SPIRITUAL PERSON or CARNAL PERSON?

Do you want DEATH, or do you want LIFE and PEACE?  That is the difference between the Carnal Life and the Spiritual Life.  To learn more, read on.

Most Christians believe that they become spiritual beings as soon as they receive Jesus as their Savior.  That is probably based on the following two passages of Scripture:

Jesus Christ states in John 3:6-7 "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again."

John 1:12-13  But as many as received Him [Jesus], to them He gave authority to become children of God, to the ones believing into His name,  who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but were born of God.

But that simplistic view of Christian life is complicated by the words of Jesus Himself, and the view of the Apostle Paul in his First Epistle to the Corinthians, and the view of the unidentified writer of Hebrews in Chapter five thereof:

John 8:31  Then Jesus said to the Jews who believed on Him, "If you continue in My Word, you are My disciples indeed.
John 8:32  And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
John 8:33  They answered Him, "We are Abraham's seed and were never in bondage to anyone. How do you say, You will be made free?"
John 8:34  Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, Whoever practices sin is the slave of sin."

1Co 3:1  And I, brothers, could not speak to you as to spiritual ones, but as to fleshly, as to babes in Christ.
1Co 3:2  I have fed you with milk and not with solid food, for you were not yet able to bear it; nor are you able even now.
1Co 3:3  For you are yet carnal. For in that there is among you envyings and strife and divisions, are you not carnal, and do you not walk according to men?
1Co 3:4  For while one says, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are you not carnal?
1Co 3:5  Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom you believed, even as the Lord gave to each?
1Co 3:6  I have planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.

Heb 5:11  Of [Melchizedek] we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing youall are dull of hearing.
Heb 5:12  For when for the time youall ought to be teachers, youall have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

I always thought that Jesus missed a great opportunity to say to the Jews who had believed in Him, "So, who are these Roman soldiers?  Are they tourists?"

The Apostle Paul also informs us that even people who have received Jesus into their lives can continue to live lives contrary to the fullness of God's plan for them.  Below is a comparison of what he calls a "carnal" person and a "spiritual" person:
 
CARNAL PERSON SPIRITUAL PERSON
Lives for self (2 Corinthians 5:15) Lives for God (2 Corinthians 5:15)
and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.
Exhibits works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19) 
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Exhibits the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) 
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
 

 

Mindset:  the things of the flesh (Romans 8:5a)
5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh
Mindset:  the things of The Spirit (Romans 8:5b)
but those who live according to the Spirit, [set their minds on] the things of the Spirit.
Result (Romans 8:6a):
6 For to be carnally minded is death
Result (Romans 8:6b)
 but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Ability to perceive spiritual things (1 Corinthians 2:14)
14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Ability to perceive spiritual things (1 Corinthians 2:15)
15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16 For “who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
Carnal Lifestyle (Ephesians 2:1-3)
1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
 

 

Spiritual Lifestyle (Ephesians 2:4-10)
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
TENDENCIES:  SELFISH, PROUD, CONTROLS OTHERS, REBELLIOUS AGAINST GOD, REJECTS JESUS AS LORD. TENDENCIES:  SELFLESS, HUMBLE, SETS OTHERS FREE, LOVES GOD, OBEDIENT TO JESUS AS LORD.

During the forty-one years since 5/15/76 when I received Jesus into my heart during my hour of desperation, I have attended a variety of churches, and have heard a variety of teachers, but no one has addressed the distinction between spiritual and carnal as the Scriptures do.  My impression is that the church teaches that every Christian only needs to learn "who we are in Christ" in order to become all that we can be in Him, regardless of the evidence to the contrary in any person's life.  May I suggest that we are who the evidence shows that we are, and need to deal with the ungodliness of our lives with all the grace of God which is available to us.  The conclusion I have come to is that only a spiritual person knows the difference between the spiritual and the carnal.  For example, Jesus said this to the Messenger of the Church at Laodicea:

Rev 3:17  "Because you say, I am rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing, and do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked,
Rev 3:18  I counsel you to buy from Me gold purified by fire, so that you may be rich; and white clothing, so that you may be clothed, and so that the shame of your nakedness does not appear. And anoint your eyes with eye salve, so that you may see.
Rev 3:19  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; therefore be zealous and repent."

This Messenger of the church at Laodicea was completely deluded about his spiritual condition.  He thought he was rich.  Perhaps he was basing his self-evaluation on his education or his financial condition or the size of his congregation or the nice things people said about him.  He was dead wrong!!

Jesus, on the other hand, picked disciples who were for the most part poor fishermen, but the crowds recognized that they "had been with Jesus"!

Dear reader, all of us like sheep have gone astray from God after our own ways, but God, in His mercy, has laid the penalty for our sins on His Son, Jesus.  When Jesus died on the cross, He not only paid for our sins, but He also gave us the ability to claim His death as our death, and be set free from selfishness, pride, control of others, and rebellion against God so that the life of Jesus can be manifested in us!!

We are all tempted to try to deal with the issues of our lives as they come to our attention (after we try to sweep them under the rug for as long as possible).  But Jesus informed us that "The ax has been laid at the root of the tree."  What does that mean, and why did He say that?  I believe that it means that He has provided for us to have a life-transforming overall experience of being set free from the carnal way of life so that we can begin the spiritual way of life which God wants for everyone.  But it depends upon each of us picking up the 'ax' which He has laid at the root of our tree of life to cut down the carnal tree based on 'the knowledge of good and evil' so that God's spiritual tree of life (Jesus) can be fully formed in each of us.

It is a little know fact that one vital component of 'faith' is the desire to have or experience what we do not have.  We don't have faith for what we have, we can have faith to obtain what we do not yet possess.  Most people limit their faith to spiritual gifts or the necessities of life, but one who wants to die to self and live for God has an 'ax' from God to accomplish that monumental feat!  I suggest that you ask Jesus how to accomplish that feat right now!!  Later is too late!!

God, through the Scriptures, informs us that there are three categories of people (1 Thessalonians 1:8)
1.  Those who do not know God;
2.  Those who apparently know God but do not obey Him; and
3.  Those who know God and obey Him.
People in the first two categories are in danger of eternal destruction, but people in the last category will enjoy His presence forever.
 

Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22  Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and
perform many miracles?' 23  Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'
 

Therefore I urge you to admit to God that everything in your life which is not pleasing to Him is sin, and ask Him to set you completely free from the sins you have done and the sinfulness of your life.  Then I urge you to ask Jesus Christ to come into your life and cleanse you from everything that is not pleasing to God the Father, and to impart to You the fullness of His life and righteousness every day.

We are created to live a life of fellowship and harmony with God the Father through His Son Jesus just as a branch of a vine exists continually connected to the vine. (John 15:5)  Jesus said that He has cut unbelievers off of the wild vine and grafted us into the True Vine (Himself). The characteristics of such a life is doing what is right in God's sight, inner peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.  That is what the Kingdom of God is all about. 

I hope that the information contained in this webpage will help you to connect permanently with God through Jesus Christ, and that you will find the fullness of righteousness, peace and joy of His Kingdom that Jesus died for you to have, and MORE IMPORTANTLY, that your life will bring joy and satisfaction to God!!