1 Cor. 3:3, you are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans?
Paul is not dealing with doctrinal division in Corinth, but rather grouping off of groups of people. This also relates to 1 Cor. 11 and the Lords Supper issue, not a doctrinal discussion but a relational issue. They weren’t waiting for one another. Social stratification is the term for this. Wealthy people in one group, poor people in another group, etc. this accentuates the need for us as Christians to be united.
In chapter 4 Paul makes this very clear. Paul wasn’t literally saying people were following those named in chapter 1 but it was an example of what was going on. Christianity is not about identifying together in various categories whether they be economic, racial, or any type of division. Thus the description of being worldly in 3:3. That is what they were doing.
Remember your fellowship, 1 Cor. 1:9-10. We need to understand what true fellowship is in order to avoid these type of divisions. Fellowship is a noun, it is a concrete idea. 1:9 - we were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. We have gathered together this morning not because we agree on social issues or all have the same economic status. We have come together because we all have the same fellowship with our Lord, Jesus Christ. Fellowship is the thing which brings us together.
The extent to which we agree is the extent to which we pursue the kingdom of heaven together. Seeking Gods kingdom first is what will keep us united.
This brings warnings into play - when we take pride in who we follow in worldly matters, social issues for example.
So first we need to remember what it is that brings us together. What is it that has us united? Forget about the things in the world that may divide us. Those don’t matter. What is our commonality? It is our fellowship in God, that is what is most important. Focusing on the cross and on Jesus Christ who died there.
Next, we need to become “fools” together. The next logical step is to understand our place in the world. We are fools together for Christ’s sake. If our goal is to be honored in the world, we are misguided. That is not what it is about.
1 Cor 1:18 - for the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing.
Those who don’t believe in Christ will always see Christians as fools, when actually you are a fool if you feel the need to be accepted by those people. This is an issue with the Lord’s people. As long as you claim Jesus Christ as Lord, you will be very disappointed in how people of the world will view you. We are living for eternal life, that is our goal, not to seek the approval of man.
Lastly, boast in the Lord. 1 Cor. 1:31. God is not impressed with the wisdom of the world. He has done quite well with the lowly and the weak. Our society is very caught up with who they are, what they can accomplish. We have a society who believes in relativism and yet they pounce on anyone who is intolerant? That makes no sense. There are conflicting ideologies promoted at the same time but a confused and mixed up culture. Modernism and post-modernism are at odds with one another and yet our society tries to have them co-exist. This is the wisdom of the world.
Getting what you can get while you are here is what is actually going on in our world. Selfishness is at the core.
We need to accept our lowliness. Psalm 8, what is man that you are mindful of him? That needs to be our mindset. If we are going to boast, let us boast in the Lord. The message of the cross is a message of sacrificial love. That is the message that shows true humanity and a love for God, the two greatest commandments. Our highest good is what we find in Jesus Christ and it is that we need to be clinging onto desperately.