ESV – I Corinthians 3:1-3 “But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, 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?”
Paul once wrote that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against spiritual wickedness in high places. He was not contradicting himself when he penned the above text. Rather, he was merely pointing out the conflict in both the natural and the spiritual world.
We have power “over all the power of the enemy” Luke 10:19. We have authority over principalities and powers. However, the issue here concerns carnality. The problem in our day rarely involves the devil. It’s more about our own human actions. Jealousy and strife are products of a carnal nature. Pride and a haughty spirit are the responses of the natural side. I know that many have tried to speak the name of Jesus over such things, but they do so to no avail. That’s because the human spirit cannot be cast out like a demonic spirit.
The Prophet Billy Cole once said that if a person has an evil spirit, “we can cast it out in 30 seconds. But if its flesh, it might take 30 years.”
Paul said, “I could not speak unto you as I did unto spiritual people.” He said, ‘I wanted to teach you, but you were too carnal to receive my word. I wanted to direct you in the deeper things of God, but you were so full of jealousy and strife that I could not.’
While this is not the first or last time I submit these thoughts, they are pertinent in this hour of great carnality and fleshly desires. Obedience and submission have fallen on hard times, of this I am sure. Unity is constantly under attack, even in the church. Seeds of doubt are being planted all around us in order to disrupt and thwart the work of the Kingdom in our time. I know that it would be easy for us to attribute such things to the work of Satan, but to do that we would have to ignore the deeds of fleshly people.
I rise to say, keep your bodies, minds, and words under subjection. Or as the Word says, Proverbs 13:3 He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.
Paul will reiterate this sentiment: 1 Corinthians 9:27 “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole