What Is Carnal-Mindedness,And Are We Becoming Such?

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thought than your thougts.” Isaiah 55:8-9.

So many times, we forget this vital point, and we conduct our lives before the eyes of men, rather than the eyes of God. Simon the sorcer, made his mistake, due to this very thing, and in Acts 8:21-22, was commanded to ask for forgiveness, for the “thought of thine heart”. At the same time, we must realize, that our thoughts, truly depict the nature of our heart, Proverbs 23:7. Thus, we understand by the fruits of our labors, we can know the character of a man, Matthew 7:20.

The scriptures define carnal minded as viewing things in men’s eyes, verses the spiritually minded viewing things as God sees it. Thus, carnal minded men become worldly, and tend to serve fleshly appetites. The spritual minded tends to view things as God relates it in the scripture, and accepts His desires over our human will/thoughts. 1 Corinthians 2:1-4, 12-16.

The apostle Paul illustrates this point in 1 Corinthians 3: 1-11, as he considers the carnal minded Christians in Corinth. These men were considering the speech, and personal likes and dislikes of the men who had preached unto them the gospel of Christ. Evidently, some had preference of one man over another because of their abilities, and Paul states they are carnal in such judgement. Carnal for they were considering the men through men’s eyes, rather than God’s. God’s view was the truth was preached, bottom line, and that it was truth regardless of the preacher speaking and his manner of delivery, etc. Each spoke the soul saving truth of the gospel, to his best ability. And, each man built upon the other man’s teaching. One planted, another watered, but GOD gave the increase. In chapter 4:1-4, Paul states that men do not judge him in his stewardship, but the Lord. We judge the man to be faithful by the Lord’s standards, not men’s. These brethren, did not respect Paul’s ability in preaching the gospel, and had judged him unworthy of doing so. Their judgement was of men’s wisdom, not God’s.

In his second letter to Corinth, 2 Corinthians 10, Paul reprimands those who would judge the worthiness of a man preaching the gospel, due to outward appearances, vs. 7, and comparisons of men’s abilities to each other, vs. 12-13, stating his only commendation to be sought was the Lord’s, vs. 18. Such consideration belonged to the carnal, vs. 3-4, walking according to the flesh. He noted their carnal judgement in vs. 10.

Some would say, that is just man’s ways. Indeed it is, yet we are God’s children and should bring those thoughts under subjection to God’s ways, 2 Corinthians 10:5.

Paul states that the law is spiritual, and that being carnal is to be sold to sin, Romans 7:14. To follow after the law, would mean to become spiritually minded. While some men might say they don’t see the harm in something, while God has, such would indicate a carnal minded person. For men to voice their opinions, which is carnal, in opposition to God’s stated will, which is spiritual, we find directions into sinfulness. Romans 8:6-7, Paul said, “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” I cannot tell you the number of times some brother/sister read a passage, and stated I know that is what it said, but I don’t believe that is what God meant.

Recently, a brother stated that being carnal minded might not mean there was sin committed. Brethren, we are becoming carnal minded, when we turn to other men to justify a particular course of action. For we seek those who will agree with us on such subjects as: Marriage-Divorce-Remarriage, Nature of Christ on earth, Wife’s submission to her Husband, the Day of Genesis, etc. We pick and choose preachers more on their human abilities/traits than on their stand for truth. To consider whether to support a man who works for another congregation, based on looks, mannerisms, etc., and to state the man stands for the truth of the gospel, and lives according to the gospel, but we won’t support him, is that God’s view or men’s? Where is the scripture for choosing a preacher on these criteria? Is such prudence man’s or God’s? Consider the writings of Paul to Corinth, and you understand he would not have been asked to come work with them for 18 months. He followed God’s will and preached to them, corrected their ways, and through their repentance, they were forgiven. Those who were carnal minded became spiritual minded, tending to God’s things His ways.

While we might not understand everything pertaining to God desires of us, we do know what they are, and can abide by them, because they are His ways. We must reject our thoughts for His thoughts, and our ways for His ways. We must stop consulting the commentaries of men for authority, and start consulting God more. By doing so, we shall cease the divisions that plague the family of God. Please consider God for His thoughts and ways.

By Steven Saunders

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