Friday, July 19, 2002
A sincere student asked how he could be assured of being a Spiritual Christian. This column is too short to list all of the characteristics that contribute to the spirituality of the devout Pharisee but we can summarize it in a single phrase. The Spiritual Christian is the one who walks day by day in the Center of God’s Will.
There is no room for compromise here. The Carnal Christian is one who may aim at following God’s will for his life but doesn’t quite hit it dead center. They may have good intentions but can’t quite make it to the high standards of achieving God’s Perfect Will. They lack the level of dedication and discernment that we possess as Spiritual Christians. They are people who deviate from God’s Plan for their lives. It is as if God gave them a road map for their lives and they chose to stray along the byways instead of staying on the Path.
Christians who don’t live every day in the Center of God’s Will make up the bulk of Christianity in America today. These carnal Christians don’t know the benefits of living on a higher spiritual plateau. These are people who have made Jesus their Savior but they have not made him their Lord. He is not sitting on the throne of their hearts, as it were. They make up the lower class of Christians, the Carnal Christians we hear so much about and see so much in evidence today. These are the shallow, self-centered, unlearned mass of professing Christians.
Some would argue that all of us have aspects of carnality in our lives and we are all Carnal Christians to one degree or another. While this may be true for most Christians, those of us who are Spiritual have graduated to a higher plane of Christianity. Our lives are not dominated, controlled or even influenced by carnal desires. We “give no place to the flesh” and submit to its lusts. We have achieved victory over sin in our lives and are “walking in the light.” I would admit that early on in my Christian experience I may have been a Carnal Christian but I have now matured into a Spiritual Christian.
Others will ask, “How can I know God’s Perfect Will for my life?” This is a rather simple and easy to follow process, but of course it is one that is too long to explain in a single column. Just be warned that the difference between a fruitful productive Spiritual existence and a carnal worldly one is as slight as the difference between following God’s will perfectly and following His will imperfectly. Fortunately for Carnal Christians who don’t want to remain such, there are Spiritual Christians like me who will show them the Path to true spirituality.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
Philippians 2:3 (NIV)
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