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  • Originally posted by themuzicman View Post

    Maybe, now that you find yourself in a hole, you should stop digging.
    I am not twisting in the wind, nor have I dug an inescapable hole. You simply wish I would go away, I know. But when someone declares himself victor over me, when he isn't, it only eggs me on.

    Paul say that the Corinthians were in the state of the natural man, because they were fleshly and carnal.
    What I say.

    The difference between the "natural" and "spiritual" in this case, is not saved or unsaved, but the difference between someone who pursues the desires of the flesh, in this case superiority over other, rather than the desires of the spirit, which would be to mature in Christ.
    I disagree with your stretch to make this passage fit your stubborn ideas. A natural man is one who cannot comprehend the spiritual things of God, which includes the gospel message.



    And Paul doesn't preach the gospel to these people. He chides them for their immaturity! You've just made my point, unless you're going to claim that Paul was a bad apostle!
    Do you go to a church that does not preach the gospel continuously?







    Again, you make my point for me. Paul expects these Christians to be mature, to be prepared for spiritual meat, and they are not ready, because they are immature. If they were not Christians, Paul would not expect maturity from them.
    You are hung up on the "maturity" bit, while Paul tells these they are natural and act like "mere men."






    He doesn't continue to preach the gospel to them, but chides them for failing to mature in the faith that they already have.
    Well, the passage does not say so, and you continue to deny the Scriptures. What to do with you? Only God can correct your view.
    "The immutable God never learned anything and never changed his mind. He knew everything from eternity."

    " The difference between faith and saving faith are the propositions believed."
    Gordon H. Clark

    "If a man be lost, God must not have the blame for it; but if a man be saved, God must have the glory of it."
    Charles Spurgeon

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Nang View Post
      I am not twisting in the wind, nor have I dug an inescapable hole. You simply wish I would go away, I know. But when someone declares himself victor over me, when he isn't, it only eggs me on.
      Not at all. You're doing a great job of exposing the Calvinist error in exegeting this position. I just want to be sure that you know where you are.

      What I say
      All hail the almighty Nang.

      I disagree with your stretch to make this passage fit your stubborn ideas. A natural man is one who cannot comprehend the spiritual things of God, which includes the gospel message.
      LOL.. except that that exegesis doesn't fit the context. You can't assume the conclusion, and then think you're right!

      Do you go to a church that does not preach the gospel continuously?
      But Paul isn't preaching the gospel in this passage. That's the point. You must think that Paul is a bad apostle for not preaching the gospel to these poor souls! LOL.

      You are hung up on the "maturity" bit, while Paul tells these they are natural and act like "mere men."
      He also tells them that they have been feeding on spiritual milk, and are not ready for solid food. They have been saved, but are still acting in many ways like those who are not, and thus have not matured. if you actually read the text, Paul refers to maturity in 2:6, and that concept is reflected again right here in 3:1-3, with the comparison between milk and solid food!

      So, Paul is the one "hung up" on this maturity bit. I'm just following him.

      Well, the passage does not say so, and you continue to deny the Scriptures. What to do with you? Only God can correct your view.
      Your own evidence points to this fact. If they were unsaved, and Paul were a "good" apostle, he'd preach the gospel to them. But that's not what he's doing, here!. He's chiding them, because he expects those that are baptized into Christ to mature and the Corinthians are not!

      Thus, based upon the contextual evidence, the "spiritual things" of 2:14 cannot refer to the gospel.

      Muz
      I don't care how systematic your theology is, until you show me how biblical it is.

      2 Tim 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

      Comment


      • As an open theist I am willing to admit that God knows more than me. And I don't know any OVer who disagrees with that.

        Comment


        • Good point, Lighthouse.

          Muz
          I don't care how systematic your theology is, until you show me how biblical it is.

          2 Tim 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by themuzicman View Post
            If they were unsaved, and Paul were a "good" apostle, he'd preach the gospel to them. But that's not what he's doing, here!
            Paul taught, "For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words; lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect . . we preach Christ crucified . . in Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God . . and righteousness and sanctification and redemption . . ." I Cor. 1:17, 23a, 30

            That is the gospel, Michael.

            That is the basic gospel message; the milk of the word that, when applied by the Holy Spirit, regenerates and saves sinners. From faith in this basic good news, should come growth and further understanding of deeper teachings ("meat"), which evidences spiritual maturity.

            But within the church at Corinth, there were persons not able to proceed on to "solid food" for lack of discernment or comprehension of "the spiritual things of God." Jesus taught the same thing . . .unless one is born again from above, he cannot see (comprehend) the kingdom of God. (John 3:3)

            [/i]. He's chiding them, because he expects those that are baptized into Christ to mature and the Corinthians are not!
            Hallelujah! We agree. They had heard the gospel, been baptized, become members of the church, been treated as "babes," but they had not matured on to more "solid food" because they proved to still be in the flesh and carnal. They were not spiritual, because they did not produce the fruits of the Holy Spirit. They did not evidence the "mind of Christ."

            Thus, based upon the contextual evidence, the "spiritual things" of 2:14 cannot refer to the gospel.

            Muz
            I would be interested for you to list the "spiritual things" that could be taught in the church, without proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. What exactly do you think Paul was teaching these people?

            Or maybe I should ask you what you consider to be the gospel message.
            "The immutable God never learned anything and never changed his mind. He knew everything from eternity."

            " The difference between faith and saving faith are the propositions believed."
            Gordon H. Clark

            "If a man be lost, God must not have the blame for it; but if a man be saved, God must have the glory of it."
            Charles Spurgeon

            Comment


            • God of the Possible, by Gregory Boyd, touches on Ps. 139:16, a supposed proof text for EDF (see. p. 40 for an expansion on 4 principles).

              1) First, even if this verse said that the exact length of our lives was settled before we were born, it wouldn't follow that EVERYTHING about our future was settled before we were born, and certainly not that it was settled from all eternity. God can at some point predetermine and/or foreknow SOME things about the future without ETERNALLY predetermining and/or foreknowing EVERYTHING about the future.

              (rulz- we cannot extrapolate from some to all)

              2) Second, the fact that the literary form of this verse is poetry should strongly caution us against relying on it to settle doctrinal disputes. The point of this passage is to poetically express God's care for the psalmist from his conception, not to resolve metaphysical disputes regarding the nature of the future.

              (rulz- do not proof text; Muz has a point; what do more explicit passages teach in principle?)

              3) Third, the Hebrew in this passage is quite ambiguous. (describes...formed= determined or planned; some parts are not in the original Hebrew; days planned or body parts like KJV says).

              Ps. 139 is about God's moment-by-moment, intimate involvement in our lives (an unrelated idea about the future is out of place).

              4) Finally, even if we chose to take the subject matter of what is formed and written in this verse to be the days of the psalmist's life (not the parts of body), this does not require us to believe that the length of his life was unalterable (e.g. Hezekiah; Ex. 32; Rev. 3; God can alter things in response to prayer, etc.).

              This verse refers to God's intentions at the time of the psalmist's fetal development, not an unalterable decree of God.
              Know God and make Him known! (YWAM)

              They said: "Where is the God of Elijah?"
              I say: "Where are the Elijahs of God?" (Ravenhill "Why Revival Tarries")

              Rev. 1:17, 18; Jer. 9:23, 24

              "No Compromise!" (Keith Green)

              The Pledge: He died for me; I'll live for Him.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by godrulz View Post
                God of the Possible, by Gregory Boyd, touches on Ps. 139:16, a supposed proof text for EDF (see. p. 40 for an expansion on 4 principles).

                1) First, even if this verse said that the exact length of our lives was settled before we were born, it wouldn't follow that EVERYTHING about our future was settled before we were born, and certainly not that it was settled from all eternity. God can at some point predetermine and/or foreknow SOME things about the future without ETERNALLY predetermining and/or foreknowing EVERYTHING about the future.

                (rulz- we cannot extrapolate from some to all)

                2) Second, the fact that the literary form of this verse is poetry should strongly caution us against relying on it to settle doctrinal disputes. The point of this passage is to poetically express God's care for the psalmist from his conception, not to resolve metaphysical disputes regarding the nature of the future.

                (rulz- do not proof text; Muz has a point; what do more explicit passages teach in principle?)

                3) Third, the Hebrew in this passage is quite ambiguous. (describes...formed= determined or planned; some parts are not in the original Hebrew; days planned or body parts like KJV says).

                Ps. 139 is about God's moment-by-moment, intimate involvement in our lives (an unrelated idea about the future is out of place).

                4) Finally, even if we chose to take the subject matter of what is formed and written in this verse to be the days of the psalmist's life (not the parts of body), this does not require us to believe that the length of his life was unalterable (e.g. Hezekiah; Ex. 32; Rev. 3; God can alter things in response to prayer, etc.).

                This verse refers to God's intentions at the time of the psalmist's fetal development, not an unalterable decree of God.

                All of this commentary confirms the OV theories are basically humanistic. So far, all of you read and interpret Scripture according to the opinions of men, focusing on the issues and makeup of finite men, rather than on focusing on God.

                David was inspired by the Holy Spirit to reveal the divine attributes of God the Son, Who was:

                Omniscient: Verses 1-6

                Omnipresent: Verses 7-12

                Creator: Verses 13-16

                Determinate Sovereign: Verses 17-18

                High Priest /Mediator: Verses 19-22

                Savior: Verses 23-24

                If one denies that God, who creates children in the womb, does not also know all the days of that particular life, including its destiny . . .then one must also deny that God; who conceived the Son in the womb of woman, likewise did not know the days and final destiny of Jesus Christ.

                Was God really surprised when wicked men crucified His Son?

                However, if God knew the makings, birth, days, and destiny of the Son of Man, Jesus Christ . . .what man dare deny God knows the makings, birth, days, and destinies of all the human race?

                Only short-sighted syncophants would deny even a single attribute of infinite Creator God, but this is the plain argument, confession, and witness of Nang, who worships her Maker for all that He is, all that He knows, all that He has done, all that He does, and all that He still intends to do.
                "The immutable God never learned anything and never changed his mind. He knew everything from eternity."

                " The difference between faith and saving faith are the propositions believed."
                Gordon H. Clark

                "If a man be lost, God must not have the blame for it; but if a man be saved, God must have the glory of it."
                Charles Spurgeon

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Nang View Post
                  For the record, but not to start an intra-Calvinist argument, I hold to the Supralapsarian view, but I am NOT a hyper-Calvinist.

                  A hyper-Calvinist is one who does not believe in or practice evangelism.

                  Nang
                  Nang,

                  Yes, I assumed I would get some flack for this. The "hyper-Calvinist" label originated with the infra/supra distinctions and it has morphed into too many new connotations that I can no longer keep up. I opted to use the label in the manner that it was originally associated--to distinguish between the supra and infra positions.
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                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Ask Mr. Religion View Post
                    Nang,

                    Yes, I assumed I would get some flack for this. The "hyper-Calvinist" label originated with the infra/supra distinctions and it has morphed into too many new connotations that I can no longer keep up. I opted to use the label in the manner that it was originally associated--to distinguish between the supra and infra positions.
                    There was distinction made between both positions amongst the authors of the Westminster Confession of Faith, with the Infras outnumbering the Supras, but none of the divines used the accusation of being theologically "hyper" against each other. All treated each other with a large measure of respect.

                    I only hope you did not pick up the label according to more recent Philip Johnson-speak, for if so, you have been led to use the term as an epithet rather than a description of a certain, and very rare Calvinist sect.
                    "The immutable God never learned anything and never changed his mind. He knew everything from eternity."

                    " The difference between faith and saving faith are the propositions believed."
                    Gordon H. Clark

                    "If a man be lost, God must not have the blame for it; but if a man be saved, God must have the glory of it."
                    Charles Spurgeon

                    Comment


                    • Just how important do you think this open theism is?

                      I mean I guess it's fun to play around with, but do you listen to sermons about open theism on Sundays and act smugly on how wrong Calvanists are?

                      What do Calvanists care? Doesn't it take away from more important issues like the beatitudes?

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by baloney View Post
                        Just how important do you think this open theism is?

                        I mean I guess it's fun to play around with, but do you listen to sermons about open theism on Sundays and act smugly on how wrong Calvanists are?

                        What do Calvanists care? Doesn't it take away from more important issues like the beatitudes?
                        It is of critical importance, because everyone who grows up as a Calvinist will, at some point in there life, face a crisis and come face to face with the idea that whatever tragic situation they are going though, is happening because God wanted it to happen!
                        God wanted my Dad to leave my mom!
                        God wanted me to be raped!
                        God wanted a drunk driver to kill my family!
                        God wanted my children and grand children to reject Him and go to Hell because they were not "elected"!
                        It is a sick and twisted view of God and it is a lie from the pit of Hell!

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Delmar View Post
                          It is of critical importance, because everyone who grows up as a Calvinist will, at some point in there life, face a crisis and come face to face with the idea that whatever tragic situation they are going though, is happening because God wanted it to happen!
                          God wanted my Dad to leave my mom!
                          God wanted me to be raped!
                          God wanted a drunk driver to kill my family!
                          God wanted my children and grand children to reject Him and go to Hell because they were not "elected"!
                          It is a sick and twisted view of God and it is a lie from the pit of Hell!
                          Well said Delmar!

                          The Open View is all about what sort of God we serve or who God is. The Calvinist who doesn't or can't deal with the Biblical and rational arguments for Open Theism throws out the "humanist" straw man argument only to demonstrate their complete misunderstanding (usually willful misunderstanding) of the doctrine. All theological movements, including Calvinism, are fundamentally based upon a "Theology Proper" and Open Theism is no exception, which makes sense since theology is nothing more than the 'logos of the theos' or the logic (i.e. study) of God. If your understanding of God is wrong so will your theology be and conversely if your theology is wrong so will be your understanding of God. Thus the primary difference between Open Theism and Calvinism or Arminianism or any other settled view theology has primarily to do who God is.

                          Is God more like the creatures who, according to God's own testimony, were made by Him in His own image and likeness; enough like us that we can intimately relate to Him in ways that are meaningful and fulfilling for both Him and us, or is He like the gods of the Greeks, totally transcendent in every conceivable manner; so unlike us that we cannot help but contradict ourselves and sound silly when discussing even His simplest of attributes?

                          That is the fundamental question being debating between the Open Theists and everyone else.

                          Resting in Him,
                          Clete
                          sigpic
                          "The [open view] is an attempt to provide a more Biblically faithful, rationally coherent, and practically satisfying account of God and the divine-human relationship..." - Dr. John Sanders

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Delmar View Post
                            It is of critical importance, because everyone who grows up as a Calvinist will, at some point in there life, face a crisis and come face to face with the idea that whatever tragic situation they are going though, is happening because God wanted it to happen!
                            God wanted my Dad to leave my mom!
                            God wanted me to be raped!
                            God wanted a drunk driver to kill my family!
                            God wanted my children and grand children to reject Him and go to Hell because they were not "elected"!
                            It is a sick and twisted view of God and it is a lie from the pit of Hell!
                            Persons living and escaping Hell, due to the grace of God, absorb all the negative events of life, attributing divorce, rape, drunkenness, unbelief, etc. to the sins of man, trusting by faith in the justice of God that will eternally resolve these natural results of sin by deserved Godly judgments against these sins.

                            They do so by belief in God's promises, not only of forgiveness of sins and escape from such calamnities and judgements, but by belief in God's sovereign goodness, wisdom, and intent to "work all things together for good for those who love Him." Romans 8:28


                            Someone has taught you a "sick and twisted view" of Calvinism.

                            Delmar,

                            Tell me . . .is your belief in the OV primarily your reaction to what you have apparently been taught (wrongly) about Calvinism?

                            Nang
                            "The immutable God never learned anything and never changed his mind. He knew everything from eternity."

                            " The difference between faith and saving faith are the propositions believed."
                            Gordon H. Clark

                            "If a man be lost, God must not have the blame for it; but if a man be saved, God must have the glory of it."
                            Charles Spurgeon

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by themuzicman View Post
                              1 Cor 2:14 cannot refer to the gospel, and thus does not support Total depravity.
                              Muz, I have no idea what "cannot refer to the gospel" means, but let's take a careful look at the book. It is a favorite of mine that I have preached from often.

                              The situation at Corinth:

                              Paul wrote for three reasons.
                              1. To draw the church back together in a spirit of unity as one body in Christ. The church was severely divided and split, feuding and arguing and forming cliques.
                              2. To deal with moral laxity in the church.
                              3. To answer certain questions the church had requested Paul to answer: questions concerning marriage, Christian liberty and rights, public worship, spiritual gifts, and the resurrection from the dead.

                              The city had a large population, a real mixture of nationalities including Greeks, Latins, Jews, Egyptians, Syrians, and Asiatics. The large population and material prosperity made the city a sports minded center. The Isthmian Games, considered the most important athletic events next to the Olympics, were held in the city. Corinth was also morally corrupt. Material prosperity and traveling tradesmen made for a spirit of partying, drunkenness, and all sorts of immoral living. The city's very name, "Corinth," became a by-word for evil and immoral living. Even the worship of the local residents centered around the great goddess of love, Aphrodite. The temple housed 1,000 sacred prostitutes.

                              Corinth was an intellectual and cultural center as well. Personal development and pleasure were the pursuit, whether pursued culturally or recklessly and immorally. There was little recognition of law, save the law of a man's desires. Corinth had explosive potential for world-wide missions. It has been estimated that the population was more than a half-million. Morally, the city desperately needed the gospel. If the gospel could make an impact for morality, the message would be heard around the world. Geographically, the city was strategic and fitted Paul's strategy perfectly.

                              The Church at Corinth
                              When Paul entered Corinth, he entered "in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling" (1 Cor. 2:3)—apparently discouraged. He had faced severe opposition in his three ministries immediately prior to Corinth. The Judaizers had run him out of Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea. Even in Athens, he had experienced little success. Now, facing Corinth, he was confronting a hodgepodge of every sort, a city of diverse population and culture, a population that was proud, intellectual, busy, and immoral. And he was apparently alone, with Silas and Timothy having remained in Macedonia to minister. He was, so to speak, at the mercy of God alone.

                              God met Paul's need. Almost immediately, God brought across Paul's path two believers, Aquila and Priscilla, who were tentmakers by profession. These two godly Jews had been expelled from Rome along with all other Jews by the decrees of Emperor Claudius (Acts 18:2-3). Silas and Timothy also returned to him soon afterwards, bringing news that the Thessalonian believers were standing firm against persecution (Acts 18:5). Encouraged and pressed in the spirit, Paul immediately entered the synagogue and began his ministry, testifying that Jesus is the Christ (Acts 18:5).

                              Paul met with such success he was forced out of the synagogue by the hostile Jews. He moved next door to the synagogue into a house owned by Justus, which became his base of operations. Apparently to prevent further discouragement, God gave Paul a vision assuring him that many people in that city were to be reached for Christ (Acts 18:10). His ministry lasted eighteen months, the longest of any ministry other than the three years he spent with the Ephesian Church.

                              The converts at Corinth paint a clear picture of the kind of success Paul experienced in city after city. So far as is known, the only Jewish converts under his personal ministry were Crispus and his household. He was the chief ruler of the synagogue (Acts 18:8). As was the case in other cities, the largest number of converts were Gentiles, who had earlier become attracted to the Jewish religion because of its stress upon high morals and belief in one God. Judaism was especially attractive to women, especially well-to-do women. They were citizens of an immoral world that gave no rights to women; thus, they found great security in a religion of high morality. However, most Gentiles, despite their attraction to Judaism, were repulsed by Jewish nationalism and rites, such as circumcision. It was these who turned a ready ear to the gospel of Christ, who were by far the greatest number of converts.

                              There were some wealthy converts. Gaius was the host of Paul and the whole church (Romans 16:23). Erastus was the chamberlain (treasurer) of the city. Chloe was probably a lady of extreme wealth with business interests in both Corinth and Ephesus (1 Cor. 1:11). Some believers were engaged in legal disputes and others were attending wealthy banquets. These two engagements indicate wealth. However, the greatest number of converts came from average folk and from folk who had come from the most sinful backgrounds imaginable. Remember: Corinth was one of the cesspools of immorality and night club life in the ancient world. As Paul so clearly says, "...not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence" (1 Cor. 1:26-29).

                              A grasp of Paul's contacts with the church will give a much better understanding of the Corinthian situation.

                              a. Contact 1: Paul's founding of the church.
                              b. Contact 2: Paul writes a letter that has since been lost (1 Cor. 5:9).
                              c. Contact 3: Paul, in Ephesus, receives disturbing news of division and moral corruption within the church from two sources. There is a visit from the household of Chloe (1 Cor. 1:11), and there is a letter from the church requesting answers to certain questions (1 Cor. 7:1f).
                              d. Contact 4: Paul writes 1 Corinthians.
                              e. Contact 5: Paul apparently hears that things get worse and he makes a hurried visit to Corinth. However, he is painfully disappointed in its results (2 Cor. 12:14; 2 Cor. 1:15). This visit is questioned by some; however, it is almost certain. "I determined that I would not come again to you in heaviness" (2 Cor. 2:1) just does not fit Paul's first visit. His first visit was anything but a disappointing experience.
                              f. Contact 6: after Paul recovers his spiritual composure and strength, he writes the severe letter and sends it by Titus. (It is mentioned in 2 Cor. 2:4 and 7:8.)
                              g. Contact 7: in waiting for an answer, Paul becomes so anxious he strikes out to meet Titus. He meets him in Macedonia and learns that the severe letter has made its impact. Therefore, he sits down, probably right there in Philippi, and writes 2 Corinthians.
                              h. Contact 8: he pays a final visit to the church (Acts 20:1-4).

                              What can we say about this Epistle?
                              1. 1 Corinthians, along with 2 Corinthians, is "The Epistle that Reveals Paul's Personal Character." Charge after charge is leveled against Paul. He spends a good deal of time in both letters answering these charges.
                              2. 1 Corinthians is "The Epistle Written to Answer a Church's Specific Questions".
                              3. 1 Corinthians is "The Epistle that Answers the Problems Confronted by a Pioneer Church".
                              4. 1 Corinthians is "An Epistle Written to a Carnal Church."
                              5. 1 Corinthians is "The Diversified Epistle." Paul deals with more different subjects in 1 Corinthians than he does in any other epistle.

                              Looking at the entire book, the following outline of the first four chapters emerges:

                              I. THE GREETING, 1:1-9
                              A. Some Foundational Facts, 1:1-3
                              The messenger of Christ is called by God's will. It is God who calls men and women to serve Him, not the men and women who choose to serve God. Paul was called by God to be an apostle, which means he was appointed by God to be a messenger, a witness, a missionary to carry the gospel of Christ to men. In Paul's particular case, some of the Corinthian believers were questioning and denying his call by God (1 Cor. 9:1-2; cp. 2 Cor. 10:10). Note that the very first words written by Paul are the declaration of his call by God.

                              The messenger of God is called to be a brother to other believers. Note that Paul called Sosthenes our brother, which means he was a brother in Christ. Sosthenes was probably one of the men sent by the Corinthian church to deliver their letter to Paul—the letter which asked Paul the questions that he answers here in First Corinthians.

                              The local church is addressed by Paul. Paul's introduction to the church is revealing because it points out just what a church is.
                              1. The local church is born of God: it is "the church of God, which is at Corinth"; that is, it is God's church in a particular city or locality. The church is not the church of Corinth or of any other city; it is the church which has been given birth by God; therefore, it belongs to God.

                              2. The local church and its believers are set apart in Christ and called saints. The word sanctified means to be set apart or separated. God's church is to be set apart and separated unto Him. The idea is that believers are not to be taken out of the world, but they are to be different from the world. Their life-style and purpose in life are to be different. They are to live holy lives and to no longer love the world or touch the unclean things of the world.

                              3. The local church and its believers are identified with all other believers. The church is universal. There is no exclusiveness, no superiority in the church of God—not in the true church. There may be caste systems and levels of superiority in some churches that dishonor the name of Christ and in the man-made religions of the world, but not in the true church of God. This was a problem in the Corinthian church. Some were claiming to be superior and to have a more special relationship to Christ than others. Super-spirituality and pride were seeping into the lives of some—to such a point that the whole fellowship of the church was being threatened (cp. 1 Cor. 1:12; 2 Cor. 10:7).

                              4. The local church and its believers experience grace and peace. Grace means the favor of God. It means all the good and perfect gifts of God, all the good and beneficial things He gives to us and does for us, whether physical, material, or spiritual (James 1:17). Peace is the result or fruit of God's favor: peace with God and peace with men. When a man receives the grace of God, he is immediately reconciled to God and man. He is given fellowship with God and a love for all other men.

                              B. Some Resources for the Believer, 1:4-9
                              Note that the name of Jesus Christ is mentioned ten times in the first ten verses. Paul wanted the minds of the Corinthian believers to be immediately centered upon Jesus Christ. He knew this: the answer to the Corinthian problems did not lie in his ability to discuss and reason, nor in his laying down rules and regulations for them, but in Jesus Christ. Therefore, he immediately discussed some of the resources which the believer receives when he accepts Jesus Christ as his Savior and Lord.
                              1. Resource 1: the grace of God (v.4).
                              2. Resource 2: the gifts of God's grace and Spirit (v.5-6).
                              3. Resource 3: Jesus Christ Himself—His security (v.8).
                              4. Resource 4: God Himself—His call (v.9).

                              II. THE DIVISION IN THE CHURCH, 1:10-4:21
                              A. The Problem: A Divided Church, 1:10-16

                              The church at Corinth was in a sad state. The fellowship among believers had deteriorated to such a degree that it was about to crumble and collapse. There was severe division and dissension in the ranks: verbal accusations, differing opinions, competitive positions, power struggles, envy, contention, grumbling, griping, complaining, murmuring, quarreling, attacking, and gossiping. Believer stood against believer, and there was no give in any corner. Disaster was about to strike; the church was divided and a severe split was threatened.

                              This was the first problem dealt with by Paul. There were other problems in the church, other matters that had to be handled, but the people could not handle them unless they were brought together in one spirit and mind. The ministry and mission of the church could not effectively go on until the people stood together. Worship, exhortation, missions, and reaching and ministering to people—the very cause of Christ, the very reason He came to earth and died—was affected and would continue to suffer until the people were brought together.

                              Fortunately God has an answer to every division, no matter how severe and threatening. In fact, the Holy Spirit through Paul gives eleven answers or solutions to division within the church.

                              B. Answer One: The Cross, 1:17-25
                              C. Answer Two: Seeing God's Simple and Humble People, 1:26-31
                              D. Answer Three: Sound Preaching, 2:1-5
                              E. Answer Four: God's Revealed Wisdom, 2:6-13
                              F. Answer Five: Understanding the Spiritual Stages of Man, 2:14-3:4
                              G. Answer Six: Seeing Who Ministers Really Are, 3:5-9
                              H. Answer Seven: Being a Wise Builder and Laborer within the Church, 3:10-17
                              I. Answer Eight: Renouncing Self-Deception, 3:18-23
                              J. Answer Nine: Letting God Judge Ministers, 4:1-5
                              K. Answer Ten: Not Comparing and Judging Ministers, 4:6-13
                              L. Answer Eleven: Seeing and Understanding the Spirit of God's Minister, 4:14-21

                              Note from the above, we find Paul instructing and exhorting the church, to move them beyond their current immature divisive state of affairs. Let’s examine the passage in question as it relates to the outline above:

                              F. Answer Five: Understanding the Spiritual Stages of Man, 2:14-3:4

                              Divisiveness is a terrible problem, one of the most damaging and devastating problems existing in our world. Divisiveness leads to anger, fights, divorce, murder, and war. One of the answers to solving divisiveness is to see ourselves as God sees us. When God looks at a person, God sees that person in one of three classifications. In the passages Paul is instructing the church about these matters.

                              1. The natural man (v.14)
                              2. The spiritual man (v.15-16)
                              3. The carnal man (1 Cor. 3:1-4)

                              Natural Man
                              What the Greek calls the psuchikos, man. The word "natural" means a man who has physical life or who is living. The root word is soul (psuche), which simply means the life of a man, the consciousness, the breath, the energy, the being of a man. The soul is the animal life of a man. Men and animals are breathing and conscious beings. They are living souls. This is clearly pointed out in the creation of animal life. When God was creating the world and He had finished the creation of vegetation, He said: "Let the waters bring forth abundantly 'living souls' (hephesh) that hath life" (Genesis 1:20).

                              What God was saying is that the life He was then creating was different from the vegetation He had just created. The things that were now being created were "living souls," things that breathe and possess consciousness—things that have "souls," life, and consciousness within their bodies.

                              The point is this: the natural man is a living soul, an animal soul; he is a man who is living on this earth, just as an animal. However, that is all he is doing. He is living in the flesh only. He has gotten no further than the flesh, no further than his animal life.

                              There is another way to say the same thing which is extremely helpful. The natural man is the Adamic man, the man who has fallen from the perfection of his creation. The natural man is...
                              - the fallen and depraved man.
                              - the sinful and corrupt man.
                              - the aging and deteriorating man.
                              - the dying and doomed man.

                              The natural man is the morally corrupt man, the man whose spirit is dead to God. He is a man with a human nature, and the human nature is all he has. His nature is human nature apart from God. It is a Christless human nature, a nature that will not believe and obey and live for Christ. It is life lived without the presence and influence of Jesus Christ.

                              Three things are said about the natural man.
                              1. The natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God. The phrase "receive not" (ou dechetai) means that spiritual things are not welcomed as a guest, are not accepted. It means to refuse and reject. Spiritual things are of little if any concern to the natural man. The natural man's life and mind are spent focusing upon the natural, upon this world and not upon the spiritual; therefore, in God's eyes he is classified as the natural man. His heart welcomes only the world; it is closed to God. God is not welcomed into his life. Therefore, he does not receive the things of the Spirit of God.

                              2. The natural man considers the things of God foolishness. The word "foolishness" (moria) means dull, absurd, distasteful. The natural man lives primarily for the animal part of his nature: he lives primarily for what looks good, feels good, tastes good, sounds good. The man who gives in to these instincts and urges is the person who lives as the natural man. To him the things of God are secondary, of less importance. Why? Because he cannot see, feel, taste, hear, or prove spiritual things—not with his physical senses. Therefore, to his mind, it is utterly foolish to put spiritual things first.

                              3. The natural man cannot know spiritual things. Note the word cannot. It is not only that the natural man will not and does not know spiritual things, but he cannot know them. He is incapable, unable, helpless to know them. He cannot discern spiritual things.

                              Why can the natural man not know spiritual things? Very simply, because they are spiritually discerned. The word "discerned" (anakrinetai) means investigated, judged, scrutinized, examined, estimated. Spiritual things have to be discerned by a living spirit, not by a natural man, not by a man who is primarily living by his animal nature. Spiritual things can be discerned only by a spirit that is living.

                              Spiritual Man
                              There is the spiritual man or what the Greek calls the pneumatikos, man. The word "spirit" (pneuma) is the word used for the Holy Spirit which means that the spiritual man is a person in whom the Holy Spirit dwells. A man is spiritual because the Holy Spirit dwells in him. A man becomes spiritual because he has received the Spirit of God and is living under the influence of the Spirit of God. Such a person is said to be:
                              1. born again by the Spirit of God (John 3:5-6; cp. 1 Cor. 3:16; 1 Cor. 6:19; 1 Peter 1:23)
                              2. minds the things of God, not the things of the flesh (Romans 8:5-6)
                              3. is in the Spirit and the Spirit dwells in him (Romans 8:9; John 14:16-17)
                              4. the Spirit imparts life to him (Romans 8:10)
                              5. the Spirit quickens his mortal body (Romans 8:11; cp. 1 Peter 3:18; John 6:63)
                              6. he can kill the sinful deeds of his body only by the Spirit (Romans 8:13; Galatians 5:16)
                              7. the presence of the Spirit's leadership in the man's life proves that he is a child of God (Romans 8:16-17; Galatians 4:6; 1 John 3:24; 1 John 4:13; 1 John 5:6)

                              We can say three things about the spiritual man:
                              1. The spiritual man judges or discerns all things. The word judges means the very same thing as discern in the former verse. The point is that the man who is truly spiritual lives under the control of God's Spirit. God's Spirit lives within his body. Therefore, it is the Holy Spirit of God who reveals the truth of spiritual things to the man. This is critical to note: the ability to discern is not the man's; it is the Holy Spirit within the man (Romans 8:9; 1 Cor. 3:16; 1 Cor. 6:19; 2 Peter 1:4; Ephes. 4:24; Col. 3:10).

                              2. The spiritual man is not understood by the natural man. Note how Scripture words this point: the spiritual man is "judged of no man" (1 Cor. 2:15). This statement has been abused and misused to such a degree that some men have become not only laughingstocks, but stumblingblocks to the innocent. This is tragic, for the meaning is perfectly clear when kept in the context of this passage.

                              "No man" means the natural man, the man just talked about. The natural man has little concern and little knowledge of Christ and God; therefore, there is no human way he can understand the spiritual man. A man knows only that which he experiences and studies: common sense and honesty tell us this. There is no way a man can judge spiritual things unless he experiences and studies spiritual things. Therefore, the natural man cannot understand why any person would want to put his efforts into and waste his time upon matters that are "other-worldly." After all, we live in this world, not the other world, not yet. Hence, the natural man feels that our primary concern should be upon this world (this is true even with religionists). The natural man might argue that a little thought about spiritual things is acceptable, but not the focusing of a person's whole life. The point is that the natural man just does not understand the spiritual man. To him the spiritual man is a fool for passing up this world and all the good things this world has to offer.

                              3. The spiritual man has the "mind of Christ." This is the reason the believer can discern spiritual things: he has the "mind of Christ." This does not mean that the spiritual man knows all there is to know about Christ, but it means that his mind is focused upon God and the things of God just as the mind of Christ was. The Spirit of God pulls, draws, and stirs the mind of the genuine believer to spiritual things (Phil. 2:5-8; Luke 9:23-24; Romans 8:5-6).

                              Carnal Man
                              The Corinthians are called "carnal" (sarkinois, 1 Cor. 3:1) which means flesh. The ending "inos" means "to be made of." Paul is saying that the Corinthians were human beings, made of flesh. Their problem was that they were living as though they were nothing but flesh. They were still living at the human level of life. They had never gotten beyond the affairs and material things of this life. They acted as though this world was all there was.

                              The word "carnal" (sarkikoi, 1 Cor. 3:3) is also used. The ending "ikos" means to be "characterized by." Paul is saying that the Corinthians were not only "made of flesh" but characterized and "dominated by the flesh." They were allowing the flesh and its passions to captivate and control their behavior. They were living on the level of the flesh, dominated by it.

                              The word "flesh" is used to describe two different men.
                              1. There is the natural or Adamic man.
                              2. There is the carnal or fleshly man. The carnal man follows the lower part of his nature. He follows the unregulated urges that are prone to sin and to center attention upon oneself. He lives a life that is opposed to God (Romans 4:14, 18). A carnal life refers to far more than just bodily or sexual sins. Galatians 5:19-21 shows this. Bodily and sexual sins are included, but so are sins of the spirit such as greed, selfishness, hatred, pride, and idolatry. It also includes that part of man that subjects a person to a legal and enslaving spirit, a spirit that subjects him to rituals and ceremonies and to rules and regulations (Galatians 3:3; Galatians 4:9). Simply stated, the man who is carnal is a man who lives after the flesh. He is a man who allows his lower nature, the worst part of his being, to influence and dominate his life.

                              We can say three things about the carnal man.
                              1. The carnal man is not spiritually mature; he is as a babe in Christ. Note that the carnal man is a true believer. He is a babe in Christ, but he is deformed just like a deformed baby. He should be more mature, more developed spiritually, but he has not grown in Christ. The carnal man does not know Christ and the things of God like he should. His mind and behavior are not focused upon Christ like they should be. He has been a believer for years, but he knows little about Christ and God.

                              2. The carnal man has to be fed with milk and not the meat of the Word. This does not mean there are two sets of teachings, nor that there are two sets of beliefs, one for the learned believer and another for the unlearned. The same gospel is preached to all, and the same Word is studied by all; but some have paid attention, studied, prayed, and served Christ more than others. Therefore, they naturally know more about God's Word, and know more about what it means to pray and walk in Christ. The spiritual believer knows and experiences more of the depth of spiritual things than the carnal believer, much more. Therefore, the carnal believer has to be fed the very basics and not the depths of God's Word (Mark 4:33; John 16:12; 1 Cor. 3:2; 1 Cor. 9:22; 1 Cor. 14:20; Ephes. 4:14; Heb. 5:12; 1 Pe. 2:2).

                              3. The carnal man is characterized by division. Division is striking proof that a man or a people are carnal, whether the division be in a church or in a family. Carnality is clearly seen in envying and strife. Envy leads to jealousy, and jealousy leads to division. When people become jealous of one another, they become divided and begin to strive or argue and wrangle with one another. Carnality is seen when believers begin to walk and act like men of the world. Men in the world live for the world, so they want and struggle for all they can get for the least amount of effort. Carnality is seen when believers begin to follow men and form cliques (Rom. 6:6; Rom. 8:7; Ephes. 4:17; Ephes. 4:22-24; Col. 2:18; Col. 3:9-10; Titus 1:15; 1 Pet. 4:1-4).
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                              • Originally posted by Ask Mr. Religion View Post

                                The word "flesh" is used to describe two different men.
                                1. There is the natural or Adamic man.
                                [FONT=Verdana]2. There is the carnal or fleshly man.
                                There is no difference between the two.

                                The natural man is carnal; a man of flesh and no spirit.





                                We can say three things about the carnal man.
                                [FONT=Verdana]1. The carnal man is not spiritually mature; he is as a babe in Christ. Note that the carnal man is a true believer.
                                I must strongly disagree with your teaching.

                                A true believer is born of the Spirit, who has repented of his flesh and carnal nature.

                                There is no such thing as a "carnal" Christian who fails to grow and conform to the image of Christ.

                                Your exposition disappoints me greatly, and I consider your discourse no improvement over muzicman's erroneous view.

                                Nang
                                "The immutable God never learned anything and never changed his mind. He knew everything from eternity."

                                " The difference between faith and saving faith are the propositions believed."
                                Gordon H. Clark

                                "If a man be lost, God must not have the blame for it; but if a man be saved, God must have the glory of it."
                                Charles Spurgeon

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