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  • Can a Christian be Carnal and still saved?

    Can a true Christian be carnal? In answering this question, let’s first define the term carnal. The word carnal is translated from the Greek word sarkikos, which literally means "fleshly." This descriptive word is seen in the context of Christians in 1 Cor 3:1-3. In this passage the Apostle Paul is addressing the readers as "brethren," a term Paul uses almost exclusively to refer to other Christians, and then goes on to describe them as "carnal." Therefore, we can conclude that Christians can be carnal. The Bible is absolutely clear that no one is sinless 1 John 1:8. Every time we sin, we are acting carnally.

    The key thing to understand is that while a Christian can be, for a time, carnal, a true Christian will not remain carnal for a lifetime. Some have abused the idea of a “carnal Christian” by saying that it is possible for people to come to faith in Christ and then proceed to live the rest of their lives in a completely carnal manner, with no evidence of being “born again” or a “new creation” 2 Cor 5:17. Such a concept is completely unbiblical. James 2 makes it abundantly clear that genuine faith will always result in works. Eph 2:8-10 declares that, while we are saved by grace alone through faith alone, salvation will result in works. Can a Christian, in a time of failure and/or rebellion, appear to be carnal? Yes. Will a true Christian remain carnal? No.

    Since eternal security is a fact of Scripture, even the carnal Christian is still saved. Salvation cannot be lost, because salvation is a gift of God that He won't take away (see John 10:28; Rom 8:37-39; 1 John 5:13). Even in 1 Cor 3:15, the carnal Christian is assured of salvation: "If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire." The question often is not whether a person has lost his salvation, but whether a person was truly saved in the first place (1 John 2:19).

    For Christians who become carnal in their behavior, God lovingly disciplines them (Heb 12:5-11), so they can be restored to close fellowship with Him and be trained to obey Him. God’s desire in saving us is that we would progressively grow closer to the image of Christ (Rom 12:1-2), becoming increasingly spiritual and decreasingly carnal, a process known as sanctification. Until we are delivered from our sinful flesh, there will be outbreaks of carnality. For a genuine believer in Christ, though, these outbreaks of carnality will be the exception, not the rule.

  • #2
    Yes, I do believe a person can be carnal and still be a Christian . . .

    Everyone to some degree or another is carnal . . .
    "What you do does not define who you are; it's who you are that defines what you do."

    -- Dr. Neil T. Anderson

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    • #3
      The question probably isn't "CAN a Christian be carnal". Of course they can. We're certainly physically able. But how about "SHOULD WE BE" or "Are we supposed to be" or "ought we to be" or "does God want us to be" -- and then we see that the answer is likely "no". Do we fall? Do we make mistakes and slip? Of course. We're human. Should we stay that way? I don't believe so. There's nothing in the Bible that suggests we should stay in our sin, and in fact everything in the Bible that suggests we should give our sin over to Christ and turn from our old ways.
      -- Your ~sister~ in Christ.... a "Kaffinated Kittykat"!!

      ROMANS 5:8. Forgiven. Freed. Humbled. Amazed. Grateful. Relying on Christ.

      Love is not a place to come and go as we please
      It's a house we enter in, then commit to never leave
      So lock the door behind you, and throw away the key
      We'll work it out together, let it bring us to our knees.....
      Warren Barfield



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      • #4
        carnal Christian

        yes, why else would Jesus give us the story of the Prodigal son, I call it the rebelious teens years of our Christian walk, now this is only if you believe that Jesus is the one that saved you and is the only one that can keep you saved, if you believe otherwise you might have a problem

        Eph 4:30And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are SEALED unto the day of redemption.


        1jo 2:1My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
        Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.


        Pastor Keith

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        • #5
          Theologically speaking No. carnality is a sate of being, so a carnal Christian is an oxymoron.
          Pau says in Romans 8:6-8 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. (7) Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. (8) So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

          How can someone be Christian at be at enmity with God, not even able to submit to his law? How can some one who loves God continue to live in sin, doing the very things that God hate and die for so his wrath wouldn’t fall upon us? It would be like a husband how claims to love his wife but always cheats on her with other women.


          I think the problem stems from the fact that we don’t understand conversion at all. We get sinner to simply pray a prayer with us and if the do we declare them saved even thought nothing happened to them at all. They still live in sin with no concern about it at all. That why you have so many of them how never come back to church. If we understood that when God saves some one he is going to finish what he started,(Philippians 1:6) then we would not believe in the idea of a carnal Christians because that would mean that he failed to do what he promised he would do.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Redimido View Post
            Theologically speaking No. carnality is a sate of being, so a carnal Christian is an oxymoron.
            Pau says in Romans 8:6-8 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. (7) Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. (8) So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

            How can someone be Christian at be at enmity with God, not even able to submit to his law? How can some one who loves God continue to live in sin, doing the very things that God hate and die for so his wrath wouldn’t fall upon us? It would be like a husband how claims to love his wife but always cheats on her with other women.


            I think the problem stems from the fact that we don’t understand conversion at all. We get sinner to simply pray a prayer with us and if the do we declare them saved even thought nothing happened to them at all. They still live in sin with no concern about it at all. That why you have so many of them how never come back to church. If we understood that when God saves some one he is going to finish what he started,(Philippians 1:6) then we would not believe in the idea of a carnal Christians because that would mean that he failed to do what he promised he would do.
            The problem with this is that in the Greek the term for carnal does not mean to sin. However, I will agree that someone who lives in a state of carnality is not saved.

            That being said, all Christians have some degree of carnality at some time or another. So, in that we are carnal at times. So yes, a truly born again Christian can be carnal.

            To say that someone is not carnal in some way at some time would be the same as to say they are perfect and without error.

            However, we can know by the Scriptures that this is not true.

            Additionally, I would also like to add that when the Scriptures say that to be carnally minded is death but to be spiritually minded is life and peace, that is talking about right now in this present age. If you are carnally minded you will reap death right now the same as if you are spiritually minded you will reap life and peace right now.

            There are many folks that preach that there is no such thing as a carnal Christian. However, I would argue then that those who are newly saved could not possibly be saved because every babe when they first come to Christ struggles with operating in the Spirit at some point or another. Even those who are mature still struggle at times. The key is growth, and whether or not someone is walking in a state of carnality.
            "What you do does not define who you are; it's who you are that defines what you do."

            -- Dr. Neil T. Anderson

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by VerticalReality View Post
              The problem with this is that in the Greek the term for carnal does not mean to sin. However, I will agree that someone who lives in a state of carnality is not saved.

              That being said, all Christians have some degree of carnality at some time or another. So, in that we are carnal at times. So yes, a truly born again Christian can be carnal.

              To say that someone is not carnal in some way at some time would be the same as to say they are perfect and without error.

              However, we can know by the Scriptures that this is not true.

              Additionally, I would also like to add that when the Scriptures say that to be carnally minded is death but to be spiritually minded is life and peace, that is talking about right now in this present age. If you are carnally minded you will reap death right now the same as if you are spiritually minded you will reap life and peace right now.

              There are many folks that preach that there is no such thing as a carnal Christian. However, I would argue then that those who are newly saved could not possibly be saved because every babe when they first come to Christ struggles with operating in the Spirit at some point or another. Even those who are mature still struggle at times. The key is growth, and whether or not someone is walking in a state of carnality.

              I think we might actually agree. I think our confusion is the term carnal Christian. the Theological concept of carnal Christian is some how clams to be a Christian but live, in enjoys, glory’s in there sin. A christian on the other hand would do this thing . Yes they sin but not as a lifestyle. It goes back to Romans 8:7. How can a christian be at enmity with god? Yes we as Christians struggle with sin and fall, but we struggle not as a man trying to refrain form the sins he loves but as a man who struggles to refrain from doing the sin he hates so much. And that why people preach aganst this carnal christian theology,and not because they think christians are perfect.

              It seem like some who wages war against the sin he hates is consider to be a carnal Christian by you. Am I right? If so then I think when are in agreement, we just mean something different by carnal Christian.
              The problem with this is that in the Greek the term for carnal does not mean to sin.
              That why thought we sin we are not carnal.
              hope fully this clears things up.

              Comment


              • #8
                A christian can act in a carnal way, but there is are not two classes of christians...'spiritual' and 'carnal'. We all as christians have the battle with the flesh until the grave or the rapture.
                ♪ Each day may Christ become clearer, His Cross dearer, Our Hope nearer. ♫

                Comment


                • #9
                  But...

                  ...Finding scriptures that teach certain types of carnality can't be ignored! Perhaps because some carnality is righteousness.

                  MT 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

                  MT 24:43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.

                  LK 3:14 And soldiers also asked him, saying, And we, what must we do? And he said unto them, Extort from no man by violence, neither accuse `any one' wrongfully; and be content with your wages.(The Bible In Basic English)

                  LK 11:21 When a strong man armed keepeth his court, those things are in peace which he possesseth.

                  REV 13:9 If any man have an ear, let him hear:
                  REV 13:10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.
                  JER 14:13 Then said I: 'Ah, Lord GOD! behold, the prophets say unto them: Ye shall not see the sword, neither shall ye have famine; but I will give you assured peace in this place.'
                  JER 14:14 Then the LORD said unto me: 'The prophets prophesy lies in My name; I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spoke I unto them; they prophesy unto you a lying vision, and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their own heart.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Everyone will battle with sin under their dying breath. But if one claims to be of Christ, yet lives in complacency of sin, then they have chosen their master and it is not Christ.
                    Jeremy, a bondservant of the Lord.

                    Today is a good day to die for Christ.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by dan View Post
                      Perhaps because some carnality is righteousness.
                      Huh?!?!?!?!
                      Last edited by 9Marksfan; Nov 3rd 2008, 09:46 PM. Reason: typo

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JerAyala View Post
                        Everyone will battle with sin under their dying breath. But if one claims to be of Christ, yet lives in complacency of sin, then they have chosen their master and it is not Christ.
                        Amen - well said!

                        Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? Rom 6:16 NKJV

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Lamplighter View Post
                          Can a true Christian be carnal? In answering this question, let’s first define the term carnal. The word carnal is translated from the Greek word sarkikos, which literally means "fleshly." This descriptive word is seen in the context of Christians in 1 Cor 3:1-3. In this passage the Apostle Paul is addressing the readers as "brethren," a term Paul uses almost exclusively to refer to other Christians, and then goes on to describe them as "carnal." Therefore, we can conclude that Christians can be carnal. The Bible is absolutely clear that no one is sinless 1 John 1:8. Every time we sin, we are acting carnally.

                          The key thing to understand is that while a Christian can be, for a time, carnal, a true Christian will not remain carnal for a lifetime. Some have abused the idea of a “carnal Christian” by saying that it is possible for people to come to faith in Christ and then proceed to live the rest of their lives in a completely carnal manner, with no evidence of being “born again” or a “new creation” 2 Cor 5:17. Such a concept is completely unbiblical. James 2 makes it abundantly clear that genuine faith will always result in works. Eph 2:8-10 declares that, while we are saved by grace alone through faith alone, salvation will result in works. Can a Christian, in a time of failure and/or rebellion, appear to be carnal? Yes. Will a true Christian remain carnal? No.

                          Since eternal security is a fact of Scripture, even the carnal Christian is still saved. Salvation cannot be lost, because salvation is a gift of God that He won't take away (see John 10:28; Rom 8:37-39; 1 John 5:13). Even in 1 Cor 3:15, the carnal Christian is assured of salvation: "If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire." The question often is not whether a person has lost his salvation, but whether a person was truly saved in the first place (1 John 2:19).

                          For Christians who become carnal in their behavior, God lovingly disciplines them (Heb 12:5-11), so they can be restored to close fellowship with Him and be trained to obey Him. God’s desire in saving us is that we would progressively grow closer to the image of Christ (Rom 12:1-2), becoming increasingly spiritual and decreasingly carnal, a process known as sanctification. Until we are delivered from our sinful flesh, there will be outbreaks of carnality. For a genuine believer in Christ, though, these outbreaks of carnality will be the exception, not the rule.
                          I think you will find that the word "carnal" or "flesh" is a metaphor. And we know that metaphors gain meaning from the context and aren't transferable everywhere they are used.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The bible speaks of two warring natures in the Christian. One nature is the carnal mind which is evil, whilst the other is the spiritual mind which is good. Insofar as a Christian is carnal, they remain condemned and in need of deliverance. Insofar as a Christian is in christ, they are condemned no more.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Old Earther View Post
                              The bible speaks of two warring natures in the Christian. One nature is the carnal mind which is evil, whilst the other is the spiritual mind which is good. Insofar as a Christian is carnal, they remain condemned and in need of deliverance. Insofar as a Christian is in christ, they are condemned no more.
                              Where does the Bible speak about two warring natures in the Christian?

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