And I, brethren, was not able to speak to you as spiritual, but as carnal, as inarticulate babblers in Christ, 1 Corinthians 3:1

Carnal means to be emanating the things of the flesh. Those who are carnal are not able to understand Spiritual things, for when the mind is focused on fulfilling soulish (emotional) desires, the desires from the Spirit are not discernable, 1 Corinthians 2:14. One of the predominate signs of a Christian being carnal is one who causes divisions within the local assembly, usually through manifesting the religious works of the flesh. From the flesh comes idolatry and religious superstitious awe, both of which are presented as following God, when in reality they are seeking self-gratification and prefer feelings over the truth. If a person is considered wise and learned, let that one show proper works in objectivity of mind concerning wisdom, not in bitter envy and selfish ambition, for these are carnal, not Spiritual in nature, James 3:13-14. Where there is envy and selfish ambition there is disorder and all accomplished works are fallow because this type of wisdom is not from above, but is demonic in kind, James 3:15-16.

When a Christian is carnal, their mind is framed on the things of the flesh, not on Spiritual things, and therefore their actions will always produce unrighteousness and even sin. However, not all the desires from the flesh have a bad appearance to them. Religious superstitious awe involves religious things often involving the appearance or atmosphere of a building, or the way the clergy are presented to the assembly and separated out as those that are more “religious” than others. Religious superstitious awe heavily relies upon feelings, focusing on so called “worship services” and feel-good sermons. The types of works that it produces make the doer feel good, but do not produce anything of value. Although they may have an appearance of good by supporting the poor with having a food pantry, giving out school supplies to the community, having a community BBQ, or other events; however they are not focused on building up and caring for the saints, rather on giving what belongs to those of the assembly to the unbelievers so the leaders of the assembly have something to boast about as they make the congregation feel good about themselves.

Paul could not speak to the Corinthians saints as ones who were Spiritual, therefore he had to feed them with milk because they were not able to handle solid food. This was an assembly that had a lot of issues with being carnal, although they were fairly financially well off. And because of their carnality, even though plenty of time had passed for them to learn, Paul still could not talk to them as ones who are Spiritual. In the same way we read of divisions in this assembly, we also see them today as people follow an individual rather than God. I am of Paul, I am of Apollos, where today I go to this person’s church. Small groups within an assembly are also breeding grounds for division and heresy, for they, by their nature, separate out a small group of attendees to follow after a specific host. Yet, in the majority of assemblies these are heavily focused on.

In the last days, which we are clearly in, there will come mockers who are soulish and cause divisions, not having the Spirit of God. These are the ones who claim to speak in tongues, prophecy, heal, work miracles, or any other religious and often idolatrous means to persuade others they are closer to God. They have a good appearance, but mock Christianity and what Scripture states, basing what they are doing on what they “feel” God wants for them in contrast to what is revealed in Scripture. They divide themselves out as “born again Christians”, “baptized by fire”, or “born again Spirit filled believers”, and many other titles to separate themselves and appear more holy than others. They do not accept healthy teaching, which properly divides Scriptures based upon information that is to be learned but not practice and doctrine for the Christian. All because they are carnal and therefore unable to receive anything but milk from the word of God.

Overcoming the desires from the flesh, which are manipulated by the sin that dwells in us, requires us to take God at His Word and apply the truth. The truth is a specific set of instructions concerning how to have victory over our sin nature that Jesus first revealed in John 8:32 when He stated that the truth will set you free. Through Paul we are given the details on this defense. Know that we have died with Christ and are therefore also raised with Him to walk in newness of life, which frees us from slavery to the sin nature, Romans 6:6. Count this to be true, Romans 6:11, and then start yielding our members to righteousness, Romans 6:13. This type of attitude is going to set our minds on the things above as we seek out the desires from the Spirit. These desires involve seeking the best for others, so divisions among the saints will be rejected, for we are all part of one body and equal in Christ.

However, those who continue to follow after the desires of the flesh, even those who are learned, come to a point where they are not able to receive the truth and are therefore tossed around by their own fleshly desires and every wind of teaching that comes their way claiming to be Christian. They are not able to give a defense for the hope that they have, because their carnality and therefore lifestyle are contrary to the truth. These are the ones who cause divisions among the saints while claiming to be doing good.

Let us examine ourselves. Are we focusing on the desires from the flesh? Are we going to assemblies that make us feel good but know that the content of the message has little if any value in life? These types of environments produce Christians who are inarticulate babblers because they are carnal, always learning but never coming to a full experiential knowledge of Christ. Rather, let us reject the things of the flesh, including religiosity and divisions, and with a mind framed on the things above train our senses to know the difference between what is proper and what is wrong so that we act according to who we are in Christ, as sons, no longer remaining as inarticulate babblers.