1 And I, brothers, was not able to speak to you as to spiritual men but as to carnal men, as to infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk to drink, not solid food, for you were not yet able to receive it. 3 But, you are still not able, for you are still fleshly. For while there is jealousy and strife in you, are you not of the flesh and according to the ways of man? When one says “I indeed am of Paul,” and another, “but I am of Apollos,” are you not being mere men? Corinthians 3:1-4 (translated from the NA28 Greek text)
God has always given some in the Body of Christ discernment as they have matured, become humble, and become adhered only to the Word of God as the arbiter of what is truth from what pretends to be the truth, but is of the Devil and this World….
This discernment is not to be used for self exploitation for any reason whatsoever nor is it to be used to maliciously tear down ministries or God’s men for any reason. No, this discernment is only for one purpose and that is to preserve the unity of the Body of Christ by exposing false teachings and those behind them.
I once received an inquiry from a reader to compare 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 with the life and ministries of men like Charles Finney and Rick Warren. The concern was if these two men were examples of those who built upon the foundation of Christ with wood, hay, and stubble, and would, in the end, see all their works be consumed in the fire of judgment, suffering eternal loss, but themselves being saved, “but only as through fire” (1 Corinthians 3:10-15). As I studied this passage I did what I always do, I put it into context. The immediate context of vv10-15 would be 1 Corinthians 3:1-23 in which Paul addressed the issues and the cause of divisions in the Corinthian church. However, we must remember, that this must also be put into the larger context of Paul’s entire message of this Epistle. A good break down of 1 Corinthians would place chapter 3 right in the middle of a section that runs from 1:10 through 4:21 in which Paul specifically addressed Disunity in the Church. In fact, chapter 3 would be contained in the subsection of that breakdown that would probably best be titled something like “The Need for Unity.” Therefore, with that in mind, we will focus in this post on 1 Corinthians 3:1-15 alone which focuses specifically on divisions in the Church. Within this, we will also address the question very well about vv10-15 and any questionable “Christian leader.”