1 Corinthians 3:1-9


            In last week’s message, we discussed the reality that we all lack something.  As a church, the more we expose ourselves to the truth of what we are missing or lacking us, we come closer to the realization that only God can meet our needs.

            Sooner than later the church must get over itself and conclude that, we lack the spirit of God (The Holy Spirit) which changes everything.  Here are some highlights that will open us to the possibilities the spirit-filled life offer us.


A.  The Corinthian were proud of their gifts and their wisdom. They seemed to be critical of Paul’s simple message.

B.  Paul tells them he must keep his teaching simple because they are “mere infants in Christ” (v. 1).

C.  Their pride raised questions as to their fitness to represent Christ’s kingdom to the world.

D.  Paul goes on to give three different viewpoints of the church. We will deal with the first two in this message.


I.       Paul Views the Church as a Family (vv. 1-4).

A.  Paul calls them “brothers” (v. 1). He goes on to say they are not “spiritual” because they are “worldly” and “infants.”

1.  They need to be taught but they have already accepted Christ as Savior. Edification or teaching is a constant need in the Christian life.

2.  The new birth gives us entrance into Christ as infants. We should grow.

3.  Mature Christians are, in a sense, older brothers or sisters to the immature Christian. They need to help in the growing process.

B.  The Corinthian’s were living on “milk” (v. 2) and Paul wanted to give them “solid food.” 

      1.  Are we mature enough to take “solid food?” 

      2.  Are we growing spiritually?

C.  Their “jealousy” and “quarreling” (v. 3) were proof of their immaturity.

1.  Mature people have good relationships; children fuss and pick fights.

2.  Progress is evident in the growth of children. 

·   How do we treat children that do not grow?

         D.  Children pick heroes. (v. 4) 

               1.  These immature Christians were arguing over preachers.   

2.  Children follow and imitate others. 

·   What lessons from your life teach others in the church?


II.      The Church as a Field (vv. 5-9).

A.  The word “servants” (v. 5) is the word we translate as “deacon” or “minister” in some other passages.

1.  They were servants through whom the Corinthians first heard the gospel, which resulted in their belief in Christ.

2.  It was not their intent to develop followers for themselves.

B.  God uses us to make things happen in His church (vv. 6-8).

1.  We do different things but God makes it successful (John 4:34-38).

2.  Our purpose should be that of serving others and watching God grow them. 



A.  The church as a family speaks of growing in spiritual maturity.

B.  The church as a field speaks of quantity growth.

C.  Both kinds of growth need to be in the local church.

D.  There is a third view of the church in the next outline.



John the Baptist said of Jesus, “He must become greater; I must become less” (John 3:30). Tell the story of this Scriptural scene and emphasize that this should be the attitude of every Christian worker.