However, brethren, I could not talk to you as to spiritual [men], but as to nonspiritual [men of the flesh, in whom the carnal nature predominates], as to mere infants [in the new life] in Christ [unable to talk yet!]
Brothers and sisters, when I was there, I could not talk to you the way I talk to people who are led by the Spirit. I had to talk to you like ordinary people of the world. You were like babies in Christ.
Brothers and sisters, in the past I could not talk to you as I talk to ·spiritual people [or people who have the Spirit]. I had to talk to you as I would to ·people without the Spirit [unspiritual/carnal/fleshly people]—·babies [infants] in Christ.
1 He yieldeth a reason why he preached small matters unto them: 4 He showeth how they ought to esteem of Ministers: 6 The minister’s office. 10 A true form of edifying. 16 He warneth the Corinthians, that they be not drawn away to profane things, 18 through the proud wisdom of the flesh. And I could not speak unto you, brethren, as unto spiritual men, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
I, my brothers, was unable to talk to you as spiritual men: I had to talk to you as unspiritual, as yet babies in the Christian life, And my practice had been to feed you, as it were, with “milk” and not with “meat”. You were unable to digest “meat” in those days, and I don’t believe you can do it now. For you are still unspiritual; all the time that there is jealousy and squabbling among you you show that you are—you are living just like men of the world. While one of you says, “I am one of Paul’s converts” and another says, “I am one of Apollos’”, are you not plainly unspiritual?
Dear brothers, I have been talking to you as though you were still just babies in the Christian life who are not following the Lord but your own desires; I cannot talk to you as I would to healthy Christians who are filled with the Spirit.
But for right now, friends, I’m completely frustrated by your unspiritual dealings with each other and with God. You’re acting like infants in relation to Christ, capable of nothing much more than nursing at the breast. Well, then, I’ll nurse you since you don’t seem capable of anything more. As long as you grab for what makes you feel good or makes you look important, are you really much different than a babe at the breast, content only when everything’s going your way? When one of you says, “I’m on Paul’s side,” and another says, “I’m for Apollos,” aren’t you being totally infantile?
Brothers and sisters, I couldn’t speak to you as people who live by the Holy Spirit. I had to speak to you as people who were still following the ways of the world. You aren’t growing as Christ wants you to. You are still like babies.
Brothers and sisters, when I was with you I found it impossible to speak to you as those who are spiritually mature people, for you are still dominated by the mind-set of the flesh. And because you are immature infants in Christ,
My brothers, I could not talk to you at first as to people who have the Spirit of God. But I talked to you as people who have the spirit of this world. I talked to you as people who are very new-born, baby Christians.
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