LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Is Carnal Christianity A Static State?

Carnal - sarkikos; fleshly, carnal, pertaining to flesh or body.(11) As implying weakness, frailty, imperfection; e.g., of persons being carnal, worldly... From THE COMPLETE WORDSTUDY DICTIONARY - NEW TESTAMENT, Spiros Zodhiates Th.D.

If we look at 1 Cor.3:1 we see that Paul is using the word "carnal" as the opposite of spiritual, yes, then he shows us that he looked at these Corintians as "babes in Christ". We cannot see 1 Cor.3:1-4 as teaching a static state; for look at how he addresses them in chapter 1:4-9, "4I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, 5that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge, 6even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you, 7so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, 8who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord."

Note he says here in verse 7, "7so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ,"

Zero in on this:"awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ,"

These Corinthians were "eagerly awaiting the revelation of Jesus Christ". The context sets up the definition of "carnal". These people were zealous for Jesus but were still babes. They were immature even at age 5 years in the Lord, yes. But their state was not static. As you'll also note that Paul speaks to this very church in 2 Cor. 3:3, calling them "epistle[s] of Christ...written by the Spirit of God". You'll also see that in 2 Cor.7:9 that this very church repented. Again, an indication that their state was not static. They were alive spiritually, and it showed. See also in 2 Cor. 13:5 where Paul asks them to examine themselves, to see if they be in the faith. He did this as a way to vindicate his apostolic calling. He was confident that they, after examination, would conclude themselves in the faith, thereby vindicating him as an apostle.

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5 Comments:

Blogger mark pierson said...

It comes down to the direction of the life and the regenerated nature of the believer. An athlete, one who truely is one to the core, will pursue fitness. It is his nature. Running, weight-lifting, practicing the moves, a careful diet - it is all his lifestyle. To have his routine interupted brings torment to his heart. Training is his life. He longs to be ready for the contest. He simply cannot have it any other way. It is his nature.

Now, think of the Spirit indwelt Christian. The pursuite of holiness is his new nature, as the pursuite of lust and pleasure was a part of the old nature. In his former days sin was what he lived for. Now it is different. Now he is a slave to God (Romans 6). The Spirit communicates all the benefits of Christ's crosswork to him, including writing God's law on the heart. Now the Spirit moves him to walk in God's ways, (Ezek. 36). For a professing Christian to continue to walk in fleshly ways all the time is to contradict the whole born from above experience.

Saving Faith

This quote from Spurgeon's sermon, seen in an earlier post, sums up the Reformed definition of saving faith. Here it is...

"It is not by personal holiness that a man shall enter heaven, but yet without holiness shall no man see the Lord. It is not by good works that we are justified, but if a man shall continue to live an ungodly life, his "faith" will not justify him; for it is not the faith of God's elect; since that faith is wrought by the Holy Spirit, and conforms men to the image of Christ."

This is the very place where the Reformed and those of the GES disagree, and strongly so. If one's "faith" hasn't brought them into a life changing union with our Triune God then it is no faith at all, but merely mental assent.

Even Ryrie, who promotes the carnel Christian concept, states that no true Christian is completly fruitless in every area of life, and that if he were so that would indicate that one is not truely regenerate. He also acknowledges that the Bible teaches that some bear 30, some 60, and some a 100. At this point he is not all that different than lordship.

For one to say that a "Christian" can go on to be fruit-less, in Ryrie's mind, is a no go. See his book "So Great Salvation".

The Corinthian church repented, thereby showing their regeneration was authentic.



mark pierson said...
What it all boils down to is this: There simply is no model in all of scripture of an unbelieving believer. None. There is no model in all of scripture of an apostate "Christian". None. There is no model in all of scripture of a believer who does not show at least 30 fold of fruit. None. In short, there is no model in scripture of a fruitless Christian. The Corinthian church exhibbited at least some life.

August 03, 2008 4:06 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

This time we shall stay on topic!

August 03, 2008 4:08 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

August 03, 2008 6:16 PM

 
Blogger donsands said...

Funny how I can start down an off topic rabbit path, and then lose my way back.
Sorry about that.

"So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. ..Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." Rom 8:8,7

I wrote to Woodrow Kroul about this verse, and he said this pertains to Christians.
I don't see that at all.
But many do.

Enmity-[echthros] hostility, enemy, hatred.

If someone hates God, then he surely doesn't love Him.

And those whom have come to Christ, who have been quickened from the dead, and have new life, and so now love Christ, but only because, He, first loved us.
What a Savior we have!

August 03, 2008 7:07 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Don,
Even Ryrie states thst Romans 8, the first 7 or 8 verses, is talking about believers versus nonbelievers.

August 03, 2008 10:31 PM

 

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