7/13 1 Corinthians 3:3

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?

The Corinthian church had divided into factions, with each one arguing that it was the best, superior to all others. Paul went right to the root of the problem. They weren't walking in the Spirit. Sure signs of a carnal life are jealousy and strife. Both are products of the old nature. The Corinthians were jealous over spirituality. It was a spirit of competition which stems from pride. They pointed to the greatness of their particular teacher, claiming that teacher's doctrine was better than that of other teachers. Spiritual pride results in strife over minor doctrines to the neglect of the major ones. The result is division.

Paul wrote that they were behaving like the world. The fruit of the Spirit was absent in their lives. Paul realized he could not teach them the deeper truths of God's Word because they hadn't grasped the central teaching. To recognize that we are sinners saved by grace alone puts us all on the same level. When we grasp the fundamentals of the gospel, we are humbled. We realize that God has opened our eyes by grace, and unless God opens others' eyes, they can't receive spiritual truth.

We also see that we are a part of a family of sinners whom Jesus has redeemed. That makes us a part of a great and loving family of thankful people whose first goal in life is to love their Savior more each day. Sharing that passion draws us together and gives us the hunger to listen and receive from one another. It also gives us patience to overlook others' faults, knowing that they overlook ours. We realize we are all a work in progress, headed for that glorious day when we see Jesus face to face.

Consider: If there is jealousy or strife in your life, take another look at the gospel and humble yourself before the Lord and others.