But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. – 1 Corinthians 3:1-3
Paul addresses the church of Corinth and rebukes the division within the church. The members claim to follow different apostles (I follow Paul, I follow Apollos).
I find the phrase infants in Christ to be quite insightful. Remember that when a person believes in Jesus, they receive salvation. But in addition, they also die a death to their flesh and are born again in the spirit. The church of Corinth is relatively young, and most of the members are new Christians who are still attached to their flesh behaviors. That means there's progression for a Christian. And that means there's growth.
The Growth Giver
I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. – 1 Corinthians 3:6-7
The best analogy to growth are plants. Seeds need to be planted and watered. Back in our ancient heritage (unless you live on the farm), farmers in an agricultural society planted seeds and watered their plants, hoping to reap a bountiful harvest. While the farmer performs the planting and watering, they don't have the ability to grow the plants.
Only God has the ability to grow the plants. Similarly, only God has the ability to grow us. It's not something we have control over.
We Are God's Temple
Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple. – 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
This analogy never ceases to amaze me. Paul claims that the human body is equivalent to a building. But not exactly. Here's the definition:
(noun) a building devoted to the worship, or regarded as the dwelling place, of a god or gods or other objects of religious reverence
If we take out the building portion of the definition, it simply means a place devoted to worship and a dwelling place for God. Our bodies are this very devoted place for worship and dwelling place for God. That's quite amazing!
Furthermore, God created us, which means God intended for us to be his temple. He intended for us to worship him.
Now remember that God isn't limtied by statues, idols, or physical objects. But the term building is simply a way for us to understand with our limited human minds that God's Spirit dwells within us.
I interpret this as follows: we have a responsibility to take good care of our body, both spiritually and physically, as our act of worship to God. We need to drink our spiritual milk, eat our spiritual food, drink our spiritual water, perform our spiritual exercise. Similarly, on the physical side, we should eat healthy and exercise regularly to maintain our physical body too.
Every weekend I write about some thoughts, life lessons, and interesting things I came by for the week. I'd love for you to join.