Anointed To Teach God's Word

Classic Christian teaching from the holy Bible

The Marks of a Carnal Christian # 2

on September 30, 2012

The trouble is not with the will, for it was very sincere in the decisions made and fully purposed to carry them out.

“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh), dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not” (Romans 7:18).

But there is a divided control over the carnal Christian’s life and that always spells defeat. He may have deliverance, if he will, but it must be a deliverance out of Romans 7 into Romans 8. Is such a deliverance yours?

It is a Life of Protected Infancy

“And I, brethren, could not speak unto yo as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. 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” (1 Corinthians 3:1-2).

The carnal Christian never grows up. He remains a mere “babe in Christ.” The Corinthian Christians should have been full-grown, strong, meat-eating grown-ups: instead, they were immature weak, milk-drinking infants. They did not measure up either in stature or strength to what they should have.

Nothing on earth could be more perfect to loving parents than a baby in babyhood, but of! the indescribable heartache endured by the parents if that precious child remains a baby in body or in mind. Nothing on earth sets the joy bells of heaven ringing as the birth of one into the family of God, but oh! what pain it must cause the heavenly Father to see that spiritual babe remain in a state of protracted infancy.

Which are you, my friend, a spiritual babe or an adult? To answer this question you may have to answer another. What are the marks of a baby? A baby s helplessly dependent upon others. A baby absorbs attention and expects to be the center of his little world. A baby lives in the realm of his feelings. If all goes well, he is pleased and smiling, but he is exceedingly touchy and, if his desire is crossed at any point, he quickly lets it be known in lusty remonstrance. The carnal Christian bears these selfsame marks.

Hebrews 5:12-14 shows us that the carnal Christian is still dependent upon others. He ought to be far enough advanced to be teaching others: instead, he is still having to be taught, and has not even come to the place where he can take meat instead of milk. He is incapacitated to either receive or impart the deep things of God.

Why were the Corinthian Christians such babes? Paul tells us clearly in the first two chapters of 1 Corinthians. They were following human leaders, esteeming the wisdom of men more highly than the wisdom of God. They are substituting fodder for food and attempting to satisfy hunger on husks.

The average Christian does not go firs-hand to the Bible for food, trusting the Holy Spirit to give him the strong meat of the Word. He is looking only to human teachers for his spiritual nourishment and gulps down whatever they give him. He is a spiritual parasite living on pre-digested food, consequently he is underfed and anemic. In this weakened state he is open to all forms of spiritual disease. He is an easy prey for temper, pride, impurity, selfishness and because of his close relationship to other members of the body of Christ, the result is often just such an epidemic of sin as existed in the Corinthian church. Which are you, still a helpless babe or a mature Christian able to be used by God to help others?

It is a Life of Barren Fruitlessness

“Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away, and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit” (John 15:2).

The influence of the carnal Christian is always negative. Because of the inconsistency of his life he is unable to win others to Christ or set a true example to other Christians. He is, therefore, a fruitless branch in the Vine.

It is a Life of Adulterous Infidelity

“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4).

This language is very drastic. God plainly states that any Christian who is a friend of the world is His enemy, nay even an “adulterer” or “adulteress.” To realize the force of this statement one must know what is meant by “the world.” What the Church is to Christ, the world is to satan. It is his eyes, ears, hands, feet combined to fashion his most cunning weapon for capturing and holding the souls of men. it is satan’s lair for the unsaved and his lure to the saved to keep them from God. “The world” is human life and society with God left out.

What, then, should be the Christian’s relationship to the world? The answer is found in the Christian’s relationship to Christ. Christ and the Christian are one. They are joined together in such an absolute identification of life that the Holy Spirit says the love relationship they bear to one another is analogous to that of marriage.

Is it any wonder, then, that God says that friendship with the world on the part of a Christian is tantamount to spiritual adultery? Hobnobbing with the world in its pleasures, entering into partnership with it in its pursuits, fashioning on’s life by its principles, working to carry out its program, all make one an accomplice of the vil one against one’s own Beloved. Such adulterous unfaithfulness in love marks one as a carnal Christian.

But perhaps you ask, “What constitutes worldliness?”

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world” (1 John 2:15-16).

The acid test of worldliness is given here. Worldliness is “all that is not of the Father.” Whatever would not be as fitting to Christ’s life in the heavenlies as to the Christian life on earth is worldly.

Worldliness is also “the lust of the flesh”, “the lust of the eyes” and “the pride of life.” Worldliness may be manifested in one’s conversation, in one’s style of hairdress, in one’s clothes, in one’s friendships, in one’s pleasures,, appetites and in one’s activities. Anything which feeds or pampers the flesh, the animal part of man, is “the lust of the flesh.” Anything that caters merely to the fashions of the world, that stimulates desire for possessions, that keeps the eyes fixed on the seen rather than the unseen is “lust of the eyes.” Anything that exalts self, that fosters pride and pomp and that clips the wings of the soul so that it grovels in the dust of the earth instead of soaring heavenward is “the pride of life.”

Do you love the world and the things of the world? Then you are a carnal Christian.

It is a Life of Dishonoring Hypocrisy

“For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord; walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8). “Are ye not carnal, and walk as men?” (1 Corinthians 3:3).

The carnal Christian says one thing and does another; his walk does not correspond with his witness. He walks as those who make no profession of being Christian, so he has no power to win them to Christ.

Has God shown you your photograph today? Are you a carnal Christian? Do you wish to continue to be one? There is abundant hope for the Christian who, wearied with the conflict, humiliated with the defeat, chargined by the immaturity, distressed by the fruitlessness, convicted of the infidelity, and pained by the hypocrisy, turns to God and cries out for deliverance from the wretched captivity of carnality into the glorious liberty of true spirituality.

~Ruth Paxson~

(continued with # 3 – “Marks of a Spiritual Christian”)


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