Many times in life as a believer in Christ we have all heard the term, "Carnal Christian". It's used quite commonly. To be straight up with all of you...there is no such thing as a Carnal Christian nor does the Bible teach such doctrine.
The Biblical term "carnal" means...fleshly, earthly, or sensual. A carnal man is not a spiritual man. The carnal mind is a Biblical expression used concerning the mental state of man who walks and lives in the Adamic nature. The carnal mind is an emnity against God. Romans 8. The Bible says so! No man can be carnal and born of the Spirit at the same time. Carnal men walk in the flesh, not in the Spirit. The flesh is the physical expression of the Adamic nature. Carnality and walking in the flesh is a life totally out of harmony with the Christ of our Salvation. Carnality is a life in total opposition to a life in harmony with Christ in the Spirit.
So, where did the term Carnal Christian come from? There are many people in the religious world that condone sinful conduct in the life of the believer in Christ. The Bible does not condone sinful living or the sinful heart in the life of a believer. To be honest the Bible condemns the sinful heart and sinful living. I admit there are people out there who twist the Scripture just enough to justify sinful living. Some of these people are even teachers, pastors, and/or leaders in the the local Churches... but that doesn't make them automatically right! The Word of God especially the New Testament Epistles were not written to condone sin. The Epistles were written by holy men of God to condemn sin and glorify the resurrected Christ who delivers man from sin. I get happy just thinking about this subject! Holiness of heart and life makes men content in Christ. Glory!
Someone might say, "What about Corinthians 3".
1 Cor 3:1-3...And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men
The Apostle Paul was addressing a melting pot of various types of people and types of religion and philosophy. Some leaned toward Greek Philosophy. Others leaned to Hellenism which was a form of Judaism and pagan religion mixed. There was Gnosticism, Judaism, Rabbi's, Philosophers, etc. to deal with. Religious worship and practices were rampant. Head knowledge was even more rampant due to philosophy, etc. There was much confusion and much division in the locality of Corinth. Christianity through the preaching of Christ was new by the preaching of these Apostles. Paul stated, I do not speak to you as spiritual people but as to carnal people. You're acting like a bunch of little babies. Paul had coddled and nurtured them with the truth about Christ but they "all" wouldn't receive the truth about Christ. What I mean by "all" is this. Within that local church there were some people who trusted Christ, lived holy, and walked in the Spirit. Other people who were not part of Christ were "among" this same body of believers. They also attended the local Church at Corinth, but they were carnal (not saved) and behaving like a bunch of little babies. This is what Paul was contending with in the Epistle.
When I speak of the local church I speak of people who are "blood bought" Christians and also people who are not "blood bought". Any man will realize that all people who attend a local church are not automatically saved or blood bought by the Lord Jesus Christ. God knows who is saved and who is not. Those saved...The Church, the body of Christ are considered "perfect" according to the Scripture language. All members of Christ's body are blood bought, forgiven, saved, and have a holy heart. A blood bought, forgiven, saved, and holy man is "perfect" in the eyes of God. Perfect and holy have the same root word "teleiois". The Bible teaches this doctrine and uses the same root word for perfection and holiness. Read it for yourself as Paul addressed those who were saved and blood bought at the Church at Corinth. It's clear there were also those "among" this body of believers who were also carnal. Notice who was perfect in the following verse.
1 Cor 2:6...Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
The wisdom Paul was speaking was about the person of Christ that forgives, redeems, justifies, and sanctifies the heart of man. Paul knew the saving Grace of God! Paul knew what was going on at the Church at Corinth. He knew who and what religions he was dealing with. Paul was a Pharisee himself and came out of Jewish religion when he found forgiveness, justification, and sanctification in the person of Christ. God's Grace took Paul's heart and life over. This is not the wisdom of the world like religious people teach or like the philosophical world teaches. Divine Grace is the greatest blessing that ever came upon the human family! Glory! Divine Grace can only be found in the acceptance of the person Christ within the heart and soul. Salvation of the soul leads to sanctification in the Spirit. This is Biblical perfection. This is God's perfect work. This is why Paul addressed certain people as "perfect" in the Church at Cornith.
1 Cor 2:6...Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect
In the closing part of 1 Cor. chapter 2 we see that Paul related also to the "natural man". A natural man is carnal by nature and lives, thinks, and walks under the control of the Adamic nature. This fallen state could never be a Christian as some in the religious world teach. The natural man is a man without Christ, and without forgiveness from his sin. A natural man is a rebel against God and Christ is foolishness to him.
1 Cor 2:14...But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them,
Don't be tricked or deceived into believing there is such thing as a Carnal Christian because there is not! The Bible doesn't teach such doctrine, it's a man made thing. How beautiful it is to examine the Holy Scripture and to find out these kind of teachings are false! When you get away from tradition, opinion, religion, and the imaginations of men you will get down to the truth of God's Word. It is written for our edification! The Bible can make some men into liars but we know God can never lie! The truth prevails when we study the Scripture. The truth of God's Word will take you away from traditional viewpoints and man's opinion. The truth of God's Word will show you that "perfect" is not a bad word as some teachers teach. To be honest Paul was addressing those who were "perfect" at Corinth...because there is no such thing as a Carnal Christian!
Christians are holy in the eyes of God, not unholy. Christians are righteous in the eyes of God, not unrighteous. Christians are obedient in the eyes of God, not disobedient! Carnality is a state where man comes from "before" he finds the Grace of God that morally changes the heart of sinful man! Christians are not carnal! Christians walk in the Spirit...not in the flesh! Glory to Christ who makes it all possible. Remenber there is no such thing as a Carnal Christian.
1 Cor 2:12...Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.