Corinthians 3:1-9 – “Living in the Flesh”

My sermon notes for Sunday morning, Nov.28th.  Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the sermon. They are provided to help you follow the sermon as you listen each week. The church provides a live stream of the service each Sunday at 10:30 on Facebook at Tabernacle Facebook Page. We also provide the services through YouTube by Sunday afternoon at TAB YouTube.  You can also find our Worship Guides, Family Devotional Guides, Prayer List and other resources at our Church Website.

1 Corinthians 3:1-9


  • But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh (carnal)
  • He has been part of their spiritual life form the beginning.  He is somewhat frustrated over the fact that they cannot get things together as a church.
  • He addresses them as “Carnal Christians.” Believers that are living in the flesh.
  • This passage is addressing a true Christian.  Brothers.
  • The saved that has started of well, but have lost their steam along the way.  There has been a desire to live for Christ, but we have lost our direction.
  • It should make us wonder about the people that say they believe the facts of the Gospel but have never truly trusted Christ as their Lord and Savior.  Someone that has never had a desire to truly live for the Lord.  MADE A DECISION but had no desire to be a follower of Christ. (A disciple)



  • They are believers.  True Believers.

Just because we are saved/believers, that does not necessarily mean that life is “easy”

  • We live in a fallen world
  • We endure setbacks and disappointments
  • We face temptation

Not as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh

  • Not growing in the likeness of Christ
  • Lack of maturity
  • Carnal (KJV)… living in the flesh
  • What is our worship and walk?
    • Do we love Him?
    • Do we have a desire to live a holy life?


  • 1:18-2:16 the issue was yielding to the world’s wisdom.  Here it is yielding to the flesh
  • Yielding to our humanness
  • Following after the desires of the self

We live a life of Spiritual warfare… a life of war between the Spirit and our flesh

  • We know that ultimately our enemy is the devil, but it is our flesh that the devil temps us with.
  • Galatians 5:16–24
  • We need a life of less me (flesh) and more Jesus.

Infants in Christ

  • Immature in our faith
  • “Just grow up… you are so immature”

THE REASON – vv. 2-3a

Milk and Solid Food – They responded to the Gospel (evangelism) but have not grown in the Gospel (discipleship)

  • Evangelism and discipleship are different sides of the same.
  • Jesus is Savior and Lord
  • You cannot separate them

Even now you are not ready…still of the flesh

  • The penalty has been paid FOR OUR SIN.  Yet we still have the capacity TO SIN
  • We are living for self – OUR PRACTICE

THE REASON they are of the flesh/carnal … Lack of Spiritual Maturity

  • Growing and Changing Daily
  • Worship – Word – Walk
  • Putting on and Putting off – Eph 4:17-32


A life of jealousy and strife

  • The church was full of division
  • People were self-focused rather than God focused.

Are you not of the flesh and behaving in human way?

  • No growth = No fruit

The ultimate results of this BEHAVIOR

  1. Loss of fellowship with Christ
  2. Resistance to the Holy Spirit
  3. Sinful decisions
  4. Lack of joy
  5. Divine Discipline


Questions to Consider

  • Do I consider myself Spiritual or of the Flesh?
  • Am I growing daily in my relationship with Christ?
  • Do I find joy and purpose in who I AM IN CHRIST?
  • Do I look more like the world around me…or like Christ?
  • Are you tired of living this way and are you willing to live different?

1 Peter 2:1-2 – [1] So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. [2] Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—[3] if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. (ESV)


1 Corinthians 3:1–9 – [1] But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. [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] I 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 God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building. (ESV)

Galatians 5:16–24 – [16] But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. [17] For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. [18] But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. [19] Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, [20] idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, [21] envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. [22] But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, [23] gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. [24] And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (ESV)

Ephesians 4:17–32 – [17] Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. [18] They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. [19] They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. [20] But that is not the way you learned Christ!—[21] assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, [22] to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, [23] and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, [24] and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

[25] Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. [26] Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, [27] and give no opportunity to the devil. [28] Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. [29] Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. [30] And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. [31] Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. [32] Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (ESV)

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