Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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Pastor's Blog

One in Christ 2/16/2014
Dear friend,

Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and His Son our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ be with you today and always.

So far in our studies in 1 Corinthians, Paul has pointed out to the hearers in the beginning of the letter that they are united by faith to Christ Jesus through the redemptive work that God did through His Son Jesus by which they have the forgiveness of their sins. Let us go back to those beautiful words of grace and encouragement to us so that we do not miss the tenderness and tone that Christ, through Paul, speaks to them and to us today......of that which is true, of that which is real, of that which is reality. We must always start our meditations in the Word by being reminded that God is for us, He came to be with us and now He is in us by His Spirit. Otherwise we will think that our feelings and emotions define who we are as a human being.....


1 Cor 1: 3 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
4 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ;
5 That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;
6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you:
7 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:
8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

We are sinners, yes, we feel it, we experience it, God says it, but through faith in Christ we are forgiven, we are His, we possess all that we need, the witness of Christ is in us by His Spirit, we are not lacking in any gift, and He will carry us to the end in His righteousness. It is by this faithful God that we have been called into the fellowship, into the communion of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Wow!! Wow!!


As we continue our studies in the first letter of Apostle Paul to the Corinthian church, we come to chapter three in which he, embracing them as a mother embraces her infant child, speaks very kindly but with concern as he discusses with them further about their divided congregation. Let us read the text which is before us today....


KJV 1 Corinthians 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
KJV 1 Corinthians 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto (As yet) ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?
5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?
6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry,(cultivated field) ye are God's building.



In our human way of thinking we foolishly think that we can instruct God and this is communicated to us in question form. It is like, Who is so blind to think that they can instruct our God? But then Paul jumps completely to the other side....and says, "But we have the mind of Christ......." Wow, what a contrast.....The mind of Christ...we have the mind of Christ.....What is that like?


On November 22 our daughter gave birth to her first child, Mia Elizabeth who is now nearly two months old and is growing in physical stature as she is nurtured and cared for by her mother, Lynn. Mia's entire diet at this time is the pure breast milk of her mother which will continue until such a time when she is able to digest solid food and eventually the day will come when she will be weaned from her mother's milk. It would be abnormal if Mia would yet be nursing when she was a teenager or even worse yet, if she would not be weaned as an adult.


Paul here tenderly acknowledges that in the beginning of their life of faith that he had fed them with milk, which would be the basic teachings of Christianity, such as are outlined in the Apostle's Creed and so on. He then goes onto tell them that they are still not able to bear the meat of the Word, for they cannot bear it, digest it. They have not progressed in their growth. Why we ask? Well, let us see what the Word tells us as we continue.

3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

He tells them that they are not living in humility, but they are living in the opposite mind set, which is not the mind of Christ, as he uses words like envy, strive and division.

4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?
5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?
6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry,(cultivated field) ye are God's building.


The outward visible sign of fleshly thinking is seen in the congregation through the following of different outward gifts which then results in envy, strife and division. It is evidenced through rebellion to the God established relationship between the ministry and the congregation. The mind of Christ is overshadowed by the fleshly minds of us as men and women................................


What does Paul, the Spirit, say to these things?


3:4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?


1. They are ministers by whom they believed, for through them they heard the Gospel. (v 5)

2. Those who plant and water are not anything, but God is the one who grants growth to one's life of faith. (v 5,6)

3. Each have their individual gifts, but all who plant and water are one. (v 8)

4. All will receive their reward according to their own labor.(v 8)

5. The office of the ministry is established by God, for planting and watering, but God grants the increase. (v 9)

6. The congregation is like a cultivated field, as well as a spiritual building. (v 9)


It is important that we remember that God has ordained the office of the ministry:

Ephesians 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

It is an ongoing ministry, and as we grow in our physical years and as we face and endure all kinds of trials in life, the ministry is called upon to provide encouragement and instruction so that collectively both the ministry and the congregational members would grow together in the Oneness of Jesus Christ. This means that there is a responsibility of feeding and teaching by the ministry and through that ministry it is desired that the hearers would grow in their grace and knowledge of Christ.

From my own experience and from interacting with others through the years, I have seen that the lack of humility is the biggest hindrance and blockage to maintaining and developing the mind of Christ. It is the presence of pride, which is in all of us, that prevents us from believing God, seeing as God does, from thinking as God does, and from acting as God does. When we yield to our pride, humility goes out the window and we think, move and have our being in relation to what we think and want.

As we think of this, we are reminded of another letter that Paul wrote to another congregation, which was not having any particular problems at the time, but he wrote to them in anticipation of any divisions that were sure to come in order to give them some warning as to how to ward off strife and division. It was a letter to the congregation at Philippi and in it he refers to the mind of Christ. Each phrase begins with "if" which sounds conditional, but it is more accurate to place the word "since" in the place of "if" so that it would be "since there is consolation in Christ," and so on...

KJV Philippians 2:1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, (affections and mercies)
2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; (conceit) but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
ESV Philippians 2:6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,

7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Paul did not go to the cross for them, Apollos did not go to the cross for them, but Jesus Christ alone suffered and died, alone He died.......

The mind of Christ was for us then, it is for us today. He knows our envies, our strivings, our divisiveness and so on. It is not anything new to Him, for He knows what is in our hearts. He invites us to His table of fellowship today so that as sinners we are reassured that we are His as we remember His death. As we come with needy hearts we are assured of His acceptance of us and of His joy in us as we partake of His Body and Blood for the forgiveness of our sins.

May the Holy Spirit minister the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ to you and in you today.

Pastor Orval Wirkkala










Posted on 16 Feb 2014 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
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