The Apostle Paul - “You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you acting like people of the world?” (1 Corinthians 3:2-3)
Little children are rarely concerned with the great issues of life. They are completely self-focused. They are often obsessed with getting what they want even if it negatively impacts others. Unnatural, “carnal” Christians act the same way.
We learn in the Bible that the Corinthian church had become involved in a petty argument over different Christian personalities. They were engaged in the favorite preacher syndrome. Some were in the Paul camp because he was such a great theologian. Others were in the Peter camp because he told it like it was. Still others were in the Apollos camp because he was such a great speaker and had a cool name. The Apostle Paul’s response to this squabble was as follows: “When one of you says, ‘I am a follower of Paul,’ and another says, ‘I follow Apollos,’ aren’t you acting just like the people of the world?” (1 Corinthians 3:4) Later in that same chapter, Paul writes, “So don’t boast about following a particular human leader. For everything belongs to you-whether Paul or Apollos or Peter, or the world, or life and death, or the present and the future. Everything belongs to you, and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.”
“Carnal” Christians are “chameleon” Christians who act just like the lost, unsaved people of the world - and that is, an “unnatural” way to live. As easy as it is to point this out, we need to remember that each of us, at one point or another, has acted like “carnal” Christians. Sooner or later, we’ve all been in bondage to strongholds such as anger, bitterness, critical spirit, etc… However, if we surrender to the Lord and submit to the power and will of the Holy Spirit, we don’t have to live that way. The Apostle Paul writes, “Let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.” (Galatians 5:16)
The Apostle Paul learned how to live supernaturally instead of naturally or unnaturally. He writes, “I have discovered this principle of life - that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 7:24-25)
Followup Activity - On a note card or piece of paper, write out Romans 7:24-25 and read it today before every meal. If you’re leading your family through this devotion, have each person do the same and then read it together before meal times.
Prayer for Today - Lord, I surrender to Your Holy Spirit. Help me to live a supernatural life through You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.