What is a carnal Christian?

Discussion in '2006 Archive' started by LadyEagle, Jan 17, 2006.

  1. LadyEagle

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    Romans 8:[6] For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
    [7] Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. bjonson

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    I think the "carnally minded" person in Romans 8:6 is unsaved. Other translations show that as "fleshly".

    I don't think they are saved.
     
  3. Johnv

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    Carnally minded, imo, means to be primarily focused on the physical at the expense of the spiritual. That does not, however, mean that every time you're concerned with the pysical you're being carnal. We're physical beings in a physical world, and we need to address the physical. To not do that is irresponsible. But to do it to the point of neglecting the spiritual is, as Romans 8:6 states, an emnity (antagonism) against God.
     
  4. bapmom

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    carnally minded cannot always be referring to the unsaved. Paul refers to believers in his letters as sometimes being carnal.....those who still can't handle the meat of the Word, but require milk still....although they had been saved long enough that they ought to be grown up more than they were.

    Carnal refers to fleshly....not all carnal concerns are bad concerns. But thats different than being carnally MINDED. Being carnally minded means the person is only and/or primarily concerned with fleshly things. He's more concerned with clothes, money, business, what he can get from others, etc....rather than with spiritual concerns of helping others and seeing people saved.

    IMO, we've got to get away from this habit we have of assuming that those who still have outward faults and foibles, and those who are struggling with overwhelming issues, as being unsaved. They are not necessarily unsaved, they are in need of our help. If being saved is the first step towards giving them that help....than so be it. But oftenttimes saved people are still struggling in these areas.

    Ive seen people saying lately that they don't do the sins they used to do before they got saved. I sincerely believe there is no way a person can truthfully say that, if they will be honest with themselves. We all have things we struggled with before salvation, that continue to be a stronghold after salvation. Don't throw a person out just because they still struggle.

    [​IMG]

    sorry for the ramble. [​IMG]
     
  5. Helen

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    In 1 Cor. 3:1, Paul writes, "Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly -- mere infants in Christ."

    The word for 'worldly' there is 'sarkinos' and is only used four times in the New Testament. It comes from 'sarx', which means flesh, as of stripped of skin. The word 'sarkinos' itself means 'similar to flesh' or 'pertaining to flesh'.

    The way Paul is using it there is in reference to immature Christians.

    Here are the other three times that particular word is used:

    Hebrews 7:16 -- "...one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ANCESTRY, but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life"

    KJV for that verse -- "who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life."

    2 Corinthians 3:3 -- "You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tables of HUMAN hearts."

    KJV -- "For as much as you are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in the FLESHLY tables of the heart."

    And, finally,

    Romans 7:14 -- "We know that the law is spiritual; but I am UNSPIRITUAL, sold as a slave to sin."

    KJV -- "For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am CARNAL, sold under sin."

    Hope that helps a bit...
     
  6. bjonson

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    Helen,

    Thank you - I agree with your exposition on the scriptures you listed...however,

    The context of Romans 8 is what leads me to say these are unsaved people in verse 6...please consider the rest of the passage:

    Romans 8:6-11 (ESV)
    6 To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
    7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.
    8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
    9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
    10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
    11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.


    Note especially the phrases "hostile toward God; does not submit; cannot submit to God's law; cannot please God; anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to Him."

    This is a description of an unsaved person.

    Context, in this passage, must help us more than the particular Greek word.
     
  7. pinoybaptist

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    So I guess most of the Corinthians were not saved, and so is Samson, and Solomon, Lot....
     
  8. standingfirminChrist

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    Carnal means fleshly. A carnal christian is one who gives into fleshly desires.
     
  9. bjonson

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    So I guess most of the Corinthians were not saved, and so is Samson, and Solomon, Lot.... </font>[/QUOTE]Please read my post above; that is not what I'm saying.

    The OP asks about Romans 8:6 - I am answering this question based on the immediate context.
     
  10. Linda64

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    And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. (1 Corinthians 3:1)

    The fact that Paul addresses the Corinthians as "brethren" means he was writing to the "saved" and as "babes in Christ".

    The natural man is the unsaved man; he cannot understand God’s Word because he does not have spiritual discernment. The carnal man is the Christian who is walking after the flesh and is not growing in Christ and controlled by the Holy Spirit. He cannot properly understand God’s Word because he, too, lacks spiritual discernment and power.

    "To be 'carnal' or fleshly denotes an unhealthy Christian state. To be 'carnal' is equivalent to a condition marked in Scripture as babyhood, requiring 'milk,' and not 'solid food' (Heb 5:12-14).

    Things Hard To Be Understood;Way of Life Encyclopedia of the Bible
     
  11. bjonson

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    The opening post didn't ask about 1 Cor. 3:1
     
  12. webdog

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    Really?

    Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
    Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
    Rom 8:3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,
    Rom 8:4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
    Rom 8:5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.
    Rom 8:6 To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
    Rom 8:7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot.
    Rom 8:8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
    Rom 8:9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
    Rom 8:10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
    Rom 8:11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
    Rom 8:12 So then, brothers , we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.
    Rom 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
    Rom 8:14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
    Rom 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!"
    Rom 8:16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
    Rom 8:17 and if children, then heirs--heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
    Rom 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us .
    Rom 8:19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.
    Rom 8:20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope
    Rom 8:21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
    Rom 8:22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.
    Rom 8:23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies .
    Rom 8:24 For in this hope we were saved . Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?
    Rom 8:25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
    Rom 8:26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness . For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words .
    Rom 8:27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
    Rom 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
    Rom 8:29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
    Rom 8:30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
    Rom 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
    Rom 8:32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
    Rom 8:33 Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies.
    Rom 8:34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died--more than that, who was raised--who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us .
    Rom 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
    Rom 8:36 As it is written, "For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered."
    Rom 8:37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
    Rom 8:38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,
    Rom 8:39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
     
  13. Johnv

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    While difinively correct, that can leave the impression that carnality is specific to, for example, the physically pleasurable, sexual, etc. But it's more than that.

    A carnal Christian, imo, is one who is primarily focused on the physical at the expense of the spiritual. That does not, however, mean that every time a Christian is concerned with the physical, they're being carnal. We're physical beings in a physical world, and we need to address the physical. To not do that is irresponsible. But to do it to the point of neglecting the spiritual is, as Romans 8:6 states, an emnity (antagonism) against God.
     
  14. Psalm145 3

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    bjonson is right, in the context of Romans chapter 8, the apostle is teaching Christians the difference between the unsaved (carnally minded is death) and the saved (spiritually minded is life and peace).

    If a person is "in the flesh" he is not saved.
     
  15. Shiloh

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    What do you do with .....1Co 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
    1Co 3:2 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.
    1Co 3:3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
     
  16. bjonson

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    webdog,

    Thank you for posting all of Romans 8.

    Although you highlighted the phrases the show Paul addressing believers, you didn't highlight the phrases that show him contrasting those believers with unbelievers.

    Again, the context of this chapter indicates the "carnally minded" individuals in verse 6 are not believers.
     
  17. Helen

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    The reason I had originally referred to the Corinthians passage was because it appeared that if a Christian is considered carnal, he is also considered immature. I am quite sure a person born again will not remain attracted to the world, though!

    For the most part, as in Romans 8, there is a definite pattern being established: the save vs. the unsaved. That is not even a question in my mind!

    But the fact that the term is used for immature Christians as well also needs to be recognized.

    A VERY rough picture of the fact that a similar word can be used two ways is the word "baby." If someone IS a baby, we expect him or her to act like a baby. However when an older person acts like a baby with very uncontrolled reactions, and we might say "don't be a baby! Grow up!" -- or similar, maybe phrased more politely -- we are using the word in another way about a person who is NOT a baby.

    It appears that Paul uses 'carnal'/'worldly'/'fleshly' in the same way. If one is truly unsaved and not of the world as in Romans 8, then it is clear that that person will behave as an unsaved person would be expected to behave and think and speak. But when a Christian is behaving or thinking or speaking like that, we must make one of two assumptions: either the person is a very immature Christian or the person is only a nominal Christian (and not saved at all). But we have to be awfully careful there. Even Paul, not knowing the hearts of the individuals, did not accuse those in Corinth of NOT being Christians, but, rather, he took the conservative route of simply referring to them as 'baby', or immature, worldly Christians.
     
  18. bjonson

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    Good augmentation on all of this Helen...
     
  19. Word Walker

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    Hi guys,
    The "carnal Christians" are like those Paul addresses at Galatia. They are those who give in to the "lusts (desires) of the flesh (sinful nature)", as opposed to those who "walk in (live by) the Spirit (the Holy Spirit)."

    Consider:
    "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh." Galations 5:16 [​IMG]
    And:
    "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit." Galations 5:25 (implies we Christians can choose to obey the flesh, or the Holy Spirit in our daily walk)

    In Christ,
    Word Walker
     
  20. tinytim

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    I also believe that when a person is focused on himself instead of God that is carnality.
    IOWS,, Pride

    Pride can go both ways. A person can exhibit pride when they say "look what I can do" or "look what I don't do, I'm a better Christian than you"

    or A Christian that has low self esteem. They are also prideful in that they are concentrated on themselves.. "I'll never be as good as ..." or "Why is this always happening to me"

    Both scenarios is "Pride" as they are focused on the individual, instead of God.
    This is also being carnal, when someone is focused on themselves instead of Christ.
     

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