Carnal Christians

1 Corinthians 3:1 – And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.

I. Carnal Christianity used to be called "Easy Believism".

A. Lordship salvation is the Biblical norm.

1. Acts 2:42 – And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. When people were saved, they had a God given desire to forsake their old life and be with believers in church relationship.

2. These early believers wanted to follow everything the early believers followed, being willing to leave everything behind. Today, carnal Christians want Jesus, yet they want to do whatever they want to do, not yielding themselves to the teachings of Scripture.

3. Such were some of you… 1 Corinthians 6:11 – And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

4. I Thessalonians 1:2-10 – These believers had fruits that revealed the work of God in them to salvation.

B. Carnal Christians believe they are saved, yet do not want to live as Christ.

1. The type of music people want in church services has changed from whatever God wants to whatever people want.

2. The type of service is gradually being changed from singing, preaching, teaching, worshipping God, to giving the people whatever they want. Preaching against sin is unpopular.

3. There are many messages on religious correctness – The religious philosophy of how to get along in this world, be prosperous, accepted, good, kind, gentle, love everybody, and then die and go to heaven. Preach the Bible, but only with the emphasis of how you can be a better person, no preaching on how all believer should forsake this present world, and preach the gospel message to all.

4. Godly living is ridiculed. Holiness is called old-fashioned, and legalistic.

II. Many believe it is unnecessary to preach as Paul did to Felix in Acts 24:25, And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee. They believe every person feels guilt for the sins and wickedness. They do not understand that people are not aware of their sins before God until the Holy Spirit of God brings conviction through the preaching of the Word of God. Mention the first preacher I ever heard say that men did not need to hear about being lost, they only need to hear the gospel message – Paul Hatcher. This was 30 years ago.

A. Here are eight reasons Carnal Christianity should be rejected.

1. In I Cor.1:2-5, Paul addressed his audience as "sanctified in Christ". So are they sanctified or carnal? In I Cor.2, Paul divides men into "natural" and "spiritual," i.e. un-saved and saved. By labeling some Christians as "carnal," Paul would be introducing a third classification of humans. Furthermore, this would violate every other presentation in Scripture that there are only two classes of people: children of God or children of wrath.

2. The new covenant of salvation includes two inseparable blessings at salvation: justification and sanctification. Carnal Christianity teaches you will be justified upon conversion, but sanctification is optional.

3. The Bible presents two types of faith: saving faith and spurious (false) faith (Lk. 8:13). Carnal Christianity does not recognize spurious faith. What a false assurance we allow the unregenerate to possess if we allow them to think their faith is valid when the Bible teaches it might be a false conversion.

4. Carnal Christianity excludes a necessary component of salvation: repentance. The unconverted sinner can just "ask Jesus into his heart" with no requirement to forsake sin.

5. How does a person know he is saved? Fruit in keeping with repentance. We are told to examine ourselves to see if we are in the truth. What a beautiful gift to the believer. If we can be carnal, how can we know we are saved? Carnal Christianity robs us of assurance.

6. Carnal Christianity may be a relatively new name, but it is merely a new moniker for an old false teaching: anti-nomianism. "Should we go on sinning that grace might more abound?" Carnal Christianity says, "Sure."

7. "Carnal Christian teaching is the mother of many second work-of-grace errors in that it depreciates the Biblical conversion experience by implying that the change in the converted sinner may amount to little or nothing." Dr. Reisinger goes on to point out that a second step is required to make a man a "spiritual Christian."

8. Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior, right? (Lk.2:11 states, For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.) Carnal Christianity divides Jesus and allows Him to be Savior but not Lord.

Conclusion: Listen to the words of A.A. Hodge. "Think of a sinner coming to Christ and saying, ‘I do not want to be holy; I do not want to be saved from sin; I would like to be saved in my sins; do not sanctify me now, but justify me now.’" Sounds ridiculous, right? Some folks don’t think so.