Word For The Week
"Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit, but as people who are still worldly - mere infants in Christ"
(1 Corinthians 3v1)
The people to whom Paul wrote these words seemed to have quite a high view of their own spiritual status. They were a large, lively and growing church; full of sophisticated ideas and philosophies. But as far as Paul is concerned, they are still in the spiritual kindergarten; they are mere infants in Christ. And the one thing that exposes their spiritual immaturity above all others is their worldliness. They had adopted the ideals, attitudes, priorities and morality of the pagan world, which has no knowldge of God's ways or of the gospel of Jesus. In our own age, churches which adapt themselves to the ways of the world are often quite admired. It is seen as progressive and foward-looking to embrace worldly ideas and agendas. Perhaps it will help the church's mission or make it more accessible, if it adopts a more worldly outlook? For Paul, such an approach is a clear sign of spiritual immaturity. The church must be in the world, but worldliness must not be in the church.