November 8, 2021
The Spiritual Man -1 Corinthians 3:1-4
Sermon: The Spiritual Man -1 Corinthians 3:1-4
In his sermon delivered on November 7, 2021, Pastor Eric explained the significance of each of the following three categories of people described in the New Testament. The word “man” refers to all mankind; therefore, it also includes women.
- The Natural Man
- The Spiritual Man, and
- The Carnal Man
The Natural Man
The term “natural man” is a person who was born into the human race, but remains in his original state of sin. The natural man has not surrendered his life to the Lord; therefore, the Holy Spirit does not reside in him. As a result, he lacks the ability to understand the will of God and the things of God.
Read 1 Corinthians 2:14
Those who do not possess the Spirit do not believe God’s truths. They consider these truths foolish and do not understand them.
The Spiritual Man
The spiritual man is a child of God. Being born again, the Holy Spirit lives inside of him. He is able to discern God’s truths because the Holy Spirit reveals these truths to him.
Read John 16:12-13
When Jesus spoke, He did so with authority and wisdom, and in a manner that was understandable to all. His message was often clarified through parables and illustrations.
At the Last Supper, Jesus had so much more to teach His disciples, yet He also knew that they were incapable of understanding everything He wished to reveal to them. He explained to his disciples that they would soon be filled with His Spirit who would enlighten them with God’s truth. The Holy Spirit reveals truths that the natural man cannot possibly comprehend, as they are spiritual in nature. A spiritual man, however, is capable of comprehending the deep truths of God since the Spirit of God, who resides within him, reveals these truths to him.
Read 1 Corinthians 2:10-14 and Jeremiah 29:13
We see in these passages that a spiritual man seeks God with all his heart and understands the deep truths that the Holy Spirit reveals to him.
Read Jeremiah 33:3
Since the spiritual man knows that God speaks to him through His Spirit, he is constantly striving to gain a deeper understanding of God and His Word. He is aware that the Lord has much to teach him. This type of man examines everything in his life from God’s perspective. Having a deep reverence for God and His Word, he is drawn to everything that is pleasing to Him. His objective is to increase his understanding of the Lord, as well as for the Lord to reveal more of Himself to him. Additionally, this individual is also aware that he is becoming more like Jesus and that he will spend eternity with Him.
The Carnal Man
A carnal person is a Christian who acts and behaves like an unbeliever. Someone once said, “Sadly, the carnal man often claims he is a Christian, but demonstrates to the world that Christians are no different than anyone else.” Such an individual acts and behaves similarly to the natural man. He is led, not by the Spirit, but by his interests, passions, and desires. As a result, he succumbs to the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life.
Read 1 Corinthians 3:1-4
The apostle Paul informs us in this passage that carnal individuals stunt their spiritual development. This explains why many churchgoers attend services and volunteer at church but do not grow spiritually.
In the words of Don Stewart,
Carnal Christians operate like unbelievers. They behave like the natural (unsaved) person both internally and externally. Internally they will think and behave like a self-centered person. Their outward behavior will be no different than the unbeliever. (Source)
Read Galatians 5:19
In this verse, we are given a list of the works of the flesh, which can be used to evaluate our own lives and determine whether we are walking in the Spirit or in the flesh.
In his book, Called to Conquer, Derek Prince classified the work of the flesh into four categories:
In Called to Conquer, Derek Prince also states:
Christians may stay away from drunkenness and immorality but they do not seem to be able to stay away from strife, bitterness and hatred. God gives grace to the humble, not to those who insist on being right.
Read 1 Corinthians 1:7
Paul told the Corinthian church that they did not lack any spiritual gifts. This means that despite having faith that moved mountains, they could still be walking in the flesh. All of us are to be reminded that spiritual gifts are not earned, but given to us by grace.
Read Galatians 5:16-17 and Romans 8:7
Scripture forbids us to continue living a life of flesh because it is contrary to God’s will and it opposes the Spirit. We are instructed to starve the flesh and walk in the Spirit.
Read Galatians 5:22-26
In this verse, we are given another vital checklist for living a fruitful life in the Spirit. Paul exhorts us to examine our own lives to determine whether we are in harmony with the Holy Spirit. Do we have the fruit of the Spirit? Do we exhibit love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control?
Have you surrendered your life to Jesus Christ? Have you crucified your flesh?