Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Top 10 Misconceptions about "The Carnal Christian”

# 10 He's freed from any obligation to obey God's moral law because of God's saving grace. (1 Cor. 6:9-11; Rom. 6:1-2) This is the heresy of antinomianism.
# 9 He can begin by the Spirit and be perfected by the flesh. (1 Cor. 3:1-3; 15:33,34 ; Gal. 3:1-5 ) This is the false, notion that "being a Christian" is mutually exclusive from "living the Christian life," or perfection of the saints is separate from participation in the life of the Spirit. Paul's use of the term ‘carnal’  is wrongly viewed as an alternative Christian lifestyle , not as biting irony to shock the Corinthians to reality (Gordon D . Fee, The First Epistle to the Corinthians; 123-124).
# 8 His position in Christ excludes "called to live a holy life" and "created in Christ Jesus for good works." (2 Tim. 1:8-9; Eph. 2:8-10; 1 John 3:24) The assumption is that one can claim certain aspects of the believer's position - especially those related to the believer's security— and not claim other aspects equally.
#7 The statement: "Anyone born of God does not continue to sin", does not apply. (1 John 3:9; 5:18; 2 Cor. 5:17 ) This is the false notion that one can remain immature or a "carnal Christian" perpetually. However, God not only saves his children from past sins (forgiveness) but he saves them from a lifestyle of habitual sin (holiness). A lifestyle of sin and insensitivity to the Spirit only proves one unregenerate, distinguished from a true brother who commits a sin.

# 6 Fruit-bearing is optional. (Mark 4:20 ; John 15:1-6 ) This is the misconception that a person can be vitally connected to Jesus by faith and not bear fruit in character or ministry.

# 5 He can save his old life and find new life in Christ; (Matt 16:24-25; Gal. 5:16-26) This is the false idea that a person can live two lives at once—the old life according to the flesh (unregenerate ) and the new life according to the Spirit (regenerate).  Although a Christian is "simul iustus et peccator" meaning “simultaneously just and sinner,” the Christ-follower is called to "sin less" while never becoming "sinless" on this side of heaven.

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# 4 Living by the Spirit is a nice alternative. (Rom. 8:9-17) This is the notion that life in the Spirit is a lifestyle of some Christians, not the lifestyle of all Christians.

# 3 Eternal security is mutually exclusive from following Jesus or living by faith. (John 10:27-28; Rom. 11:22; Col. 1:21-23; Heb. 6:9-12; 1 Pet. 1:5) This view advocates that preservation of the saints is wholly separate from perseverance of the saints, in other words, God keep s his children safe (saved ) apart from enabling them to persevere in faith by the Spirit.

# 2 He can never be rejected by God as spurious. (Deut. 17:2-7; Matt. 18:15-20 ; 2 Cor. 12:20-13:5 ; Heb. 10:26-31 ) This is the false assumption that all who make a profession of faith have taken hold of eternal life. Not all individuals who are described corporately as "brothers" are genuine believers. The danger and warning is that "carnal Christians" may not be Christians at all (Bill Bright, The Holy Spirit, 226). They possess a false assurance— the seed of the great apostasy.
# 1 God is on a celestial vacation and unavailable to discipline those whom he loves. (1 Cor. 1 1:30-32; 2 Cor. 7:8-12; Heb. 12:5-10) This is the notion that God is able and obligated to save those who believe in him but not able and obligated to discipline them so that they might share in his holiness.
In True Christianity, Johann Arndt says: 
"In a word, he who does not live here in time with Christ will not live with him there in eternity.  Christ will not live in that person there, in whom he has not lived here. … Note with whom you have most conformed and unified your life here, with Christ or with the Devil.  With whomever you have done so you will remain united after death in eternity.”

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