Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Carnality and Spirituality

"Carnality and Spirituality"

    In yesterday's message, we mentioned the most concise Biblical definition of carnality, as provided by the Apostle Paul.  Writing to the Corinthians about the divisions that existed in their fellowship, Paul asked, "Are ye not carnal, and walk as men?" (I Corinthians 3:3).  In other words, "As born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, do you nevertheless live as if He is not present among you?  Do you walk as if you are merely human beings, rather than as human beings indwelt by the living and true God?"

    Herein Paul reveals the root of carnality, or fleshliness in believers.  Whatever the nature of the challenge or temptation we face, we fall and fail when we ignore the truth that our Heavenly Father calls us to live our lives as if He is with us, and we are with Him.  Because He is, and we are!  "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" (I Corinthians 3:16).  Thus, we live life as a we, or in the reality of Christ in us, and ourselves in Christ.  He is the life, the wisdom, the power, and the overcoming grace.  We are the trusting recipients of all that our Lord is, and all He provides.  He lives in us, and we live through Him (Colossians 1:27; John 4:9).  We, always we.  Carnality results when we fail to avail ourselves of our Lord's enabling presence through ignorance, distraction, deception, or lack of faith.  "He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief" (Matthew 13:48).  

    The opposite of carnality, spirituality, involves the awareness, recognition, and affirmation that our Lord dwells with and within us by the Holy Spirit, and our response of faith and submission to His living and active presence.  The better we know, understand, and experience the truth of this Biblically defined spirituality, the more likely we are to consistently walk in the Spirit rather than after the flesh.  No guarantee exists that we will always do so.  The truth we consider does not offer a gimmick or mere method for faith and faithfulness.  Believers live in personal relationship and fellowship with God.  We may or may not walk in the Spirit regardless of how well we know the Lord and His Word.  In this present life, the possibility always remains that we will disregard "the power that worketh in us" (Ephesians 3:20).  However, the truth of living as human beings  united to the God of unimaginable power makes faith and faithfulness far more likely as we walk in the light of our Lord's presence and Word.  "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32).

   Interestingly, a particular challenge confronted me as I wrote these words, an opportunity to remember and affirm the very truth we consider.  Nice of the Lord to do that for me!  Indeed, I can testify that, as always, the Lord confirms His faithfulness in my particular challenge.  He is both with and within me to enable the experience of "We".  This is peace in the heart for resting in Christ, and power for the feet for walking through Christ.  "So great salvation" declared the writer of Hebrews of this life we live with our Lord both now and forevermore (Hebrews 2:3).  Great indeed, and what grace, that the very Life of our lives walks in us, and we walk through Him.

"I will dwell in them, and walk in them."
(II Corinthians 6:16)
"Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh."
(Galatians 5:16)

Weekly Memory Verse
   "I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True".
(Revelation 19:11)


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