"Is there such a thing as a Carnal Christian?"
Yes, in fact, there is no such thing as a Christian who is not at times
carnal. Did you get that? And if you're saying to yourself, "I have never
been carnal," then, "God have mercy on you."
But let me tell you what people mean by that. There was a definition of a
Christian as a Carnal Christian, as if that was a permanent condition. The
people in the Church used to teach that there were three kinds of people,
Natural, Carnal, and Spiritual. And they would define the Natural person as
unregenerate, unsaved, self on the throne, life in chaos, and sin everywhere.
Then there is the Carnal person. What's that? That's the Christian who
still has self on the throne. Christ is still in there somewhere, running
around, but He is not in charge, and the life is still in chaos. So the only
difference between a natural and a carnal person is that Christ is in there
somewhere, but the life hasn't changed.
And then thirdly, there is the Spiritual Christian. Self is off the throne,
Christ is on it, and the life is all in order. And so people came up with
the idea that you could be either a Carnal Christian or a Spiritual
Christian. You know, once you are saved you could say, "Well, I am going to
stay a Carnal Christian, I like it better."
And that brings in this whole idea of Lordship, because those are the people
who accepted Jesus as Savior, but not as Lord. Those are the people who
said, "I don't want to go to Hell, and I want you to save me from Hell and I
want you to forgive my sins, but I just don't want you to run my life.
And the old definition of a Carnal Christian was a person who believed in
Jesus for salvation, but didn't let Him be Lord, and didn't let Him run his
life. That's not what a Carnal Christian is. That isn't at all what Paul
had in mind in 1Corinthians 3, not at all. Let me show you what it is.
There is only two kinds of people in the world. My grandfather use to say
the "saints" and the "aints," that's it, Christians and Non-Christians,
Believers and Unbelievers. Now listen, the Natural man is the unregenerate.
The Spiritual man is the regenerate man. Read Romans 8, the Spiritual man is
the regenerate. But the Spiritual man can act in a fleshly way. Anytime you
disobey the Lord, you are carnal. Anytime you obey the Lord, you are
Spiritual. Anytime you do what you ought not to do, you are carnal. That
means fleshy, you're operating off the principle of sin. Anytime you do what
the Lord wants you to do, you honor the Word.
So carnality is not a permanent state of Christians who have not given Christ
Lordship. Carnality is simply a momentary experience of the Believer who is
disobedient to God. So it is not a state, it is simply a kind of behavior.
And all Christians at any given moment, right now, this moment here, are
either Carnal or Spiritual, depending on whether you functioning in the
Spirit or in the flesh. If you are sitting there and the Spirit of God is
teaching you, and you are enjoying what's happening, then the Spirit of God
is at work, you're a Spiritual person.
If you're sitting there saying, "I don't like what he is saying, I don't buy
any of this stuff. I reject all this stuff. This stuff isn't true." And
you have hostility in your heart, and you may be dealing with sin, and you
don't like what I said, maybe you are still on the "Wine Cooler" thing, I
don't know. Your flesh is reacting, that's Carnality. Understand?