The non-spiritual, fleshly Christian?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by 12strings, Apr 30, 2012.

  1. 12strings

    12strings
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    I happened to run across this passage this morning in 1 Cor. 3, and thought it was an excellent example of The scriptures making a distinction between the salvation of a saint, and his/her level of spiritual maturity and level of obedience:

    Here were have a disturbing juxtaposition of descriptive terms:
    +God's temple, Gods field, God's building, will be saved, infants in Christ,
    -AND YET...not spiritual, jealousy, strife, still of the flesh, suffering loss of reward because of their work.

    Apparently both of these sets of descriptors CAN be true about the same people. Paul addresses some very serious sins in this book, and yet also in chapter one Thanks God for the grace that was given to them in Christ...so that they are not lacking in any gift.

    I believe what we see here is a description of saved people who are none-the-less being disobedient in several areas. Now I'm not saying this should be our goal. No one should be happy if this passage describes them, it is obviously not a glowing commendation...

    ...But, we should, like Paul, give grace, mercy, and compassion, and yes correction to those believers who still struggle with sins, and thank God for whatever small evidences of grace we DO see in their lives.
     
  2. saturneptune

    saturneptune
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    This has been one of those difficult subjects that has many different opinions. I do not claim to know the answer. When an "infant' Christian acts exactly like a lost person, it makes the whole situation difficult. Phrases like "saved as by fire" seem to confuse the line.

    I have heard I do not know how many sermons that there is no such thing as a carnal Chrisitian, a backslider, or a fifty year infant Christian. I have heard just as many sermons on the opposite view. The parable of the seed falling on four types of ground, the difference would be reflected in how many of the four you think are saved.

    Christ says that He makes us a new creature. No doubt, it is not instant, but over decades, come on? Those that never go to church and remain on the rolls (why I am opposed to closed communion) or show any spiritual inclination, are they permanent infants. When I was born, I did not stay small for sixty years. If you could see my ugly physique, you would believe that.

    The same is true for those who attend on a very sporadic basis, never support the local church in money, time or effort. There is nothing there. At best, they show up for pot lucks or Christmas.

    I am not about to judge anyone's salvation, but I do not think the natural order of things (or in this case, the supernatural order) dictates that we sit around for fifty or sixty years and do nothing, never talk about the Lord, or show any interest in the Bible or prayer.

    James says saved people produce fruits for the Lord. The best I can come up with in my mind, is that infant, carnal, backslidden, etc Christians, are a temporary state, a short period of time, and should progress in becoming a mature Christian if they are in fact saved. It is possible for someone to die while an infant Christian, but not after decades.
     
  3. 12strings

    12strings
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    I just think there are different ways that we grow, and in different areas. God could take a racist alchoholic and save him, and he may immediatly realize the error of his racism, but struggle to resist alchohol for years...or he may be immediately freed from his desire for alchohol, and yet have lingering biases against mexicans for years, that he has to constantly fight against.

    We have a man in our church, who I believe sometimes gives evidence of his recent salvation by the fact that he gets angry about his daughter's behavior...I'll explain:

    He has a slightly autistic daughter who often does very odd things, disruptive things. For years he did not really get that concerned about her because he was living a life that centered around him, going of for several weeks at at time with his buddies on dirt-bike trips, and the like. He would simply remove himself from difficult family situations, because he was not that invested. Since his salvation, he is much more becoming a man who is involved and caring about his family...and one evidence of this is that when his daughter acts out, he is concerned, and even upset about it...showing evidence of care that was not there before. Of course this is a sin he now has to deal with and fight against...but the point is everyone progressess in different ways.
     
  4. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
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    The truth is that whenever any Christian at any spiritual age is not walking in the Spirit they are expressing the "carnal" nature of indwelling sin.



    The truth is the context. Jesus is helping his disciples distinguish between what is a "tare" versus a true kingdom believer. The first three soils all "received" the word as do all professors. However, only the last soil represents the true believer. Notice the variety of saints contained within the last soil "some thirty....some...some." The whole discourse was aimed for one thing - to help believers distinguish between true and false professors not to help believers distinguish between various stages of Christian growth.

    The important point here is WHAT aspect of your human nature is a "new" creature? Jesus says what is born of Spirit "is spirit" not your body and not your "soul." Paul makes a distinction between "I" and "my body" and "the inward man" in Romans 7:18-25. Spiritual growth is determined by not only by the fact that you "PUT ON" the new man IN YOUR MIND and AFFECTIONS (the soul) so they are manifested in your life/actions ("as a man thinketh in his heart so is he") but how consistent he walks in the Spirit due to experiential growth in understanding the scriptures and the school of hard knocks or trial and failure. It is like climbing up a mountain - the progressive is forward and up but in any mountain climb there are times when you are going down in your upward journey.
     
  5. convicted1

    convicted1
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    I tend to agree with this. I see church like a dinner table. We get our best meals while eating at the dinner table. Sure, you can go out and snack and nibble on chips, pop, candy bars, and be full for a little while, but a good "meat and potatoes" meal is healthier, and will stay with you longer. You can't grow properly eating junkfood. We must be fed with the right foods. A good church service, with a God ordained sermon feeds our souls like nothing else. This is how we grow from spiritual infants, and become mature christians.
     
  6. savedbymercy

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    Blessed is the man who struggles with sin in their Life. That is one of the evidences of New Life from above !
     

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