Stuck in Carnality
What keeps the carnal man, or woman, from maturing into a spiritual Christian, among other things, is a lack of true humility!

Have you ever heard unsound doctrine being preached or taught by someone, especially those with a degree in theology, for example, and question them about their doctrine?

Have you ever seen that look of indignation, or even that look of disdain, from "the wise and prudent" because of your perceived impudence?

(Rom 12:3)  For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
Scriptures tell us that in the last days there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts (2Pet 3:3) and they also tell us:

(1Jn 2:18)  Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

(1Ti 4:1)  Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

Those who lack humility do not even know that their eyes have been made dull of seeing, their ears dull of hearing, and their minds dull of understanding.  They do not realize that they can not see, or hear, or understand the truth, even when it is in plain sight.  They do not know that their hearts have waxed cold, have turned to stone, and are no longer capable of receiving the truth.

Pride Comes Before The Fall!

The snare of the enemy is deception and pride is the doorway through which he enters into our lives.

Do you remember this story from scriptures?

(Mat 16:15)  He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?

(Mat 16:16)  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

(Mat 16:17)  And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

(Mat 16:18)  And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

(Mat 16:19)  And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Here we see Jesus calling Peter "blessed" because he received divine revelation (rhema word) directly from the Father in heaven.

Then we see this:

(Mat 16:20)  Then charged He his disciples that they should tell no man that He was Jesus the Christ.

(Mat 16:21)  From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.

(Mat 16:22)  Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.

(Mat 16:23)  But He turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

Right after Peter had received revelation knowledge, right after Jesus told him that He was blessed for receiving it, within the very same conversation, Satan began to speak through Peter.  One moment in time God is speaking through him and the in the next moment Satan is speaking through Him.

Now notice that Jesus rebuke was not directed towards Peter himself rather towards he who was speaking through him.

I believe that many who have become prideful and self-righteous are in the same position that Peter found himself in, but we must remember however that Peter was not yet born again and he did not yet have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to guide him.

ALL men and women, even after they are born again have, for lack of a better term, a dual nature.  That is to say that there is an old man with an old nature and a new man with a new nature living together.  There is a new man and a new nature within the new spirit of the new man and there also exists the old man and the old nature within the flesh of the new man.

It is VERY easy, especially for the newly born again believer, to become confused between the two.  That is to say that they are no longer completely carnally minded they are now double minded.   Sometimes they walk in the Spirit and at other times they walk in the flesh.

It is because of this truth that the apostle Paul instructs us:

(Rom 12:1)  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

(Rom 12:2) And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

(Rom 12:3)  For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.


This is the FIRST AND GREAT lesson in discipleship!

Our "reasonable service" as born again believers is to present our bodies as living sacrifices, as offerings, holy and acceptable to God!

You see our salvation cost us nothing but it cost God everything while our discipleship on the other hand costs us everything, even our very lives.

How do we make this this sacrifice of which Paul is speaking?
By not conforming to the age (eon - world) and being transformed by the renewing of our mind!

You see the sacrifice of our body means to deny ourselves (the desires of our flesh, our old nature, the old way of doing things), pick up our cross daily (to crucify the desires of the flesh), and follow Jesus.

Now this sacrifice of the body, this denial of the flesh, is speaking of putting off the old natural man and putting on the new spiritual man.  It means to learn how to walk and talk all over again and it also means that our diet has changed.  That is to say that we are to feed on the hidden manna within the spirit of the word of God not on the letter or the ink of the word.

It means that we become transformed by the renewing of our minds from faith to faith and glory to glory into Holy Spirit filled walking, talking Christian disciples!

We no longer think as the world thinks, speak as the world speaks, or act as the world acts, and none of this though our own power or ability, to the contrary, it is God himself doing these things through us as we begin to walk and live in the Spirit!

Are You Ready For The Next Level?

Living In The Spirit
The Corinthian Church, was an important city within the Greek state of Achaia.  Paul first visited Corinith during his second missionary journey sometime between AD 49-52 and remained there about 1 1/2 years and founded the church during that time.

Some three years later, while in Ephesus Paul received word about problems within the church at Corinth.

Subsequently Paul wrote two letters to the Corinthians as instruction to guide them in solving the strife and contentions disputes they were having about doctrine.

The reason these two letters are particularly relevant today is because the same thing is still going on within the Christian church today, perhaps even more so.
Let's begin by noting what Paul wrote to the church just after his opening blessing:

(1Co 1:10)  Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

The unity of the church was paramount in the mind of Paul that all of the believers should be "perfectly joined together in the same mind and the same judgments, those being the mind and judgments of our Lord Jesus the Christ.

You see the favorite weapon of the enemy is to divide the body of believers because He knows all to well that a kingdom divided against itself can not stand!
Paul's rebuke of the church was quite extensive, as were his corrective instructions, not the least of which were:

(1Co 1:12)  Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.

(1Co 1:13)  Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?

(1Co 1:14)  I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius;

(1Co 1:15)  Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.

(1Co 1:16)  And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.

Is Christ divided within the body of believers today?

Certainly!

Yet we hear people trying to convince us that we are a united body in spite of the divisions within the church.  That as long as we agree on the "major" ideals (doctrines) of the faith we are all Christian believers and disciples.  And this in spite of Paul's writings unto the divided church at Corinth!

What did our Lord Christ Jesus have to say about this?

(Joh 17:7)  Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.

(Joh 17:8)  For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.

(Joh 17:9)  I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.

(Joh 17:10)  And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.

(Joh 17:11)  And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

Who is Jesus praying about here?

This prayer of our Lord speaks to the Father on behalf of three persons:

1)  On behalf of himself.
2)  On behalf of His apostles.
3)  On behalf of those who come to believe on Him through His apostles.

Jesus proclaims in verse 11 that He is no more in the world, that He has overcome the world, but "these", His disciples who were to become His apostles, those ordained by the Father to be such, "are in the world" but Jesus prays that the Father keep them (guard, protect from suffering injury or loss) THAT THEY MAY BE ONE AS WE (the Father and the Son) ARE ONE!

There is no schism between the Father and the Son and there should be no schism within the body of Christ!

But the doctrines of men and demons have come to be readily accepted by the church because the wisdom of man says "we can't agree on everything but as long as we agree on the gospel we are united.

Brothers and sisters this is a damnable lie straight out of the pits of hell!

NOW WATCH THIS!

(Joh 17:15)  I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

(Joh 17:16)  They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

What happened from verse 11 to verse 16 that Jesus says that they are not of the world?

Jesus is speaking in faith that His petition to the Father has already been answered.  He knows that the Father will "keep them" in one and because of this they will overcome the world as one.

(Joh 17:17)  Sanctify them (make them holy) through thy truth: thy word is truth.

(Joh 17:18)  As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.

(Joh 17:19)  And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

(Joh 17:20)  Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

(Joh 17:21) That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

(Joh 17:22) And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

(Joh 17:23) I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

This is TRULY AMAZING! That the Lord has given us, those who SHALL (future tense) believe through their (His apostles) word the same grace that He shared with the Father before the world was (v.17:5)!

Why did He give us this grace that He shared with the Father?
That they (us) might be as ONE as the Father and the Son are ONE!

The wisdom of the carnal man can rationalize away any truth.  The worldly man turns to his own intellect and understanding rather than the plainly written word of truth which has been hidden from the wise and the prudent and revealed unto babes, that there is only ONE Father, ONE Son, ONE Holy Spirit, ONE Way, ONE Truth, ONE Life, ONE Gospel, ONE Light, and ONE true body of Christ on this earth, and they are those who share the mind of Christ through the unity of the indwelling Holy Spirit.

You see brothers and sisters scriptures say that the ways of God are foolishness to the carnal (natural) man (mind), neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned (1Cor 2:14).  These things can not be rationalized or intellectualized nor can they be understood by the natural mind, much less actually take root in the soul (heart).

(1Co 2:15)  But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

(1Co 2:16)  For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

(1Co 3:1)  And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.

(1Co 3:2)  I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

(1Co 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?

Paul had to speak to the members of the church at Corinth as "babes in Christ".   He had to feed them with milk because they, after almost 5 years, were not yet able to bear meat, much less the "strong meat" which belongs to those who are of full age (fathers) (Heb 5:14).
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A "worldly" Christian is also commonly referred to as a "carnal" or carnally minded Christian.

Generally speaking, these people are those who have been saved by receiving Christ and His finished word on the cross as the payment of their sins.  They have been spiritually regenerated (born again) and have been changed within as proclaimed in Ezekiel 36:26.

These people however have not matured in the way of Christ!

According to the apostle John there are basically three stages of Christian development, Little Children, Young Men, and Fathers (1 John 2:1).

In this section we will be taking a closer look at the worldly or carnal Christian from a biblical perspective.
International Discipleship Ministry