Here, Paul describes Christians as either spiritual or fleshly. By spiritual, he meant that the Holy Spirit directed that Christianís life. By fleshly, he meant that the desires of the flesh (the human body) controlled the personís life. In other words some people care about Godís desires; other people seem to care mainly about their own desires.
When Christians act in a fleshly manner, they are behaving like babies. A baby can only think about its own desires; it shows no responsibility. Of course, a baby should grow up and learn mature attitudes. But many Christians fail to do that. Even when they have been Christians for several years, they still care too much about their own feelings, desires and opinions.
That was what was happening in the church at Corinth. Paul said that the members there had jealous attitudes. Also, they argued constantly. Many of those arguments were very serious (6:1-7). This is not how Christians should behave.
Such behaviour would not, of course, be unusual for people who are not Christians. But Godís people should not behave as evil people behave. They should not imitate their behaviour or their attitudes. Instead, they should love to obey Godís word (Psalm 1:1-2).
I am sure that Paulís words gave a shock to those Christians at Corinth. They believed that the Holy Spirit was directing them. They spoke in tongues (unknown languages) by the power of the Holy Spirit. They prophesied (spoke messages from God) by the power of the Holy Spirit. They loved to see the Holy Spiritís work (14:12). They probably thought that they were very spiritual. But their attitudes towards each other were still fleshly.
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© 2014, Keith Simons.