Saturday, February 1, 2020

The Carnal Spirit

By Ron Thomas

    God’s wisdom far exceeds the wisdom of man (1:18-25). The wisdom of man, at best, can only be generated by his experiences in this world.  Yet, his experiences in this world are only of this world, and by the very nature of the case, his wisdom can’t take one from this world into the next. What can a person do then? He must listen to the Lord in all that He says. From that, he must understand then obey (Eph. 5:17). If he chooses to not understand (for he can understand; cf. Acts 13:46), the consequences are not positive (2 Thess. 1:7-9).  
    As God’s wisdom far exceed the wisdom of man, so the apostles speak God’s wisdom to their fellowman. How can one know the difference? Two ways: first, the ways of the Lord far excel the ways of man and people can hear the difference; second, this wisdom that came from God was in demonstration (2:1-4). God’s wisdom, while not of this world (origin), it is related to Him that is above this world for those of this world. You Corinthians, on the  other hand, have chosen a way of this world and it brought to you much that is mundane and ordinary. 
    The Corinthians have not accepted the wisdom of God and the consequences have been nothing but problems; the carnal spirit resides deeply within the hearts of many(3:1-6). They thought of themselves as wise, but look at the problems they faced! They didn’t have the Spirit of God that called upon them to live holy lives; instead, they chose to have the carnal (worldly) spirit that puts emphasis on one’s own way of thinking. 
    God’s wisdom starts and ends with the foundation of Jesus (3:10-15). If only  people would start, then finish with the wisdom of God in the life and teachings of Jesus, the carnal spirit that exists among people would die with conversion. 
    “You, Corinthians, need to apply the principle of not going beyond what is written” (4:6).  
    Here is what your wisdom has generated: you are divided (1:10), you allow a brother guilty of sexual immorality to be in good standing in your midst (5:1-8), you judge those outside the church, but fail to properly judge/discriminate those within (5:9-13), your wisdom has generated a litigious spirit (6:1-8)! This litigious approach has congregated you with those spiritually destructive behaviors you came from (6:9-11), your wisdom has not only generated division in the church (3:16-17), but it also is destroying God’s gift within you (6:19-20).

- Ron Thomas preacher for the Sunrush Church of Christ, Chillicothe, OH. He may be contacted through the congregation's website.

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