1 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ.
2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able;
3 for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?
The Spirit gives men wisdom, but only to those who are spiritual (chapter 2). The Corinthians were saved (1 Corinthians 1:4-9), but were carnal.
carnal (v.1) = of the nature of the flesh
carnal (v.3) = sensual, under the control of the flesh nature — a stronger word than that used in vs.1. In vs.1, they were not anti-spiritual, but babes. In vs.3, they yielded to the flesh nature.
milk/solid food (v.2) — common metaphors among Jews and Greeks. See Hebrews 3:13; 1 Peter 2:2.
envying (v.3) — should be “jealousy” — jealousy wants what another has without wishing to deprive the other
as men (v.3) — lit. “according to man” — as fallen humanity
divisions (v.3) — as mentioned in 1 Corinthians 1:11-13)
Babies are cute, but if they stay babies when they should be growing, it is sad.
1 Corinthians 2 and 3 deal with four classes of men into which the Bible divides the human race spiritually: the natural man (2:14), the babe in Christ (3:1), the carnal, or fleshly Christian (3:1) and the spiritual man of God (2:15). — Stam, page 70