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#928 – Continually Growing (1 Corinthians 3:1–3)

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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 are not ready for it. And even now you’re not yet ready, for you’re still of the flesh.”
(1 Corinthians 3:1–3)

This is the beginning of another section in first Corinthians where Paul is addressing the disunity and division in the church at Corinth, which was a picture of their spiritual immaturity. And so he says to them, I couldn’t address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. So he calls them basically like spiritual babies and he said, I’m feeding you with milk, not solid food, because you couldn’t take down solid food.

We want to grow more and more in our knowledge of and dependence on God’s Word. Lord, please keep us from apathy and coasting through the Christian life. Give us grace to trust You more.

So we know that analogy with a child who’s only able to take milk and then the picture is they grow to where they begin to take on a little more solid food, a little more solid food, and then finally into where they have a diet of solid food, regularly in taking solid foods. So that’s what Paul’s desire is for them as followers of Christ, that they not just have to feast on elementary things and albeit important like milk, but God has more for them.

And this is where I, there’s so many applications of this, but I just want to encourage you to think about your Christian life right now, like how have you grown over the last six months to a year? What kind of food are you eating now spiritually that you wouldn’t have been able to eat six months or a year ago? But now your taste buds, your maturity, you’ve grown to another level of spiritual food.

The reason I ask it that way is because I think if we’re not careful, especially as the Christian life goes on, we can kind of replay year after year after year and kind of get into a picture where we’re coasting and we’re not really progressing into more truth, into deeper understanding, into more solid food, to use this analogy. Like we should always grow in this way. So don’t let the analogy then prevent you from thinking about continual growth. So yes, a baby gets to a point where grows to a child, grows to an adult and is able to eat solid food, eat like all these different things. But the whole picture here is like there should be continual growth, like you and I should be able to digest and understand and apply things from God’s word in ways today that we couldn’t 10 years ago and that we couldn’t 10 weeks ago either, because we’re continually growing, we’re continually deepening.

And so I just want to encourage you based on this picture in first Corinthians chapter three that if you are in any kind of rut or if you find yourself coasting to ask God to change that. Let me lead us in that prayer. God, we want to grow more and more and more in our knowledge of your word and our understanding of who you are and our understanding of how you work. In our fitness and capacity to be an instrument in your hands for your glory, we want to do more for your glory today than we have done in the past. We want to know your glory more. We want to be used more and more for your glory, so please, Oh God, mature us, mature us today so that we are more mature in Christ tomorrow, so that we’re more mature in Christ the next day, so that a year from now there is significantly more maturity in Christ, that this would continue month after month and year after year in our Christian life that we would never coast.

God, forgive us for the times we coast. Even some are coasting right now. May it not be so. Use even this prayer to pull them out of complacency, coasting, apathy, or just kind of redoing year two or three or four of Christianity over and over and over and over again. Don’t let us get into that rut. God, we pray. We pray that you would draw us deeper, closer to you, and use us more and more and more. For your name’s sake. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and president of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.
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