Can Christians Have A Carnal Nature?
Some Christians will hate this message about one's carnal nature, some will ignore it and others will love it. Those who love it, do so because they are serious concerning their relationship with God. I know it is an unpopular message, but popular or unpopular, I feel it is what God wants us to understand as we reveal what His Word says about this much neglected subject.
What is to be carnal or have a carnal nature? Webster says, "It has to do with the body of flesh--opposed to spiritual. Fleshly, which implies a connection with the flesh, thought of as man's lower nature, which is not as condemnatory as carnal." Some synonyms for carnal are profane, unspiritual, sensual, wayward or worldly.
God asks two great questions in Psalms 4:2 which says, "O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing?" Leasing in this scripture is an old anglo-saxon word for lying and falsehood.
And Proverbs 17:4&5 list 4 great sins. Let's read it. "A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue. Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker: and he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished."
There are people that lie and cheat all the time. There are Christians who do the same and will not give the poor the time of day because they feel a little bit better. And some even have the audacity to snicker at those who have fallen on hard times, believing they did not have the right amount of faith to overcome their adversity. What a shame they can still call themselves "Christian."
I know some that go to church every time the doors are open and watch dirty movies at home. Others swear, gossip, backbite and hate, where others might be greedy or jealous. And how many preachers in the past few years have stolen from the sheep under false pretenses, making merchandise of them (2 Peter 2:3)? While others are commiting adultery and homosexual acts. People, I am still talking about those who claim to be Christian and still possess a carnal nature. That shameful, sinful nature God expects us to deal with.
If we, for one second, think this is not serious business to God, let's take a look at Romans 8:1-7a.
"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God:"
And Romans 8:13 says, "For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live."
Romans, chapter 8 is talking to Christians. Jesus Christ condemned sin in the flesh, which means we no longer have to continue in sin. We do not practice sin. To live in habitual sin or continually submit to sin is enmity, hostility or hatred against God. It is to be at odds or cross-purposes with God.
Paul is telling the Romans that as Christians they should not mind the things of the flesh, but of the Spirit that dwells in them. If Christ Jesus is in us, the body is dead to sin and the Holy Spirit should dominate our lives. I am not saying that we never sin, but we do not practice sin. I believe far too many follow Satan as if they were puppets on a string. Far too many are dancing to the devil's tune. But in the light of verse 13 which says that if we live after the flesh or live constantly in our carnal nature we will die, we want to do whatever it takes to rectify or set right that situation. How do we do that?
As we have already seen Romans 8:13 says, "...mortify the deeds of the body,.." This means to humiliate, humble, subdue or bring down.
Romans 12:1-2 says, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God."
One does this by reading the Word of God and fellowshipping Him. We experience a supernatural change by renewing our mind as we begin to understand God's Word and His purpose for our lives. This also says we must present our bodies a living sacrifice. We can cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit (2 Cor. 7:1). We can do this by determining to rise above our carnal nature. It is easier if we withdraw from those that are not of like spirit.
Second Corinthians 7:1 says,
"Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."
Christians not only will die if they remain in the carnal nature, they have an obligation to cleanse themselves from the old treasonous nature produced in the Garden of Eden by our first parents, Adam and Eve.
First Corinthians 6:20 says, "For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
Just as a slave was the property of his master, likewise, we have been bought by the precious blood of Jesus shed at calvary.
I really can't close this message without making reference to Heb. 12:5-8 which says, "And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons."
Chastisement is child training but to scourge means to whip, flog or beat. How does God accomplish this. By the sorrow, problems, and hard to bear circumstances in our life. As we keep trusting God through these things, we are growing spiritually and doing away with the carnal nature.
It is a continual trusting God that keeps us growing spiritually. It is also a challenge in our lives that can be quite amusing at times and great blessings at others. We may not win all our battles, but as long as we try we will be pleasing in God's sight.
NO STRAIN---NO STRENGTH
NO PROBLEMS---NO FAITH
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I wish for you a great understanding of God's Word and the blessings you will receive by being led by the Holy Spirit.
God Bless You!
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