Things Are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
Three things in the New Testament are synonymous. Sin, Self, and Flesh. Anytime the Word of God describes someone as being "in the flesh", it is a description of sinfulness. Anytime His Word talks about "self", it is a classification of someone in sin. And of course, sin is sin. Your Bible may use the word "carnal" instead of flesh or fleshly, but it's the same thing. There are 11 references to "carnal", 423 to "flesh" and sin, well you get the picture. God describes our Pre-Christian nature in Eph. 2:3 where He says we followed - "the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind:" Romans 7:5 talks about - "when we were in the flesh". Romans 8:5 says that - "they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit." and 6 = "For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace". Paul writes in 1st Cor. 2:14 "But the natural man (carnal) receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." In chapter 1 vs 18, we learn that the very preaching of the Cross is - "folly" or "foolishness to them that are perishing. But to us who are being saved, it is the power of God".
Let's turn the ever unpopular Spiritual Switch. When someone earnestly tries to share the message of the Cross with you, what is your reaction? Pre 1986, I thought these Jesus freaks were indescribably stupid. They must need a crutch. Church was tantamount to mass hysteria or worse yet, mass hypnosis. Jesus was for old ladies and crippled people. I was young and strong and certainly didn't need anyone telling me what I needed to do or especially, to tell me what I needed not to do. Take a deep breath, and let me share a couple of things from post 1986. Jesus says something in Mark 4 that should scare us to death. He had been teaching in parables. In fact, that's nearly the only way He would teach. His disciples asked Him why, and His reply as recorded in 11-12 is chilling. "Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them." Does this make you mockingly shake your head? Is it all still "moronic"? If so, according to our Lord, you are "without" or outside the camp, or Lost. You are perishing because you stubbornly "received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved." 2nd Thes. 2:10 Just a nugget to chew on. No one in history, ever came to a saving knowledge of Jesus on an intellectual basis. "For by grace are ye saved, through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." Eph. 2:8-9 Doesn't make sense to you? Spiritual things are Spiritually discerned. Apart from a relationship with Jesus Christ, you have not the Spirit, and you cannot grasp things of the Spirit (His words not mine). If you haven't thrown the paper yet, there is Good News. "Whosoever shall call upon the name of The Lord, Shall be saved." Romans 10:13 For more information, contact a Christian. God Bless.