Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Carnal or The Biblical???

1 Cor. 3:3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

The indictment “You are carnal” is a stinging charge from the Apostle in that his words are right to the point of all of man’s problems with sin. To be a carnal person means to be fixated on that which is temporal. The scripture teaches us to set our affections on things above, meaning things which come from God who is eternal. Carnality speaks of an obsession with human feelings. It is to be emotionally driven and under the influence primarily of the flesh nature (the natural man) that all are born with. The Corinthians had a major problem with this. It seems clear that many today suffer the same crisis of faith.

1 Cor. 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

The natural man refers to people who have not been regenerated by the Holy Spirit through receiving Jesus Christ as their Savior. Natural means just that, and implies no understanding of spiritual things. I have frequently met people who tell me that they do not go to church nor accept the bible as the word of God and yet go one to proclaim to me that they are still “very spiritual people”. The bible never teaches that unsaved people are not spiritual. It however does teach quite clearly that unsaved people do not have “The Holy Spirit of God” nor do they understand the “Things of the Spirit of God”. The problem with unsaved people is not that they are not spiritual. It is that they do not know what spirit they are of. The unsaved are deceived and of the spirit of Satan. The unsaved see no need to obey God and be in a local church. They see no need to submit to Church authority or to support the work of the ministry with tithes. It is all foolishness to them.

It is an interesting study to watch people who say that they are believers and yet want nothing to do with the truth of the bible. Although anyone who is saved is only so due to the grace of God provided on the cross by Jesus Christ, immature saved people can sometimes act like the unsaved. When people decide to use their old thinking to interpret a situation, they in many ways end up reacting as though they were unregenerate. Spiritual discernment comes not from our natural thinking but quite to the contrary it comes from thinking as a new person in Christ.

There is a crisis in every believer’s life when that believer is confronted by the work of the old way of thinking before salvation clashing with the new way of thinking as a Christian. When a person comes to Christ they do not automatically change everything. There is a process known as sanctification when a believer chooses to put off the old nature and put on the new. This is done by an act of the will and an implementation of study of the word of God. If we really want to walk in newness of life we must choose not to walk in the power of the natural man with its inability to spiritually discern. Instead we must walk in Christ having infused his word into our souls as to effect a change in our thinking. The word of God is the only power given to ultimately give us godly insight and thus that gives us the ability to truly discern the things of the Spirit.

The following is a list of 10 carnal indicators;

1) Offended easily.
2) Envious of others blessings.
3) React without pondering a biblical response.
4) Self interest is first thing that comes to mind in a crisis.
5) Refusal to forgive.
6) Gossip.
7) Rebellious against Spiritual authority.
8) Can’t receive correction.
9) Not teachable.
10) Run by emotions.

So the choice is given to us between the Carnal and the biblical, the natural mind or the mind of the Spirit. The choice is always before us.

Written by Dr. David M. Berman

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3 Comments:

OpenID maranatha777 said...

I'm catching up on your posts, Brother, and this one was REALLY good! Doesn't this church sound like today's "church"???? Oyyy!!

Kate

4:19 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Sis. Kate,

I'm glad you liked this one.... today's churches are really very carnal.... with no power to reach out to those who are lost!!!

5:23 PM  
Blogger Jerry Bouey said...

Great post on the contrast between the carnal or Biblical mindset.

You may appreciate this study I posted last night: The High Calling

7:57 AM  

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