There is a growing need throughout Africa and most probably in other parts of the world, for instruction and material that is Biblically sound, Christ-centred and spiritual, to enable Christians to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ…. to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. There is such a huge amount of material in the form of Bible courses and teachings that are not bad, and some even excellent, but many such courses tend to provide academic or head knowledge, rather than spiritual insight and genuine spiritual growth. It is with this in mind that I have attempted to introduce instruction that I am praying and trusting that the Lord will use, to open the door of revelation to seeking believers, that they may gain spiritual insights into the glory and majesty of Jesus Christ our Lord.
I welcome any comments or constructive criticism, which will enable me to communicate these great truths more accurately and clearly. Once these notes have been completed, they will be used in the various places, where doors have opened to us for this kind of input. It is imperative therefore, that this message is simply but clearly communicated.
God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 
Our relationship with God in the New Testament is a partnership, or involvement or fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ. It is this fact that distinguishes true Christianity from all other religions on earth. Salvation is a work of God, through the Holy Spirit, causing us to become ‘new creatures’ in Christ. As new creatures we have been called by God into an intimate spiritual fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
This spiritual fellowship is the beginning of an eternal relationship with the Almighty God, through His Son, Jesus. All relationships require a basis of understanding and trust and our eternal relationship with God is no different. It is this fundamental basis or foundation that we will explore and seek to understand in this series of articles.
Let us consider the above text in its context. In this first chapter of the letter to the Corinthians, Paul was writing to the Gentiles in Corinth who had responded to the Gospel, but in his introduction to this letter he extends the addressees to include “all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord”. The message of Corinthians therefore, has direct implications for us, who have also called upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. It should be noted with great interest to us that although, from the subject matter of this letter it can be seen that these Christians were unwise, fleshly and even sinful in their behaviour; Paul still greets them in glowing terms. He says, “I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” This should in no way be seen as an excuse to live a fleshly or sinful life as a Christian, but it is rather an expression of enormous confidence by Paul, in the work of God in our hearts to present us blameless in the end.
This is an important point to keep in mind, when considering our own development in the Lord and also the growth and development of new saints that we may be ministering to. Like Paul, we need to remain focused on the end result; being presented blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
It is with this in mind that Paul then turns his attention to the problems in the church at Corinth and this is where we are given invaluable insight into our foundation and progressive development throughout the letter to the Corinthians to the resurrection, which Paul deals with in chapter fifteen.
Let us take a closer look at the problems:
- There were divisions among them. 
- They felt qualified to pass judgement on Paul’s ministry.
- They were proud and arrogant. 
- Their arrogance made them overlook very serious sin amongst them. 
- They were taking fellow believers to court to resolve disputes. 
- They did not take the Breaking of Bread seriously. 
- They despised the poor.
- They allowed their liberty in Christ to be a stumbling block to the spiritually weak. 
- They exercised Spiritual gifts to show off rather than seeking to edify the church. 
- They were ignorant of the use and place of Spiritual gifts.
- Their women were disrupting meetings with questions. 
- Some of them were saying that there is no resurrection from the dead. 
Many or all of these problems are encountered in the church today. Modern Christian leaders, when confronted with these same problems, often look to psychology or the wisdom of men to solve them and by so doing, treat the symptoms but don’t deal with the root cause of these carnal or fleshly problems. Paul tells us in chapter two that he does not rely upon the wisdom of men, but upon the power of the Spirit. He explains that this is because our faith should not be based on men’s wisdom, but upon the power of God. From this it is clear that Paul was more concerned about establishing believers on the correct foundation, than simply patching up their problems superficially.
The Solution to these problems
To help us understand the solution that Paul presents to us, we need to first grasp what he tells us about the subject of wisdom, as this is very important. He asks, “Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” Then in chapter two and verse eight, Paul demonstrates this truth by telling us that if the Rulers of this world had known who Jesus is, they would not have crucified Him. In other words, no matter how wise they were in man’s wisdom, they did not know the wisdom of God and therefore made the fatal error of crucifying Jesus, instead of worshiping Him. Paul explains that we do not have access to God’s wisdom, except through the understanding of the cross (crucifixion) of Jesus. “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
Our relationship with Jesus and with our Heavenly Father is a spiritual relationship; for this reason Paul explains, “And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” We see from this statement that our only access to God’s wisdom is to fully grasp and embrace the message of the cross. The understanding of the cross is the first spiritual revelation that we receive from the Holy Spirit. The cross cannot be understood by human reasoning or man’s wisdom. As we respond in faith to this message, acknowledging and repenting of our sin and embracing the risen Saviour by faith, we have made our first step into spiritual territory and have access to God’s great wisdom. This is what Paul acknowledged concerning the Corinthian believers and that is why he could refer to them as ‘saints’. Their problem though, was that they did not continue to walk in the spirit, but thought and acted as carnal men.
The big barrier to spiritual development and growth is the carnal mind, which cannot receive the things of the Spirit.
The Root of the Problem
Paul diagnoses the root of the problem and tells the Corinthian believers; “I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?” In other words, based on Paul’s statements in chapter two, he was saying that they were not walking in the wisdom of God, but in the wisdom of men. The implications being that they were not discerning things spiritually and were not in a position to receive the deeper things of God. Their perceptions were still immature spiritually. This meant that they did not know Jesus in a way that would unlock the depths of God’s wisdom, which are only to be found in Jesus.
Paul in the wisdom that God gave him, as a wise master builder, was laying a spiritual foundation in the lives of these Corinthian believers, which he refers to as the ‘milk’. Contained in this ‘milk’ was an understanding that Jesus is the only foundation that we can have in our lives.  We must conclude from this that it is necessary for each believer to have a spiritual insight into how Jesus forms our spiritual foundation. This understanding does not come through the wisdom of men, but by the power of the Holy Spirit who will lay this foundation in our hearts through the ‘milk’ that Paul refers to.
Peter refers to the subject of our Foundation
“Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.” Peter lists a number of the characteristics of immature Christians and offers the same solution as Paul did. He says that the new-born spiritual babies (immature Christians) should desire the pure ‘milk of the Word’. He tells us that we will grow to spiritual maturity in Jesus, by receiving this milk.
In the context of this second chapter of 1 Peter we find that Peter goes on to explain that if we have tasted the grace of the Lord, or found Him to be gracious, then we have come to the Living Stone (Jesus Christ) who was rejected by men, but chosen of God and precious. He later explains that this Stone is in fact the Foundation upon which we are built. It is very interesting to consider where Peter got this particular perspective of the Lord Jesus from. He was quoting Isaiah 28:16, but Peter had also had a first-hand experience of this, as recorded in Matthew 16:13-19, where Jesus asked the question, “Who do men say that I am?” Everyone had a different but wrong opinion of Jesus, and then Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus responded to Peter by explaining that Peter’s name means a stone, but upon Himself as the Rock and Foundation, Jesus would build His church. Peter obviously understood this great truth and presents it to us very clearly in 1 Peter chapter two, concerning the fact that Jesus is the Rock and that we are the little living stones built upon Jesus our Foundation.
Comparison between Peter and Paul’s teaching on our Foundation
Both Peter and Paul address the carnality and immaturity of the believers, by pointing to their fleshly behaviour. Paul speaks of divisions or sectarianism in the Corinthian church and Peter speaks of malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and all evil speaking. The solution in both cases is the need for the believers to receive the ‘milk of the Word’. Both Peter and Paul point to Jesus as being the only Foundation upon which we should be built. Both also speak of the rejection of this Foundation by men with human reasoning. Paul says that, the world through (their) wisdom did not know God and Peter speaks of the Stone which the builders rejected.
Jesus talks about having the correct Foundation
“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock.” We need to note that Jesus also refers to wisdom as an important issue and then the need to be built upon the rock. We know from Peter’s teaching and experience that this Rock is in fact Jesus Himself. Hearing and obeying the sayings of Jesus is what both Peter and Paul present to the believers in the ‘milk of the Word’, so that they can be established upon Jesus Christ their Rock and Foundation.
Let us remember that we are talking about developing a deeper spiritual relationship with Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father and growing in our spiritual insights and perceptions of God. The wisdom of men would give us an academic insight into this subject, which will only give us head knowledge and no spiritual growth. It is vital therefore to have a revelation of the ‘milk of the Word’ and embrace this truth by faith as a prayerful and spiritual exercise. Simply put, just as we responded to the Gospel by faith, we need to comprehend the truth of the ‘milk of the Word’ and then receive it by faith, with a view to growing in our relationship with Jesus.
What is the Milk of the Word? ….. to be continued
 1 Cor. 1:9 NKJV
 1 Cor. 1:2 NKJV
 1 Cor. 1:4-8 NKJV
 1 Cor. 1:11-13
 1 Cor. 4:3
 1 Cor. 4:18
 1 Cor. 5:2
 1 Cor. 6:6
 1 Cor.11:17
 1 Cor. 11:22
 1 Cor. 8:9-13
 1 Cor. 14:12
 1 Cor. 12:1
 1 Cor. 14:34-35
 1 Cor. 15:12
 1 Cor. 2:4
 1 Cor. 2:5
 1 Cor. 1:20
 1 Cor. 1:18
 1 cor. 2:1-2
 1 Cor. 2:14
 1 Cor. 3:1-3
 1 Cor. 3:10
 1 Cor. 3:11
 1 Pet. 2:1-3
 1 Pet. 2:4
 1 Pet. 2:7
 Matt. 7:24