1 Corinthians 3,1

Chapter 3, 1

So previously we saw that we cannot in our natural self-understand the deep thoughts of God… God is beyond us and we are trapped in our sins.  But then St Paul injects hope into his writing… But we have the mind of Christ….  I suppose at that moment the Corinthian Christians may have been thinking that hmm “We have had a great time sinning when we should have known better.”

This will be spelled out to them in a loving and discipling way!…

1 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:1

The Corinthian lifestyle was indeed the way of the world and the flesh… Earlier St Paul spelled out the difference between the spiritual mind of God and the fleshy mind of man.  Now he Is getting personal.

Let’s go a little deeper and look at this word flesh in chapter 3, 1

Carnal sarkinos (4560), (a) “consisting of flesh,” 2 Cor. 3:3, “tables that are hearts of flesh” (KJV, “fleshy tables of the heart”); (b) “pertaining to the natural, transient life of the body,” Heb. 7:16, “a carnal commandment”; (c) given up to the flesh, i.e., with almost the same significance as sarkikos, Rom. 7:14, “I am carnal sold under sin”; 1 Cor. 3:1 (some texts have sarkikos, in both these places, and in those in (a) and (b), but textual evidence is against it). It is difficult to discriminate between sarkikos and sarkinos in some passages. In regard to 1 Pet. 2:11, Trench (Syn. Sec.lxxi, lxxii) says that sarkikos describes the lusts which have their source in man’s corrupt and fallen nature, and the man is sarkikos who allows to the flesh a place which does not belong to it of right; in 1 Cor. 3:1 sarkinos is an accusation far less grave than sarkikos would have been. The Corinthian saints were making no progress, but they were not anti-spiritual in respect of the particular point with which the apostle was there dealing. In vv. 3–4, they are charged with being sarkikos. 1 Corinthians 3:1

From WE Vine word pictures of the New Testament

The word for flesh here is sarkinos (flesh) i.e from the definition above is living in the body and don’t read too much into it yet.  In advance I will say that sarkikos is a lot stronger, but we haven’t got to that verse yet.  So here they are getting a telling off, that they are living the life of the ‘natural man (at the moment) and he calls them infants! Or a simple minded and immature person’.  I will let you decide which one is the better reading because they are both values with negative connotations… Nothing to shout about.

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