HS Week # 35: The Meat and Milk of Doctrine

Dave Williams speaking on 1st Corinthians 3:3-9. He spoke about the meat and the milk of doctrine and asked us to think about our focus. Are we are focusing on God (spiritually-minded) or simply on what he has done for us (fleshly-minded)? When spending time in the word we should center our attention on Christ and dig into scripture, unpacking the meat and not just drinking the milk.

Recap

  • Sin doesn’t make non-Christian. A lack of belief in Jesus Christ does that. 
  • We are all sinners in desperate need of a savior but once we are saved we are still all sinners thankful that we have a savior in Christ Jesus.
  • This doesn’t mean we are okay with sin because that minimizes  grace. In Fact. D. Bonhoffer defined this way of living this way:

Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession…Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.

  • We also spoke about how Paul wanted to address them as spiritual people but had to address them as earthly ones. This lead to our second point being are you technically a Christian or practically one?
  • Technically meaning that you are saved but not off the bench. Receiving the trophy for winning but never playing a game. Where are you at in that? Are you technically a Christian or practically one?

1st Corinthians 3:3-9

2 I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, 3 for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? 4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human? 5 What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. 6 kI planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. 7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. 8 He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. 9 For we are pGod’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, qGod’s building.

2 I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready,

  • All doctrine has both milk and meat. It is an issue of depth.
  • Now Paul addresses another issue. The depth of their experience with Christ.
  • There is no difference between a spiritual milk diet versus a spiritual meat diet, except detail and depth.
  • All doctrine has both milk and meat. It is an issue of depth. It isn’t like we are learning new doctrines but that we are learning more about the doctrines that we have known for years.
  • Salvation, for example, is at first milk to the new believer. It is easy to digest, understand, and accept. We love the idea that our sins are forgiven and we don’t have to be guilty anymore. That is milk. However you dig deeper and Salvation and you understand the cost that Christ paid for unto be saved and that requires change. It is the process of sanctification.
  • Now that is harder to swallow. That requires a constant heart-search to see what sins are there that need to be confessed and dealt with.
  • It is all about the depth.
  • We have to grow up. We have to start digging into the truths about God and appreciating what he has done. We have to be willing to be challenged by it, convicted by it, and changed by it.
  • That’s the meat.
  • It is amazing when we have to give the word out we begin to know. We ask you to teach in you small groups not because we want a break but because we want you to know Gods word.
  • Think about the dead sea. It is a if FULL of nutrients but gives nothing else, it feeds no other bodies of water. When you begin teaching Gods word it starts coming back to  you.
  • So, what are those things that God is asking you to go deeper in? Maybe it is reading more intently. Perhaps it’s diving deeper into community and being more transparent. Perhaps it’s a search on God’s grace and understanding that more.
  • Whatever it is, we have to continue to strive for the Spiritual meat to combat our flesh.

What We Focus On

3 for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? 4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human? 5 What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each.

  • Now Paul is digging deeper here. He is responding to the crux of the conversations which is this question: What makes a flesh-focused Christian different than a Spiritually-minded one?
  • The answer is what the focus is on.
  • They lost their focus. They started focusing on Godly men instead of on the Lord.
  • Anytime our focus is on anything other than the Lord we are going to have perspective issues.
  • They started aligning themselves with people instead of God.
  • But we don’t just do that with people though. We do it with all the great things that God has given us. We can tend to look at those things and desire more of those things and think about those things.
  • Pretty soon we are caught up in the goodness of God and we forget to worship God when we don’t see those things.
  • Look at this verse in Isaiah 6: 1 “In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple.”
  • Look at the image we see here. Isaiah sees God enter into the temple. But instead of the Ark of the Covenant that is usually in the Holy of Holies he sees a throne.
  • Jesus enters in and sits on the throne with the train of his robe filling the temple. That train filled the entire temple.
  • What a train of a robe is made up of was the trains of robes that kings would conquer. The more they fought and one the greater their train. It would reflect the kings power and dominance over their enemies.
  • Christ’s train filled the temple. He has conquered sin and death and has replaced it with grace and mercy.
  • It is neat to see and appreciate. I am thankful that our king has a train that fills the temple. However, our attention shouldn’t be there, it should be on the one who is wearing it. If we are focusing on the train we are fleshy focused. If we are focused on the individual wearing the train we are spiritually-minded.
  • This is what we see next: Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”
  • See the angels were focused on the king. When our hearts are centered around Christ we begin to see a greater picture of who he is and we realize that the train just doesn’t fill the temple it fills the whole earth.
  • This is why we can praise him at all times and in all situations because we see that it all is bringing him glory!
  • That is what Paul is getting at here. Our focus needs to be on him, not what he can do for us, because when it is on him we can see the world rightly. 
  • Try that, thank God for simply being God. Spend time in his word for the sole reason of just getting to know who He is. 
  • Look at your circumstances right now, if they are good, ask yourself do you feel better about God because they are? Then you are probably focusing a little too much on the train.
  • If they are bad right now, ask yourself do you feel worse about God because they are? If so, then you are probably focusing a little too much on the train.
  • We need to become conduits of Gods word. We need to take it in and give it out because when we are focused on God we are spiritually- minded and not fleshly focused.

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