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1 Corinthians 3:4 & meaning...


one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” aren’t you fleshly?

1 Corinthians 3:4


1 Corinthians 3 [1.] Brothers, I couldn’t speak to you as to spiritual, but as to fleshly, as to babies in Christ. I fed you with milk, not with meat; for you weren’t yet ready. Indeed, not even now are you ready, for you are still fleshly. For insofar as there is jealousy, strife, and factions among you, aren’t you fleshly, and don’t you walk in the ways of men? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” aren’t you fleshly?

1 Corinthians 3 [5.] Who then is Apollos, and who is Paul, but servants through whom you believed; and each as the Lord gave to him? I planted. Apollos watered. But God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are the same, but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s farming, God’s building.


Paul's inquiry delves into the heart of the matter, probing the Corinthians' spiritual maturity and the source of their divisions. By labeling their behavior as "fleshly," he suggests that their actions are not guided by the Spirit of God but are rather driven by worldly desires and human inclinations. This observation highlights a critical issue that not only plagued the Corinthian church but continues to challenge us today: the tendency to prioritize human personalities and preferences over unity in Christ.

The significance of Paul's question extends beyond the specific context of the Corinthian church; it speaks to the universal struggle of human nature to prioritize self-interest over the greater good of the community. Throughout history, communities, including religious ones, have been susceptible to division and strife due to conflicting allegiances and personal agendas. Paul's admonition serves as a timeless reminder of the importance of unity and the dangers of allowing divisive attitudes to infiltrate the body of Christ.

As we reflect on the meaning of this verse for our own lives, it prompts us to examine our motivations and attitudes within our Christian communities. Do we find ourselves aligning with particular leaders or factions, elevating their status above others? Are our actions driven by a desire for personal recognition or advancement, rather than a commitment to the common good and the advancement of God's kingdom?

Paul's words challenge us to reevaluate our priorities and realign our hearts with the principles of unity and love that Christ exemplified. In Ephesians 4:3, Paul encourages believers to "make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace." This unity is not merely a human achievement but a divine gift, made possible by the presence of the Holy Spirit within us. It requires humility, patience, and a willingness to prioritize the needs of others above our own.

Furthermore, Paul's question in 1 Corinthians 3:4 underscores the importance of spiritual discernment in identifying and addressing divisive attitudes within our communities. We must be vigilant in examining our own hearts and motivations, as well as those of others, to discern whether they align with the Spirit of God or with worldly influences.

Ultimately, the call to unity in Christ transcends individual preferences and personalities. As followers of Christ, our primary allegiance is not to any human leader or faction but to Christ Himself. In John 17:23, Jesus prays for His disciples, saying, "May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." Our unity as believers bears witness to the transformative power of God's love and testifies to the reality of Christ's message to the world.

In conclusion, 1 Corinthians 3:4 serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of unity and spiritual discernment within the body of Christ. Paul's question challenges us to examine our motivations and align our hearts with the principles of unity and love that Christ exemplified. May we heed this call to unity, seeking to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace, for the glory of God and the advancement of His kingdom.

PIB Scriptures are derived from the World English Bible


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