It’s important to know where we are in our spiritual maturity, in order to grow into what we could be. The Bible places men and women in three different categories: natural, spiritual, or carnal. As Christians, we want to be spiritual men and women, but in order to get there, we must begin to see the Bible as a roadmap to maturity.
1 Corinthians 2:14 says, “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him: nor can he know them because they are spiritually discerned."
The natural man is born into the natural world, just like anybody else. But because he has not been born again through faith, he can’t appreciate or understand spiritual things; he is bound to the material world.
Adrian Rogers says, “The natural man does what comes naturally; the spiritual man does what comes supernaturally.”
The spiritual man has been born again, through salvation in Jesus Christ. He now lives by the Spirit, who inhabits his humanity. A Christian is not a natural person who decides to do better; he is someone who has been radically, dramatically, supernaturally changed. The spiritual things he once could not understand become apparent to Him. Now liberated through the Spirit, he sees with the mind of Christ, discerns everything with wisdom.
Finally, the Bible warns us about becoming a carnal man. He is one who has been saved, yet he is defeated and dependent on others to decipher Scripture. He is spiritually immature because there has not been any growth. He cannot walk, war, or work spiritually. The carnal man is also very divisive. He likes to stir up debates, provoke fights, can’t get along with anyone. They are saved, but no one would ever know it.
Unfortunately, the carnal Christian is a lot more common than we want to believe. In order for us to grow in truth and maturity, we must take an honest inventory of where we are, so that we may grow in Christ, and follow the roadmap of maturity.
Apply it to your life
Take time today to prayerfully figure out where you are in your relationship with Christ. Do you have the markings of a natural man, a spiritual man, or a carnal man? Live by the Spirit, learn, and be liberated by Him.
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