Spiritual vs. Carnal

We are going to start a series: The Spiritual vs. The Carnal

We are made up of spirit, soul and body. The spirit is the spiritual man (mankind) and our body is the carnal (carnal means flesh) and the soul is our mind. Paul tells us to live in the Spirit and walk in the Spirit and be led by the Spirit (Gal. 5:16-18). The capital S on Spirit means the Holy Spirit. If it were a small s it would mean our spirit. Keep in mind our spirit is our praise, prayer, worship, reverence, hope and faith.  But Paul is telling us to walk and live in the Holy Spirit. So how can you be alive in your flesh and walk and live in the Holy Spirit on this planet earth? That is the topic of this study. Some of this may be hard to understand but pray and ask God the Holy Spirit to give you understanding in Jesus’ name.

Our flesh has five senses, taste, touch, hear, smell and sight. These five senses tell the flesh things going on in our life. Example: your stomach growls, you hear your stomach growl and you can feel your stomach growl so you say, I am hungry. Advertisers run all types of ads to appeal to your flesh. Advertisers want you to lust (strongly desire) after their products that you go out and buy their product, even if you have to go into debt to buy their product. Their goal is to get your money. That is not bad, it is business. This is the world’s way. John says in 1 John 2:16, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but of this world.”

1 Corinthians 2:14 shows us there is a difference between a carnal (fleshly) person and a natural person. “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” KJV Clearly Paul is talking about the unsaved person, the natural man. So if someone is not saved, they can not understand the things of God until they get saved. (Romans 10:9,10) Once a person believes on (not in) the Lord Jesus Christ and receives him as their Lord and Saviour the Holy Spirit comes to live inside their heart, see Galatians 4:6 and 2 Corinthians 1:22. Why does the Holy Spirit come into our heart and not our mind? Because our mind is our soul and it is the soul that spends eternity in heaven or hell. The heart is the gateway to the soul.

So once you are saved you are no longer “a natural man” you are now a “spiritual man” but many times Christians, those saved, care more about carnal, fleshly, worldly things than they do about spiritual things. That doesn’t mean the Christian is not saved it does mean the Christian is carnal minded as Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 3:1-3. You see, we are spiritual beings living in a body and we have a soul, just as Genesis 2:7 says. The difference is those who have rejected the gospel truth, their body goes in the grave, their spirit goes back to the Lord who gave it (see prior posts) and their soul goes to hell and later when death and hell are cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14) their soul spends eternity in the lake of fire. For the saved, those who believed and received the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, their body is buried in the grave, their spirit goes back to the Lord who gave it and their soul goes to heaven (Revelation 20:15).

But what this study is about is the saved Christian living a carnal life or a spiritual life. You see, a carnal minded Christian is one who gets caught up in the cares of this world just as Jesus said in the parable of the sower in Matthew 13:18-23 and look at verses 21,22 you notice the cares of this world. Jesus later explained the parable to his disciples in Matthew 13:37-43. As Paul says, if you are going to live in the flesh, you can’t please God, see Romans 8:7-13. In our next post we will compare the carnal life with the spiritual life. May the power of God work through you my friends.


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