A Christian? Carnal or Spiritual?


The Question

  1. We claim to be Christians in this assembly; are we carnal or spiritual Christians? (Rom 8:1-17).
  2. Do you walk after the flesh, mind the things of the flesh, and look like other men (I Cor 3:1-4)?
  3. Do you walk after the Spirit, mind the things of the Spirit, and look like saints (Phil 2:15).
  4. Our great enemy is not doctrinal error, big government, or persecution; but carnal Christianity.
  5. A spiritually minded person is a person of prayer (Acts 9:11; 10:2). Both private and public.
  6. A spiritually minded person is a person of singing (Ephesians 5:18-19; Colossians 3:16).
  7. A spiritually minded person delights in the Lord (Psalm 37:4; Jeremiah 9:23-24).
  8. A spiritually minded person talks about the Lord with others (Malachi 3:16-18; I Thess 5:11).
  9. A spiritually minded person loves God’s word (Job 23:12; Psalm 19:10; 119:97,113).
  10. A spiritually minded person loves fellowship with His saints (Acts 2:41-47; 4:32; I Jn 3:14-19).

The Warning

  1. Paul warned of perilous times in the last days of dangerous carnal Christianity (II Tim 3:1-13).
    1. Lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God does not need interpretation.
    2. Having a form of godliness without the power may need a little interpretation.
      1. It would be the form of godliness – outward religion going through the motions.
      2. It would deny the power of true godliness – the claims of God on your life.
    3. From such teachers and such compromising Christianity we are to turn away.
  2. The friends of the world are the enemies of God (James 4:4). You cannot find a compromise.
  3. Ephesus was warned of coming judgment, if they did not do the first works (Revelation 2:4-5).
  4. Laodicea was warned of coming judgment, if they did not get hot for the Lord (Rev 3:15-20).
  5. Knowing of Christ or knowing Christ Himself is not enough; we must love Him (I Cor 16:22).

The Problem

  1. Satan, the world, and our flesh love sin and hate God. So there is always pull in that direction.
  2. This problem occurred over and over again in Israel – compromise with the pagan Canaanites.
  3. The Corinthian church was grossly carnal in many ways though abundant with spiritual gifts.
  4. All men eventually forsook Paul and Demas for love of this present world (II Tim 4:16,10).
  5. When for the time ye ought to be teachers, you still need one to teach you (Hebrews 5:12-14).
  6. What are you living for? Toys? Marriage? Children? Body? Work? Money? Retirement? Projects? Hobbies? Sports? A combination of these?
  7. It acts as leaven (I Cor 5:7-8), weeds (Mark 4:19), and cancer (II Tim 2:17). Small, slow, sure.

The Judgment

  1. The Lord shall judge His people as He did Israel, but don’t boast foolishly (Heb 10:30-31).
  2. Judgment must begin at the house of God (I Pet 4:17-18). He will not be longsuffering forever.
  3. Souls are lean (Ps 106:15); prayers are hindered (I Pet 3:7); evangelism dies; there is no power.
  4. And then some are weak, sick, and dead as at Corinth for their form of godliness (I Cor 11:30).

The Cure

  1. Repentance and confession. Did you hear Christ’s word to His churches? Repent and confess.
  2. Pluck out and cut off every thing in your life that has the appearance of evil or worldliness.
  3. Exercise for godliness – repetition of basic spiritual actions to promote growth (I Tim 4:7-11).
  4. Choose prayer, reading, singing, godly friends, godly conversations, assemblies, hospitality.
  5. Set your affection on things above (Col 3:2; Matt 6:19-24). This is a choice. Make it now.