(From Pastor Mike Miller's website, http://www.straightpathsbiblechurch.com, June 13, 2005)
If you talk to the average professing Christian, they will defend this creature that is found nowhere in the Bible – a “Carnal Christian.” The first thought that comes to my mind is this:
But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. Rom. 13:14
“Make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof,” but isn’t that exactly what believing in a carnal Christian is? You are making a place for something the Bible doesn’t. Not only that, but you are making a place for something the Bible strictly forbids, condemns, and clearly defines as enmity with God.
For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. Rom. 8:6-8
The carnal mind is not subject to the law of God and indeed it CAN’T be! The carnal mind does not and cannot obey the law of God. Yet many claim that a person like this is saved. They have a real problem explaining all those verses in the Bible that say we can, do, and must obey if we are saved:
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 2 Cor. 10:5
And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him. Acts 5:32
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Matt. 7:21
The Bible promises that carnal people are to be judged by God. These are people who are not subject to God and his law, those who do not obey him.
In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 Thess. 1:8
For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? 1 Pet. 4:17
Those who are truly saved obey God – they are NOT carnally minded:
And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; Heb. 5:9
The whole idea of Romans 8 is to make a division between those who walk after the Spirit and those who walk after the flesh. Those who walk after the spirit are saved – those who walk after the flesh are not. You cannot be both at the same time – you are either walking after the flesh or you are walking after the Spirit. The verses above plainly show that one is life and one is death. If Christ lives in you the body is dead and you do not walk after the flesh anymore. It is not your lifestyle and not your habit. If the Spirit of Christ does not live in you then you are not saved:
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. Rom. 8:9
Much more can be said about this matter. There are some verses that are used to “prove” the existence of “carnal Christians” but they do no such thing. The Bible is very clear in the few verses we have presented here that carnality and true salvation do not go together. The Word of God is the standard and we should judge ourselves and others by that – not by looking around at what is sitting in the church pews calling themselves “carnal Christians.”
A story in the news this week talked about a porn star who is going to be at a fundraiser dinner for the Republican Party in a week or two. She will be there with the President and many of our so-called conservative leaders. She says she is a Christian! She reads her Bible and prays every night. She says that she isn’t as bad as a lot of people and when she acts in those pornographic movies it isn’t really her – she is pretending to be someone else. She says God looks on the heart and she isn’t immoral just because she does those things for the camera. She is a “carnal Christian.” Check out the article on Worldnetdaily.com here: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=44671
All the above is a true story, but very few Christians would accept her testimony as real. They can’t believe that a porn star could be a Christian, but they believe in “carnal Christians.” What hypocrites! They are teaching exactly the same thing as this woman is professing, but they have an imaginary line or limit where you just can’t be a Christian and do those things. They are powerless to condemn this woman because they really believe just like she does. There really is no difference between the lost and saved. A Christian can do anything! Just because he is saved doesn’t mean he can’t be carnal! But I remind you that is just the logic of men, while the Word of God makes a clear difference and very plainly teaches quite the opposite.
There are no carnal Christians, there are simply carnal people and spiritual people. There are people who walk after the flesh and those who walk after the Spirit. Just as God judged his people in the past He will judge this wicked generation for blurring the lines and failing to make a difference between the clean and the unclean.
Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they showed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them. Ezek. 22:26