that useth milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness…for he is a babe, but strong meat belongeth to them that are of a full age’.  Milk is that which you get from the cow.  A baby Christian exists solely on what he gets from others (preacher, Sunday School teacher, etc.).  Meat is the cow itself.  It is the ability to open the Word and feed yourself.  There are not many self-feeders in our churches today.  They do not feed on the deep things of God, but the shallow things.  The milk of the Word alone will not grow strong Christians.   

A SPIRITUAL DEMONSTRATION  

Paul tells us in verse 3 that ‘babes’ are known for ‘envying’ (heated zeal without knowledge) The babies in church are know for their ‘strife (a quarrelsome and murmuring spirit).  The babes are known for ‘division’ (causing controversy and disunity). 

I ran across a detailed description of babies in my reading.  See if you notice any of these around the church.  It may, as it did me, seem like a mirror is some area of your life. “Babies are self centered.  They are dependent on others for all their needs.  They have short attention spans.  They go for things that glitter, and they have no sense of value.  They are illiterate and ignorant of much they need to know.  Their own wants are predominant.  They are ruled by their appetites and move fitfully from one thing to another.  They are unable to feed themselves or protect themselves or defend themselves.  They cannot see beyond their own little world.  They enjoy being the center of attention and soon learn how to get their share of it.  They have no thought for the needs and concerns of others.  They are demanding.  They get themselves in the most frightful messes and seem blissfully unaware of it.  They demand a great deal of care. But, in time they grow up.” (John Phillips)

There is no greater sound around the church than the cry of a newborn babe being birthed into the Family of God.  May we be patient as we feed and care for them.  If they are In Christ and belong to Him they will grow up. 

 

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