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Strife, a Sign of Carnality (1 Corinthians 3:1-4)

Introductory Thoughts

The apostle Paul wanted to educate the Corinthians concerning the deeper things of God; however, he was unable to do so because of their inability to grasp such spiritual truths (1 Corinthians 3:1-2). These believers displayed a carnality like none other found within the scriptures. As a result of their carnality, they also exhibited envy, strife, and divisions (1 Corinthians 3:3). As their boasting concerning the individuals they chose to follow escalated, the divisiveness also increased. Some of them boasted of following Paul, while others boasted of following Apollos (1 Corinthians 3:4). They were full of pride and Paul had to enlighten them concerning the foolishness of this strife. The strife birthed from pride yielded a foolish behaviour. Strife was all the evidence Paul needed to rebuke these believers concerning their carnality.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children):¬†Jesus taught His disciples what it meant to be great (Mark 10:43-45; John 13:13-17). Nonetheless, the disciples because of their pride chose to strive amongst themselves (Luke 22:24). The disciples were carnal in their thinking.
  • (For everyone): Since strife is an obvious indicator of spiritual immaturity, our partaking in strife should cause us to turn to a self-evaluation.
  • Paul wanted to teach the Corinthians deeper spiritual truths. Why did he say he was unable to do so? Do you partake in strife? If so, you are likely missing the deeper spiritual truths that God intends for you to learn.

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask God to show you if you are carnal.
  • Ask God to help you mature beyond carnality.

Song

Take My Life, and Let It Be

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