“For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?” (1 Corinthians 3b)
What do you think the essence of the gospel should be? The believers at Corinth emphasized spiritual gifts and tolerance of sinful lifestyles. In this emphasis they thought they had achieved perfection. They boasted that their superiority was manifested by their excellent use of the spiritual gifts of prophesy and speaking in tongues. They thought they had godly wisdom, discernment, and insight into the deepest spiritual mysteries. They thought they were showing mercy by tolerating blatant sin in some of their members. Consequently many of them behaved in a haughty arrogant manner which left them blind to all their faults and sins, among which were self-aggrandizement, a party spirit, and disunity.

Therefore Paul had to chastise them for their carnality, spiritual immaturity, and pride. Paul takes great pains to show them that they are the ones who are spiritually immature; in fact they were behaving according to the flesh. They ought not to be proud of themselves. And in our own church body we ought not be proud of our own tolerance of sin or divisiveness or party spirit. We ought to build each other up in Christ and seek to demonstrate to the world the love, peace and unity of the Holy Spirit. That unity is exactly what all men and women desire and the church should be the place where they find it.