This is a post that I have been thinking about writing for about two months. I've been praying about how to write it. Given what I wrote yesterday about what it means to live by the Spirit (in Part---I don't claim to have exhausted the topic by any means!), this next post really seems to fit perfectly, and go along with it.
So following are some thoughts regarding Carnal Christianity....this again is not exhaustive by any means.
it is just GIVEN THE FACT THAT WE ARE TO COUNT OURSELVES DEAD TO SIN AND ALIVE TO GOD AS BELIEVERS, WALKING IN OBEDIENCE TO HIM, the concept of "carnal Christianity" (living in a continual lifestyle of sin) SHOULD NOT EXIST.
See the Following passage in Romans 6. I maybe should have quoted this passage before the Romans 8 one in the previous blog, but I think it still works for the purpose I used it.
"What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.
Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace."
What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness."
My thoughts; This passage IS REALLY CLEAR as to how we are expected to live as believer and "children of the Light." We are to live in obedience to God in accordance to what He has set forth in His Word as best as we know how--and actually none of us does that perfectly 100% of the time. We are far from it! BUT WE ARE SLAVES TO RIGHTEOUSNESS (WHICH ACTUALLY FREES US) and NOT slaves to sin any longer!
And there is a difference between an attitude of hatred towards sin and repentance because you realize that it offends and hurts God when you blow it, and you honestly don't want to keep doing it. And there is a difference between claiming to be a Christian and living a continual lifestyle of outright sin without seeking to obey God--in an overall sense. I am not saying we are saved by what we do or anything like that--but if we say we are believers, by the Spirit of God's help, our lives hopefully reflect that more and more and we TRULY DESIRE THAT TO BE THE CASE.
In the Books of First and Second Corinthians, Paul addresses the Corinthian church about many things including an immoral lifestyle of sin in the church. In second Corinthians, He encourages them to "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test. Now we pray to God that you will not do anything wrong. Not that people will see that we have stood the test but that you will do what is right even though we may seem to have failed. For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth." (2 Corinthians 13:5-8)
So I guess this post is for anyone that may be happening to read this living a lifestyle of sin-whatever the "lifestyle" is. I DO NOT WRITE THIS TO CAUSE UNECESSARY DOUBT IN ANYONE UNLESS YOU SHOULD NEED THAT (and only you and GOD TRULY KNOW THAT) Get with God and ask the Spirit of God to show you YOUR LIFE AS HE SEES IT--and sek to understand where you really are in Him and if you "pass the test....by HIS STANDARDS--NOT YOUR OWN."
I came to a place personally in my life where I had to do that---and in honesty before God was brought to the place where I knew I wasn't His and then He was able to bring me to Himself.
And for those of us that are trying to live as GOD desires, Let;s continue to ask the Spirit of God to keep us teachable, sensitive to him, and that he would show us the sin in our lives and help us by HIS POWER to no longer live in it...so we don't give into the flesh and live lives of continual disobedience before the Lord. WE MUST BE CAREFUL OF PRIDE---when we think we are strong, it is then that we are likely to fall (and God gave me one of those gentle "heart nudges" about that in my own life.---to NOT FORGET how much I need Him!!!!!)
LORD, WE need YOU and need YOUR help so that we live in obedience to YOU according to to the Spirit and NOT according to the flesh........may we NOT perpetuate the idea of "carnal Christianity" because on your eyes it should not exist....May we be reflections of your light and love to the World....so they see JESUS in us......and are drawn to Him. HOW WE NEED YOU!!!!!