Illustration results for carnal
J. B. Hall
B. Instead of focusing on his own life, and keeping himself in a right, vibrant, relationship with the Lord, he is virtually always concerned with, watching, critiquing, and criticizing those around him.
C. It seems that whoever he is focused on can do no right.
D. If this person is not doing what he thinks he ought to be doing, he criticizes him for his inaction.
E. If the person he is focusing on is actively involved, he criticizes him for wanting all the attention, or for wanting to run everything.
F. If the person of his focus is doing something he wants him to do, he is not doing it the way he should be.
G. In other words, whether he is focusing on an individual or other people in general, it doesn’t matter what they do, something will always be wrong with it.
H. Somehow, the carnal Christian always feels he is being shortchanged; he is always being upstaged; someone who ‘certainly doesn’t deserve it’ is always being seen or treated as superior to him.
J. B. Hall
H. In 3 John, 9 John speaks of just such an individual: “I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.”
I. Diotrephes was opposing the Lord’s apostle because he wanted the preeminence [supremacy, superiority]!
J. He actively resisted the Lord’s appointed representative because of his desire for control and superiority, and in so doing, became the enemy of God and the opponent of what He was trying to accomplish through his representative to that church.
K. So then, strife, active opposition to God’s people and God’s work, is a clear marker identifying the carnal Christian.
J. B. Hall
H. Those who highlight and verbalize the defects of others to you in order to cause division between you and them, are in fact the enemies of God.
I. Proverbs 6:16 & 19 say, “These six things doth the Lord hate; yea, seven are an abomination to him:” “A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”
J. The spiritual Christian will forgive and restore the one who has offended.
K. The carnal Christian thrives on the offenses of others; using them to cause divisions between brothers and sisters; and in so doing, becomes an abomination to God and an enemy of what He is trying to accomplish in His church.
L. Divisions, then, are clear indicators that carnal Christians are at work in the church.
Last year I compiled the Index of Leading Cultural Indicators, a statistical portrait of American behavioral trends of the past three decades. Among the findings: Since 1960, while the gross domestic product has nearly tripled, violent crime has increased at least 560%. Divorces have more than doubled. The percentage of children in single-parent homes had tripled. And by the end of the decade 40% of all American births and 80% of minority births will occur out of wedlock. These are not good things to get used to.
In 1940 teachers identified the top problems in America’s schools as: Talking out of turn, chewing gum, making noise and running in the hall. In 1990, teachers listed drugs, alcohol, pregnancy, suicide, rape and assault. These are not good things to get used to, either.
There is a coarseness, a callousness and a cynicism to our era. The worst of it has to do with our children. Our culture seems almost dedicated to the corruption of the young. We have become inured to the cultural rot that is setting in. People are losing their capacity for shock, disgust and outrage...
The ancients called our problem acedia, an aversion to spiritual things and an undue concern for the external and the worldly. Acedia also is the seventh capital sin--sloth--but it does not mean mere laziness. The slothful heart is stepped in the worldly and carnal, hates the spiritual and wants to be free of its demands.
When the novelist Walker Percy was asked what concerned him most about America’s future, he answered, "Probably the fear of seeing America, with all its great strength and beauty and freedom...gradually subside into decay through default and be defeated, not by the communist movement, but from within, from weariness, boredom, cynicism, greed and in the end helplessness before its great problems."
I realize this is a tough indictment. If my diagnosis is wrong, then why, amid our economic prosperity and military security, do almost 70% of the public say we are off track? I submit that only when we turn to the right things--enduring, noble, spiritual things--will life get better.
Most important, we must return religion to its proper place. Religion provides us with moral bearings, and the solution to our chief problem of spiritual impoverishment depends on spiritual renewal. The surrendering of strong beliefs, in our private and public lives, has demoralized society.
Today, much of society ridicules and mocks those who are serious about their faith. Am...
1 Cor. 3:1-9 Paul opens up our chapter slamming the spiritual condition of many in this church. He tells them that they are not spiritually mature, but that they are acting like mere babies. He tells them he has to address them for what they are worldly, i.e. carnal – fleshly or immature! Not godly, holy and Christ-like. They are called infants – babies to be exact.
Most know that this last week my daughter Tiffany had twin boys. I am going to highlight what I observed about what it means to act like an infant!
a. They are totally dependent on others for their care.
b. They cannot eat solid food because otherwise they will choke on the food and die.
c. They are small and fragile.
d. They are helpless.
e. They are vulnerable.
f. The boys were having a hard time maintaining their body temperature so they had to be placed in incubators to stay warm and healthy.
The boys struggled with getting enough nutrients to grow and get healthier. But the boys have a tremendous blessing:
a. They have parents who will care for them and love them and even correct them. These parents are united together and committed to raising these two for the Lord.
b. They are blessed in that they have grandparents who are committed to their growth both physically, spiritually and mentally. We will love them, care for them and “yes” even correct them when they are wrong.
Paul is doing the same thing to the babies he helped birth in Corinth, but it’s time to grow up, he tells them!
SIN: PRISON WITHOUT BARS
It's easy to live in denial--to live in sin and think everything is going our way. So sooner or later God gets our attention.
In 1989, Pete Rose, baseball's all-time hit leader, was banished from baseball by Major League Commissioner. [Bart Giamatti].
The commissioner had hired John M. Dowd to investigate Rose's gambling. After Dowd gathered evidence against Rose and before Rose was banished from baseball, The Commissioner told Dowd to offer Rose a generous deal: (1) admit to gambling on baseball, (2)accept temporary dismissal from the game, (3) undergo a rigorously supervised rehabilitation and eventually be reinstated.
And that wasn't all: Dowd said he got the U.S. attorney in Cincinnati to agree not to prosecute Rose on tax evasion charges if he accepted baseball's offer and paid his taxes with interest and penalties.
Remarkably, Rose rejected the offer, sued the commissioner and lost. He was later convicted of tax evasion and served five months in prison.
In his book, "My Prison Without Bars", Rose says "I felt banishment was too severe a sentence. Right or wrong, the punishment didn't fit the crime--so I denied the crime."
When the magazine "Sports Illustrated" asked Rose why he wagered, he replied, "I didn't think I'd get caught."
He also denied he even had a gambling problem, though during one, three-week period, Rose wrote 11 checks for $8,000 to a bookmaker in New York. But he never felt he had a gambling problem.
He rationalized, "I knew that I'd broken the letter of the law. But I didn't think I'd broken the spirit of the law, which was designed to prevent corruption. During the times I gambled as a manager, I never took an unfair advantage. I never bet more or less based on injuries or inside information. I never allowed my wagers to influence my baseball decisions. So in my mind, I wasn't corrupt."
The carnal Christian, is like that, he is in a "Prison without bars" - a spiritual prison.
We can easily rationalize and excuses our sin, thinking that it's not that big of deal. After all, are we not under grace?
Sermon Central Staff
CHARLES FINNEY AND DANIEL NASH--EVANGELISM AND PRAYER
Charles Finney is a name known to everyone who has studied the mighty movements of God in country. A former lawyer turned preacher by the call of God, Charles Finney was one of the key figures during the Second Great Awakening in 19th Century America, which touched virtually every aspect of life in this country. Finney is sometimes called "America’s foremost revivalist," and there’s no doubt that God had His hand on him. In the seven years in which Finney was an evangelist, there were an estimated 500,000 conversions. His ministry in Rochester, NY from 1830-1831 has been called the greatest year of spiritual awakening in American history. Someone did a follow-up study of those reportedly converted under Finney’s preaching, and found that, years later, 80% of those who made professions of faith gave evidence of true life change.
What is more, there were immediate effects felt in the social structures of entire cities and townships. By every standard we know, that is extraordinary. How do you account for the effectiveness that visited this man and his ministry? To what can we attribute the amazing harvest God accomplished from his preaching? If you ask Charles Finney, he will point to one man who partnered with him in his crusades: Daniel Nash. Daniel Nash joined himself to Finney for the purpose of prayer. When Finney was invited to speak in a city, Nash would arrive 3 or 4 weeks early, rent a room, find a small group of like-minded Christians to join him, and start a prayer meeting to plead with God for souls. Once the public meetings began, Nash usually did not attend. He and his group would stay hidden away, agonizing in prayer for the conviction of the Holy Spirit to melt the crowd.
On one occasion, Finney himself noted in his journal that when he arrived in a particular town for a revival, he was met by a lady who ran a boarding house. "Brother Finney," she asked, "do you know Mr. Nash? He and two other men have been at my boarding house for the last three days, but they haven’t eaten a bite of food. I opened the door and peeped in at them because I could hear them groaning and I saw them down on their faces. They have been this way for three days, lying prostrate on the floor and groaning. I thought something awful must have happened to them. I was afraid to go in and I didn’t know what to do. Would you please come and see about them?" And Charles Finney replied, "No, it isn’t necessary. They just have a spirit of travail in prayer."
Finney and Nash traveled thousands of miles together, in prayer and proclamation of the Gospel. Then in the winter of 1831, Nash took ill. On December 20 of that year, while he was on his knees in prayer, he died at age 56. Charles Finney said this of his dear friend and partner in ministry: "Said a good man to me: 'Oh, I am dying for the want of strength to pray! My body is crushed, the world is on me, and how can I forbear praying?' I have known that man to go to bed absolutely sick, for weakness and faintness, under the pressure. And I have known him to pray as if he would do violence to Heaven, and then have seen the blessing come as plainly in answer to his prayer as if it were revealed, so that no person could doubt it any more than if God had spoken from heaven.
"Shall I tell you how he died? He prayed more and more; he used to take the map of the world before him, and pray, and look over the different countries and pray for them, till he expired in his room, praying. Blessed man! He was the reproach of the ungodly, and of carnal, unbelieving professors; but he was the favorite of Heaven, and a prevailing prince of prayer." Today, there is a marker on a neglected grave in a cemetery near the Canadian border that reads, "Daniel Nash, Pastor, Laborer with Finney, Mighty in Prayer." He never had the limelight, the stage, or the accolades. But he shook heaven and hell because he believed in the power of praying together.
(From a sermon by Fred Markes, Principles of Praying for the Lost, 8/30/2011)
Caterpillar Ugly, Butterfly Beautiful
It is a well-known fact that a caterpillar changes into a butterfly. The butterfly can truthfully say as he looks at the caterpillar, "Such was I, but now I am changed."
Every Christian has once been a sinner, living for self and the momentary pleasures of sin and the world. But like the caterpillar, God has done a wonderful work in Christians.
The caterpillar (sinner) knows nothing of the delights of the butterfly (Christian). They must be made into new creatures. The cabbage-loving caterpillar has no capacity for the new-born movements and delights of the butterfly. No more can the carnal nature of man enter into the enjoyment of the things of God without first being born again.
Many caterpillars (sinners) try to mold themselves into the cocoon of a church, church clothes and Christian fellowship hoping to become a butterfly (Christian) by association. Disappointingly, they just stay their same old selves, wrapped up in things that can never regenerate their hearts. Thus they are overcome by self, the world and the temptations of the devil. Their lives are marked by disobedience to God's Word. They bounce from church to church looking to satisfy self. They desire social Christianity and avoid anything that will lead them to true holiness and intimate fellowship with God.
The Bible says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (2 Cor. 5:17)
Having a church membership and clinging to false denominational teachings will not regenerate your heart. You must allow God to take away your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. The Lord desires to put His Holy Spirit in you and move you to follow His decrees and be careful to keep His laws (Ezekiel 36: 26, 27).
Regenerated Christians love God and they find serving Him to be a delight. 1 John 5:3 says, "This is love for God: to obey His commands. And His commands are not burdensome." Christians have the liberty to say "no" to self-centeredness and sin-centeredness. They hunger and thirst for the righteousness of God. They ...
I am certain that he started with a dream, it was a dream that was driven, it was a dream bound to succeed. In fact, the dream began in his mind but was housed in his basement. It wasn’t very long until the dream had outgrown the basement and the dream had to be traded in for a larger place. In fact, before all was said and done, the basement was left far behind. . . the little church had been traded for a huge empire of buildings and a mass of financial wealth. Yes, indeed, God had been good. . . or so folks thought.
He was a graduate of a leading charismatic seminary in Tulsa with a polished image and a warm personality to boot and all of that was just a portion of the equipment that this young man leaned on. He worked diligently as a young pastor. His dedication begin to peak with mid-life and accomplishments and accolades became a dime a dozen. He climbed the hills and broke new ground. He advanced to Senior Pastor and then to the national director of the National Evangelical Association which is a hodge-podge of Christians that rank some 30 million strong. He was on the phone with the White House. He was busy being interviewed on TV by Barbara Walters. He was active in a friendship with James Dobson at Focus on the Family. Among all of this prestige, he was a highly sought after speaker, appearing numerous times on Christian television networks all around the world. Last year, he was listed among the 25 top influential evangelicals in the United States.
But somewhere along the way, as the mountainous walls of challenge were scaled, as the treacherous waters of change were navigated, and as the small church grew from the basement to 14,000 members, God’s business slowly turned into monkey business.
When you are climbing mountains, sailing seas, and changing lives, little time is left for prayer and the tiny but ever so crucial things required in pastoral ministry. When your time is spent more on carnal calisthenics than on personal pastoral growth given in the Pastoral Epistles by Paul, it won’t be long, until exposure will come. Sin is like a detective and it will be found out. It is never a matter of if but of when.
So on yesterday (November 4, 2006), Pastor Ted Haggard was forced out of New Life Church, the one that he started in his basement, because of behavior unbecoming of a minister. I won’t spend my time with the morbid details but suffice it to say that he is (in my mind) disqualified from pulpit ministry for the rest of his life.
-All of this follows revelations of Florida Republican Senator Mark Foley, who one month ago, was exposed by his past sins.
-Sin has huge consequences.
There’s a Native American fable about a young brave who happened upon a nest of golden eagle eggs. Deciding to have some fun, he took one of the eggs and placed it in the nest of some prairie chickens. The egg hatched and the changeling eagle grew up with the brood of prairie chickens. Believing himself to be like everyone else around him, he behaved accordingly. He clucked and cackled and scratched in the dirt for seeds and insects to live on. He never flew more than a few feet off the ground, since prairie chickens are incapable of rising any higher. Years passed and one day the young eagle was scratching along with one of his older prairie chicken brothers when a fleeting shadow passed over them. They looked up and saw, high in the sky, the soaring form of something gliding on the currents of the wind. “What a beautiful bird!” the young eagle exclaimed. “That’s an eagle,” the older brother informed him, staring upward. “A golden eagle. He’s the king of the air. No bird can compare with him.” Then he lowered his gaze and added, “But don’t give it a second thought; you could never be like him.” And back to scratching they went. Indeed, the changeling eagle never gave another thought to that soaring sight. And according to the fable, he died as he had lived, never rising any higher than a prairie chicken’s existence.
Tragically, this same story is repeated in too many of our lives. Like eagles, we were created and redeemed to mount up on God-given wings. Our privileged calling is to know God more and more intimately, to know the thrill of unrestrained, exuberant worship and to abandon ourselves to the high adventure of warring on behalf of the Kingdom of God in this dark world by loving others to Jesus.
This is our God-given ...