Carnal Christians

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by gekko, Jul 10, 2006.

  1. gekko

    gekko
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    so i've heard both sides.

    that there are such things as carnal christians.
    and that there is no such thing as a carnal christian.

    what is the defenition of "Carnal" ?

    here is a bit of scripture:

    "And I, brethre, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with mea: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. Fore ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? Fore while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of apollos; are ye not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?"

    so is there such thing as a carnal Christian or is there not?

    seems kind of an oxymoron to me...
     
  2. J. Jump

    J. Jump
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    Gekko you just answered your own question with the passage alone you quoted. Paul says there is such a thing. Which means the Holy Spirit guided Him to pen such a thing, so why would we question it?

    There are faithful Christians and there are unfaithful Christian. There are prepared Christians and there are unprepared Christians. There are righteous Christians and Christians that are wicked. There are overcoming Christians and there are Christians that are overcome.

    We just have to accept the plain teaching of Scripture and let it say what it says. Paul says these Corinthians were carnal Christians that had matured like they were supposed to. The were still babies in Christ, because instead of being interested in growing in the Word and growing in the Spirit they wre more interested in their fleshly desires.

    Doesn't that sound like a bunch of churches today? Does to me.
     
  3. StraightAndNarrow

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    The word carnal denotes a range of interpretations. As Christians, we will continue to sin but we will not live lives with sin as our master.

    Mat 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

    Those who step over that line and live a life that is controlled by sin rather than God are not Christians. True Christians can not be overcome. They will overcome with the power of the Holy Spirit behind them.

    Rom 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

    Paul's answer is a resounding NO. Those who think that they can call themselves Christians and not follow Christ by living a life pleasing to Him are SADLY mistaken. They will be even sader at the Judgement.

    Mat 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
    Mat 25:42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
    Mat 25:43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
    Mat 25:44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
    Mat 25:45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did [it] not to one of the least of these, ye did [it] not to me.
    Mat 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
     
  4. J. Jump

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    StraightandNarrow then why did call the Corinthian Christians carnal if that is an impossibility? Was Paul lying?
     
  5. genesis12

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    Of course there are carnal Christians. I'm one everytime I yield to fleshly desires or impulses, every time I decide to lie or stretch the truth. I'm still a Christian, but I have slipped into the sins of the flesh. 1 John 1:9 restores my fellowship with God. Why make these matters so technical? It's in the Book!
     
  6. LadyEagle

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    Amen, preach it!
     
  7. J. Jump

    J. Jump
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    AMEN!!!!!!!!!
     
  8. Hope of Glory

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    Amen!!!

    Now, what is the result of being a carnal Christian? I believe this question, and whether or not it's possible to be a carnal Christian, is what prompted this new thread.
     
  9. gekko

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    wow. someone i may agree with.

    i think that when paul is talking about a carnal christian is when someone says they believe but then goes out and looks the same as the world does. acts like the world. talks like the world. does what the world does. and continues in it. there's no real repentance.

    whereas - if a person is truly believing and repenting - God is doing a wonderful work in that persons life - and when that person strays off the NARROW path God will not allow that person to STAY off that NARROW path.

    if God has started a wonderful work in someone's life - He Will Finish It.
    you may say its not guaruntee'd that a person will stay on the narrow path...

    but i'd rather not limit God.
     
  10. J. Jump

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    You are on the right track here, but then you jump ship in the next statement you make. This is exactly what Paul is talking about. A carnal Christian is a Christian (saved individual) If they were unsaved they couldn't be a carnal Christian, because you are either saved or not.

    But a saved person can live like the world. It's a terrible choice, but it is a choice they can make. And there are consequences that come in this age and the age to come. If any Christian thinks they are going to be able to live like the world and get away with it they are fooling themselves.

    Where you go wrong is you equate right or wrong living with eternal salvation. The way you live your life says NOTHING about your salvation, becuase our works NEVER enter the picture of eternal salvation, not before, not during and not after.

    People don't automatically become faithful, obedient, overcoming Christians at the very moment of salvation. It's a growth process. And Paul was telling these carnal Christians they were still in the baby stage, because they weren't learning. They weren't allowing the growth process to continue, because they liked being babies.

    The bottom line is our works NEVER enter the picture of eternal salvation. Because if they do it is no longer grace but wages.

    And to boot you have two other Christians telling you the same thing, so you can't say here goes the two nutcases J. Jump and HoG again.
     
  11. Hope of Glory

    Hope of Glory
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    The only way that you could justify that a Christian cannot be carnal is to suggest that someone can lose their spiritual salvation. Do you think that's possible?
     
  12. christianyouth

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    sry, double post.
     
    #12 christianyouth, Jul 12, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 12, 2006
  13. christianyouth

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    Wow. I dont know how much weight this is going to hold coming from a youth, but here it goes.

    I believe I am going to take one of your phrases and expose the lie in that.. "There are Christians that are wicked." I dont see the biblical evidence to support that.

    Matthew 7:15 - Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep;s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall KNOW them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree CANNOT bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the FIRE. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

    Now, I believe those verses speak for themselves. I understand that Christians sin, we are not in are glorified bodies and we still have our sin nature deeply rooted in us, however that does not mean that someone who is spiritually regenerated(a new creature), can go live a life of sin. I do not see ANY biblical evidence for that.

    Once we have the Holy Spirit living in us, we do FALL into sin, but there is a big difference to falling into sin and diving into sin. Im sure all of us can think of some 'christians' who are living a life of rebellion against God and do not seem to think anything of it. They are not bearing spiritual fruits, really dont have a desire for the things of God or living a life pleasing to Him, and we simply say " They are carnal Christians, they are still saved and going to heaven, but they are just carnal. "

    I can speak from experience, as well as other Christians on this board, the the things that we desired when we were lost are much different to the things we desire now. Yeah, I still have a sinful nature, and I do fall into sin, but when I do, God quickly disciplines me and puts me back on the right path.

    Phillipians 1:6 says He which begun a good work in you shall continue it until the day of Jesus Christ. When we are saved, our old nature is in the process of being crucified. Our minds and hearts are no longer inclined to the same motives they used to be. It just is not possible, for there to be a Christian and then to live a life of carnality.

    This is a dangerous teaching.

    God Bless,
    Andy
     
  14. Hope of Glory

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    Well, that's typical rationalizing, but the passage is talking about fruit-bearing.

    Do you think that fruit-bearing (works) has any impact on whether or not someone is apiritually saved?
     
  15. christianyouth

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    Yes, I do. I believe if someone is soundly saved they will bear spiritual fruit. My brother was recently saved about 5 or 6 months ago, and wonder of wonders he is living a completley different lifestyle. We didnt have to tell him he should stop smoking, listening to worldy music, ect. He just knew they were wrong because the Spirit inside of him testified to that. He is now trying to live a life that is pleasing to God, trying to find God's will for his life, and really enjoying his new relationship with The Almighty.

    They are just evidences of salvation. When he has strayed from God's will or sinned, he became immediatly depressed, and didnt stay long in the devils territory. God loved him to much to let him play with fire and not get burnt, hes now a son of God, God will keep him on the right path. Praise God for it! :)

    God Bless,
    Andy
     
  16. J. Jump

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    Andy I'm extremely happy for your brother, and I'm glad that He is allowing the Spirit to work in his life. However, you can not take personal experiences and make theology out of them. You have to take your personal experiences and make sure they align with Scripture.

    Now your brother's experience is Biblical, but you can't say just because he did it like this everyone is going to do it like this. So what happens in two years when he gets tired of trying to fight the not smoking and gets tired of listening to new music and wants to go back to the old stuff.

    Are you going to say he wasn't really saved?

    Bottom line is the Bible says we are saved to do good works (Eph. 2:10), but it is a subjunctive verb which means the good works may be done or they may not.

    Paul in Romans 10 I believe says we SHOULD NOT be a slave to sin, but notice what he doesn't say. He doesn't say we WILL NOT, but we SHOULD NOT, because being a slave to sin is still unfortunately a possibility.

    That's just a couple of MANY Biblical examples. Just one more real quick. Peter was called Satan himself, because Peter was trying to hinder the work that Christ needed to do.

    Hope that helps.
     
  17. StraightAndNarrow

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    READ what I said.

    The word carnal denotes a range of interpretations. As Christians, we will continue to sin but we will not live lives with sin as our master.
     
  18. J. Jump

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    So tell me how your statment matches up with this verse of Scripture:

    Rom. 6:12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts,

    Sure sounds like it is a possibility to me.
     
  19. canadyjd

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    First of all, Paul does not say they ARE carnal ("men of flesh"), he says he has been forced to speak to them AS IF they are "carnal". The reason is that they are living as "men of flesh" with no evidence of the indwelling Holy Spirit.

    Second of all, Paul is not saying that being "carnal" = "babes in Christ". He is supposing two options,

    1. They are carnal/of the flesh=lacking Holy Spirit
    or
    2. They are "babes in Christ"=immature Christians

    Paul does not pronounce these people saved or unsaved. He addresses them as believers because they have made a profession of faith and only God knows whether that profession is genuine. He assumes it is, but has his doubts based on their actions.

    What Paul points out is that they are not living their lives as though they are Christians. This forces Paul to consider them as either carnal (men of flesh and therefore lost) or babes (immature and still acting with "fleshly" impulses).

    peace to you:praise:
     
  20. J. Jump

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    Well that's exactly what you have to tell yourself in order for your Lordship salvation tradition to stand. However that is just not the case. You can tell yourself that over and over and over, but it doesn't make it true.
     

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