1 Corinthians 3:1-9
Jealousy, strife, lacking love are all traits of people who are not
living in the heavenly will of God.
These people live in the ungodly ways of this world, with all its violence, pain, suffering, bloodshed, and death that have been plaguing this world for thousands of years.
If we think about this, isnít jealousy really a sign that such people are lacking love?
Isnít strife really something that also could relate to violence and to people lacking love?
So, the common denominator is that such people are lacking love, the unconditional heavenly love of God; they are living in the corrupt ways of this world, and one day they will have to answer to God for their actions.
Jealousy, strife, lacking love can never really be a characteristic of a true Christianís life, for true Christians are filled with the heavenly love of God and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Think about the characteristics of the peacemaking children of God, as we look at Psalm 119:1-8Ö
1. How blessed are those whose way is blameless,
Who walk in the law of the LORD.
Remember, that the true law of the Lord is to love the Lord our God and the whole of His creation (humans, animals, and the environment in which we all live), and if we do, the negative characteristics of jealousy, strife, lacking love are nowhere to be found.
2. How blessed are those who observe His testimonies,
Who seek Him with all their heart.
3. They also do no unrighteousness;
They walk in His ways.
Take careful note of the way the psalmist describes the true children of God; they do no unrighteousness, which means that such people have no place in their lives for jealousy, strife, lacking love, for they are filled with the love of the Lord and follow His heavenly will.
4. Thou hast ordained Thy precepts,
That we should keep them diligently.
God set His precepts of unconditional love before He created the heavens and
the earth, for they are plainly visible in the description of His creation
And, we also see them in the teaching of Jesus, for He always pointed us heavenward and away from the corrupt ways of this world.
5. Oh that my ways may be established
To keep Thy statutes!
This is the way that all true children of God feel; they donít want to live in the corrupt ways of this world with its jealousy, strife, lacking love, violence, suffering, and death.
6. Then I shall not be ashamed
When I look upon all Thy commandments.
When we are filled with the unconditional love of God, and have a truly repentant spirit, we usually recognize when we have turned away from the heavenly will of God, and are ashamed for having done so.
7. I shall give thanks to Thee with uprightness of heart,
When I learn Thy righteous judgments.
And these righteous judgements are summed up in His unconditional love and
His heavenly will.
If we have these things within us, then we should also be filled with thanksgiving.
8. I shall keep Thy statutes;
Do not forsake me utterly!
If we are truly trying to live in Godís heavenly will, and are filled with
His unconditional love and have a repentant spirit, we never have to worry
about the Lord forsaking us.
By contrast, when we look at 1 Corinthians 3:1-9, we see that jealousy, strife, lacking love are still present in the lives of the members of the church.
1. And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to babes in Christ.
The people of Corinth to whom Paul is writing may have believed in Jesus Christ, but they have not matured into the children of God; they are still living in the ways of the world, at least to some extent.
2. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to
receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able,
3. for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?
They have not grown spiritually; they still are lacking love, the heavenly
love of God that raises us up above the corrupt ways of the world with all
its violence, jealousy and strife.
And even to this day, we are having the same problems in most of our churches, for they still promote the pain, suffering, bloodshed, and death of animals, for most of them eat animal flesh and bodily secretions.
This also shows that they are lacking love, the unconditional love of God.
4. For when one says, "I am of Paul," and another, "I am of Apollos," are you not mere men?
This shows that they are also prideful, and perhaps itís a way of trying to
make others feel jealous, which is a characteristic of ungodly living.
The jealousy, strife, lacking love we are talking about are actually promoted by people like these, so Paul goes on to explain, and perhaps chastise.
5. What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one.
In other words, what these servants of the Lord did for them should have
made them joyful for one another for they could be spiritual beings here on
earth, but these people wonít let go of their worldly ways that is full of
jealousy, strife, lacking love, and the violence that continues to plague
this earth, including causing the death of millions of humans and billions
of other animals every year.
Paul goes onÖ
6. I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.
But these people, and unfortunately most of the people in our churches today, seem to have rejected the spiritual growth that God provides for every one of us.
7. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything,
but God who causes the growth.
8. Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor.
9. For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.
This is all true, but people have to be willing to receive it, and turn away
from the corrupt and evil ways of this world, which is full of jealousy,
strife, lacking love, violence, pain, suffering, bloodshed, and death.
Unless we repent of our former worldly ways, and seek to become peacemaking children of God, who live in His heavenly will, we will never have true peace on earth.
We need to be aware that jealousy, strife, violence, pain, suffering, bloodshed, and death are the warning signs that people are lacking love, the heavenly will of God, and that we need to reject them and their lifestyles.
We can have peace on earth if we seriously work at ending jealousy, strife, lacking love from our own lives, and those who are around us in our homes and churches.
We can be peacemaking children of God, if we want to.