A Bottle or a Banquet?

Jerry Sittser

READ : 1 Corinthians 3:1-9

So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. (v. 7)

My children are nearly grown. The days are long gone when I had to feed them a bottle or baby food. On occasion we go out for brunch together after worship on Sunday. It is their favorite meal because they prefer a banquet over the simple soup and sandwiches they would get at home.

The believers in Corinth had a hard time outgrowing bottle and baby food. Paul tells us why. They were still of the flesh – that is, still living like immature children, driven by jealousy and quarrels. They were more interested in joining the right party than in embracing the right purpose – maturity in Christ. Their factions kept them from following hard after Christ.

Paul says that Apollos and he were only servants, like farmers doing their individual chores. Paul planted; Apollos watered. But God – and only God – could make them grow. Who did what was hardly the point. The only thing that mattered was the growth.

The Corinthians were not growing. It was high time, Paul said, to graduate from bottle and baby food to the lavish banquet of discipleship. That requires one simple decision: to put Christ first in our lives.


Lord, help us to follow hard after you. Amen.