Carnality: Part 1 | INFEMI Sermon Series By Apostle Gobanga

Carnality (Part 1): Sermon By Apostle Gobanga

And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?

1 Corinthians 3:1-3 (NKJV)

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.

1 Corinthians 2:14 (NKJV)

For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.

I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

Romans 7:14-25 (NKJV)

In order to win any battle, you must primarily take time to learn about your adversary. Information about your adversary is vital in aiding you to strategize on how to deal with your enemy to defeat him/her/them.

Many Christians live defeated lives because of lack of comprehension of the conflict in which they engage in, and the adversary against whom they are to fight.

Most emphasis is placed on Satan and his wiles. Yet, they fail to recognize the fact that the greatest human enemy is themselves, the adversary within.

Carnality is a noun from where we get the adjective carnal; carnally is an adverb, while carnalize is a verb. The word “carnal,” is translated from the Greek word sarkikos, which literally means “fleshly.” According to the Greek dictionary, it means to have the nature and characteristics of the flesh (or more simply, it means “fleshly”).

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 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.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Galatians 5:19-24 (NKJV)

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 is of the world.

1 John 2:16 (NKJV)

I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

Romans 7:25 (NKJV)

For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.

Romans 7:18 (NKJV)

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.

Ephesians 2:3 (NKJV)

Carnality is the essence of depravity. Depravity denotes moral perversion/impairment of moral virtue. It refers to our disposition to sin and to oppose or omit God in our lives. The flesh is characterized by works that include lusts and passions (Galatians 5:19-241 John 2:16); it can enslave (Romans 7:25); and in it is nothing good (Romans 7:18). To be carnal means to be characterized by things that belong to the unsaved life (Ephesians 2:3).

Other synonyms used to refer to the carnal nature are flesh, sin/sinful nature, old man, Adamic nature.

The Flesh:

The biblical term flesh refers to what we are in God’s sight as a result of Adam’s sin. It goes further to denote man’s own effort independent of God, what man does apart from divine aid, divine guidance or divine empowerment.

Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?

Galatians 3:3 (NKJV)

The flesh is the sum total of all of man’s personality that, because of the fall is corrupt. The man’s personality includes the mind which is darkened, emotional capacity degraded, and a will that is deadened towards God. Thus, human conduct according to the flesh describes work, or merit, or righteousness produced by the natural man of his own mind, his own emotion, his volition, apart from God’s help.

For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh.

Romans 8:3 (NKJV)

I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.

Romans 6:19 (NKJV)

The flesh also refers to helplessness, impotence, or weakness (Romans 8:3, Romans 6:19). The flesh is the seat of weakness and inability, whereby because of the fall of Adam, the entire human race was stripped away divine strength vested in him by the Divine at his time of creation.

For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death.

Romans 7:5 (NKJV)

Romans 7:5 – The flesh here refers to as a sphere or state of existence, meaning to be in sin/unregenerate state. To be in the flesh is to be controlled by sin that uses this mortal body as the vehicle through which it translates its desires into action, and its affections into deeds. In other words, it’s also a condition in which all unregenerate men live.

For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.

Romans 7:18 (NKJV)

Romans 7:18 – refers to the sum total of the old capacity that a man has because of the fall. The flesh represents the old mind, the old heart and the old will.

In verse 18, there is a clear distinction between the Apostle Paul and the flesh within himself. He is not his flesh but characterized by flesh. Paul is not equated with the flesh because he is saved, a new man in Christ Jesus. You cannot equated even an unsaved man with flesh because flesh doesn’t have a personality. Man is fleshly because he/she is dominated and controlled by the flesh.

The corporeal/physical body is not in itself sinful. Rather, it is the vehicle through which sin operates to translate its desires into deeds.

Sin isn’t inherent in the flesh. Thus, to have a physical body doesn’t imply that one must practice sin (that is a gnostic doctrine taught during Paul’s day which stated that only the man’s spirit is uncorrupted). Sin operates through the body.

But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.

Romans 13:14 (NKJV)

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.

You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. I have confidence in you, in the Lord, that you will have no other mind; but he who troubles you shall bear his judgment, whoever he is. And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased. I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off!

For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another! I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 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.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

Galatians 5 (NKJV)

Romans 13:14 and Galatians 5 reveal to the effect that the fruit of the sinful nature manifest through the physical body. This does not mean that there are no sins of the mind, for pride is a sin of the mind; same to covetousness or lust. However, the only way these sins of the mind demonstrate themselves is through some member of the physical body. Therefore, it follows that apart from the physical body/flesh, sin cannot have an overt manifestation.

For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.

Romans 8:22 (NKJV)

This does not mean that because Jesus has provided redemption from the dictates of the flesh, it is complete, for according to Romans 8:22 onwards, we note that our redemption will only be complete when we receive immortal bodies, void of the corruption of sin, for our current bodies are corruptible due to the sinful nature find expression therein.

The current body, in which we dwell, is vested with weakness, impotence, and helplessness to which the flesh is still prone.

The Old Man:

The phrase, “the old man”, refers to our source of corruption, which traces back to Adam.

The old man refers to the total unregenerate person and his reprobate nature, which he received because of his connection with Adam, because he is a child of Adam. It is who we were before being saved.

The old man relates us back to Adam, just as the new man relates us back to Christ.

Sin:

The term “sin” refers to the state in which all men are born because of Adam’s sin. Of course, sin also refers to as the act, which flows from the sinful nature.

Sin is that basic nature we have as sinful beings. This also refers to the essential nature resident within us, that is, the quality, or kind, of the nature that we possess.

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

1 John 1:8 (NKJV)

1 John 1:8 – Here the Apostle John implies to the fact that we have a nature within us that God calls sin, which we refer to as ‘the sinful nature.’ Paul also talks of the same in Romans 6.

Thus, we conclude that carnality is a state in which our bodies serve as an instrument through which sin finds expression. We derived this nature from Adam; hence, referring it to as the old man. This same nature is what God calls ‘sin’ because all that flows from that nature is sinful according to Galatians 5:19-21.

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