Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament1 Corinthians 3:1
- But as unto carnal (all' wv sarkinoiv).
- Latin carneus. "As men o' flesh," Braid Scots; "as worldlings," Moffatt. This form in -inov like litinov in 2 Corinthians 3:3 means the material of flesh, "not on tablets of stone, but on fleshen tablets on hearts." So in Hebrews 7:16. But in Romans 7:14 Paul says, "I am fleshen (sarkinov) sold under sin," as if sarkinov represented the extreme power of the sarx. Which does Paul mean here? He wanted to speak the wisdom of God among the adults (1 Corinthians 2:6), the spiritual (oi pneumatikoi, 2:15), but he was unable to treat them as pneumatikoi in reality because of their seditions and immoralities. It is not wrong to be sarkinov, for we all live in the flesh (en sarki, Galatians 2:20), but we are not to live according to the flesh (kata sarka, Romans 8:12). It is not culpable to a babe in Christ (nhpiov, 1 Corinthians 13:11), unless unduly prolonged (1 Corinthians 14:20; Hebrews 5:13). It is one of the tragedies of the minister's life that he has to keep on speaking to the church members "as unto babes in Christ" (wv nhpioiv en Xristwi), who actually glory in their long babyhood whereas they ought to be teachers of the gospel instead of belonging to the cradle roll. Paul's goal was for all the babes to become adults (Colossians 1:28).