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:
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."
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.
5:11 Of [Melchizedek/Jesus] we
things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing youall are dull of
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 when He told the Jews who had believed in Him in John
8 quoted above that the truth would set them free to say to these
Jews, "So, who are these Roman soldiers?
Are they tourists?" The Jewish nation at that time was enslaved
by the Romans, and they either would not admit it or were so blinded by
their self-righteousness that they could not see their true
condition! This does not apply to Jews alone, but is a common
carnal human condition.
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:
|Lives for self (2 Corinthians 5:15)
|Lives for God (2 Corinthians
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
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
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
5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh
|Mindset: the things of The Spirit
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
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
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.
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.
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:
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
Dear reader, all of us like sheep have
gone astray from God after
own ways, but God, in His mercy, has laid the penalty for our sins on
Son, Jesus. When Jesus died on the cross, He not only paid for
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
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
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,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of
Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day,
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
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
connect permanently with God through Jesus Christ, and that you will
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!!