1Corinthians 3:1-3 say, “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 ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?” As Christians, we should desire to be spiritual. However, you often get different opinions what “spiritual” means. Many think being spiritual is speaking over people’s heads, or perhaps dressing a certain way, or doing certain religious things. Ultimately, many think being spiritual is some outward thing that you do. However, being spiritual is much a heart condition based on your faith in Christ Jesus. Outward fruit will definitely manifest itself in a spiritual person, but it is rooted in the inside. Let’s get into God’s Word.
Not all Christians are spiritual. The Corinthians were saved, but were very carnal. Paul was encouraging them to be spiritual; to be mature in Christ. The Galatians were saved, but Paul said in Gal 6:1 that those that were spiritual (obviously some were not) should restore a brother in a fault in a spirit of meekness. What would the unspiritual do? Either cast him aside, look down their nose at him, or not deal with it at all. We need to be adults, or spiritual, in our understanding (1Cor 14:20). How did God ordain this should happen?
In Eph 4:11-15, we see that Jesus ordained the five-fold ministry to bring the church to maturity. The Apostles, Prophets, and Evangelist are traveling ministries that are often involved in starting churches. Then, the Apostles set Pastor-teachers (aka. Shepherds, Elders, Bishops) over the church to continue to lead and feed God’s flock. New born or immature Christians need the milk of the word, but only so that they may grow into maturity (1Pt 2:1-2). We want to grow up and become spiritual, so that we can handle the meat of the Word, and then be able to teach others as well (Jn 16:12, Heb 5:11-14). But as it says in Heb 5:14, strong meat only belongs to them who have exercised themselves in the Word. That means they have studied and practically walked out their faith consistently.
Many Christians have head knowledge, but it means nothing if it is not consistently applied, and manifested in spiritual fruit. Your actually better off not knowing anything, than to know so much Bible - but have no fruit. Paul said the Corinthians were carnal because they had envy, strife, and divisions among them. They were biting and devouring one another (Gal 5:15). They were contentious because they were prideful and carnal (Prv 13:10, Jam 4:1). If you are truly knowledgeable and wise in Christ, then your conduct will show it (Jam 3:13). Envy, back biting, strife, and contentions come out of a carnal heart. It is a heart condition (Jam 3:14-16).
Jesus proves this in Mark 7:14-23. Many Christians major on minor things, and minor on major things. They worry so much about what they eat, or what’s going in their mouth - but nothing going in the mouth defiles us; it’s what comes out of our mouth that defiles us. Who cares if your in super great shape and health, if you heart is rotten! Jesus sure doesn’t. Yes, we should use some wisdom in diet and exercise, but this not what’s really important. Envy, strife, and a host of other sins are what defiles a man’s heart, and then comes out of his mouth. If you want to spend a lot of time working on something, then work on that. I’d rather live to be 50 and be a righteous, godly, spiritually mature Christian; than live to be 100 and be carnal.
Many Christians need to stop chasing every wind of doctrine that comes down the road, and they just need to just get in their prayer closet and spend time with Jesus. Living a quiet and peaceable life, being a humble and Godly person, knowing and practicing truth, being mature and spiritual - this what is important. Quit seeking to just acquire more head knowledge - walk in the truth you have and grow in grace. Examine your heart: are you a peace maker or trouble maker? Are you walking in love and unity, or are you trying to force your agenda? Are you in envy and strife, or do you care only for the benefit of others? Be honest with yourself. Repent (turn from) these things. Be truly spiritual. Submit yourself to Godliness, and choose to grow. Then you’ll be able to feed others. Until next time, rejoice in The Lord!