Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Carnal Christians?

When someone claims, "I still sin everyday, I am a man, ya know?" The next question should be, "Do you hate it? Or do you embrace that sin?" It almost sounds as though he is proud of it, and obviously not convicted or repenting of it. If we feel that we are not subject to God's moral Law, we may have a problem (Rom 8:7, Col 1:21, Col 3:6, 2 Tim 2:19).

There should be a battle with sin and when the possibility of sin in their life is brought to a believer's attention, they should not get defensive and call you "judgmental" or "legalistic." Maybe a better response would be, "Is that what you see in me?"
A true believer should be sensitive to sin in their lives, and take any such accusation seriously, contemplating if this could be true or not. This is important to a believer! We don't want to be in sin. It may take some study and prayer, but if there is no struggle against sin, that's a bad sign.

Discussing this subject with some Christian brothers caused me to consider how this affects my life and my walk with the Lord. This post may end up with more questions than answers.

Now I believe there is no such thing as a "carnal Christian" as defined by today's standards. When Paul is speaking in 1 Cor 3:1-3, he is strongly rebuking them as spiritually ignorant, immature, acting as unbelievers, not condoning what they're doing. Rom 8:6 tells us where that leads, and Heb 10:26-27 states this fact clearly.

We won't be perfect this side of heaven, but should be striving for it. We still sin, yet not willfully, there should be a struggle, a conflict within ourselves regarding the sin still in our lives. We should hate it, not embrace it. But do we really sin against our will, unintentionally? Maybe, but that's a blurry line, isn't it? Aren't we still responsible for our own actions? How exactly do we "sin against our own will"?

Take pornography for instance, that's hardly against our will. We have to get the pornography, find the time and then be able to view it. It takes some planning ahead, I don't think that a person can just "slip" into this one.

How about speeding? The Bible tells us that we are to follow the law of the land (Rom 13:1-7) as long as it doesn't contradict God's Law. So, when we set our cruise control for 10 mph higher than the speed limit, are we not willfully sinning?
Do we really just pick and choose which things we like from the Bible, as unbelievers so often accuse us of?

Are we sensitive to sin in our lives? What happens when someone brings it to your attention? Is your first thought an attempt to justify yourself, or is it to repent of that sin that you hadn't really thought about before? It should be the latter, but I often find that it's the former.

Paul's words in Romans 7:18-20, do not give us the right to continue in sin. There should be a battle against it (Rom 6:12), and we should be making progress towards eliminating sin in our lives if we are truly in Christ (Rom 8:1). We will walk according to the Spirit (Rom 8:4), not to GET saved, but because we ARE saved, no longer willing to fulfill our sinful lusts (Gal 5:16).

Whatever ways these sins may manifest in our lives, whether it's lusting glances at women walking down the street, habitually speeding, or foul language, one of the tests of salvation is that we are growing in holiness (1 John 2:29 ). We should be more holy than we were last year at this time, and continuing in the sanctification process, not stagnating to see what we can still get away with in the ways of the world (1 John 2:15 ). Otherwise, we may find that we're not yet saved at all, and need to examine ourselves with Scripture (2 Cor 13:5, 1 John 5:13).

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