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Know the Old Man
The Carnal Man
The word of God encourages us to not walk after the flesh, but rather to walk after the Spirit, the Holy Spirit, in victory. If you don’t know what the works of the flesh are, then you are incapable of rendering them crucified with Christ.
Colossians 3:5 says, “so kill (deaden, deprive of power) the evil desire lurking in your members (those animal impulses and all that is earthly in you that is employed in sin): sexual vice, impurity, sensual appetites, unholy desires, and all greed and covetousness, for that is idolatry (the deifying of self and other created things instead of God).”
1 Peter 2:11 says, “beloved, I implore you as aliens and strangers and exiles (in the world) to abstain from sensual urges (the evil desires, the passions of the flesh, your lower nature) that wage war against the soul.”
1 peter 4:2 says, “so that he can no longer spend the rest of his natural life living by his human appetites and desires, but (he lives) for what God wills.”
The word of God is very exact about what the works of the flesh are.
Galatians 5:16-21 says, “Now the doings (practices) of the flesh are clear (obvious); they are immorality, impurity, indecency, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealously, anger (ill temper), selfishness, divisions (dissensions), party spirit (factions, sects with particular opinions, heresies), envy, drunkenness, carousing and the like. I warn you beforehand, just as I did previously, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”
James 3:14-16 says, “but if you have bitter jealousy (envy) and contention (rivalry and selfish ambition) in your hearts, do not pride yourself on it and thus be in defiance of and false to the truth. This (superficial) wisdom is not such as comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual (animal), even devilish (demonical). For wherever there is jealousy (envy) and contention (rivalry and selfish ambition), there will also be confusion (unrest, disharmony, rebellion) and all sorts of evil and ill practices.
Paul spoke to the Corinthians about their choices as Christians, and he told them that he couldn’t teach them much beyond the mild of the word because they were choosing to allow their carnal nature to dictate there choices.
1 Corinthian 3:2-3 says, “I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not yet strong enough (to be ready for it) but even yet you were not strong enough (to be ready for it). For you are still (unspiritual, having the nature) of the flesh (under the control of ordinary impulses). For as long as (there are) envying and jealousy and wrangling and factions among you, are you not unspiritual and of the flesh, behaving yourselves after a human standard and like mere (unchanged) men?
If a Christian is EVER to walk in the LIBERTY and VICTORY that the blood of Jesus Christ bought for them, they must account the works of the flesh as being dead.
Carnality is not just living according to the flesh, the Bible teaches us that to be carnally minded is death but to be spiritually minded is life. There are many examples in the Bible that teach us exactly what it is to be carnal in our walk with God.
As you review the following scriptures, think how the people these scriptures are talking about were “believers,” they wanted to walk with God, but they also were not content with ‘just God’ and what He could and would and did provide. They doubted His goodness toward them and they mis-trusted His ability to give them all they needed.
They also wanted to apply their own efforts to God’s provision, laboring in their unbelief to produce something that would satisfy their ‘soul,’ rather than emptying themselves of themselves so He could fill them up with Himself. They wanted Him as well as the ‘things’ of this world.
Exodus 16:2-3 “And the whole congregation of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. And said to them, “would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate bread to the full; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger”.”
These people had seen God’s mighty hand deliver them, they had seen Him perform miracles and set them free from their 400 year enslavement. Still they didn’t trust Him enough to make sure that they would be fed and they murmured and wanted more than they had. Dissatisfaction in God’s provision is carnal and will render your spiritual walk with God ineffective in this world.
Numbers 11:4-6 “And the mixed multitude among them (the rabble who followed Israel from Egypt) began to lust greatly (for familiar and dainty food), and the Israelites wept again and said, “Who will give us meat to eat?” We remember the fish we ate freely in Egypt and without cost, the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now our soul (our strength) is dried up; there is nothing at all (in the way of food) to be seen but this manna”.”
In exodus they were hungry and they murmured. Moses prayed for them and God fed them with food from Heaven. How gracious God was. They quickly tired of this heavenly food and longed for dainty food. Notice that they said it was their “souls” which were faint and weak. When you feed upon spiritual food, the WORD of GOD, your soul (the carnal man) will cry and murmur and want to be fed. The Word feeds your spirit man; the things of this world will feed your soul (the carnal man). Whichever one you feed the most will be the strongest influence in your life as a Christian.
Psalms 78:18 “And they tempted God in their hearts by asking for food according to their (selfish) desire and appetite.”
Take the time to read the entire 78th psalm and take heed to the principle David was attempting to implore God’s people to learn. To walk in rebellion (a work of the flesh), against God’s promised provision, will render you nothing but death and defeat in this world.
Even the disciples of Jesus and those who walked with Him, and who watched Him perform miracles in their presence didn’t want HIM for Himself, or for what He could do to set them free in their lives, but rather because He met their physical needs.
John 6:26 Jesus answered them, “I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, you have been searching for Me, not because you saw the miracles and signs but because you were fed with the loaves and were filled and satisfied.”
In verse 27 Jesus has something very important to say to everyone who would follow Him.
“Stop toiling and doing and producing for the food that perishes and decomposes (in the using), but strive and work and produce rather for the (lasting) food which endures (continually) unto life eternal; the son of man will give (furnish) you that, for God the Father has authorized and certified Him and put His seal of endorsement upon Him.”
The carnal mind is actually the enemy of God.
Romans 8:7 “(that is) because the mind of the flesh (with its carnal thoughts and purposes) is hostile to God, for it does not submit itself to God’s law; indeed it cannot.”
Romans 8:8 “So to those who are living the life of the flesh (catering to the appetites and impulses of their carnal nature) cannot please or satisfy God, or be acceptable to Him.”
When YOU are brought by the Holy Spirit to recognize that you have been allowing your carnal nature to ‘rule’ your thoughts or actions, He is revealing this to you so that YOU can agree (in your spirit) with the Word of God and account those behaviors as dead to God. You have the AUTHORITY in the NAME of JESUS to speak to your carnal man, the old nature, and command it to BE STILL.
The Word of God says that the ‘old man’ is crucified. If it is CRUCIFIED then it’s a dead thing, and you have no need to listen to a dead old man stinking in the grave.
However, if you do not KNOW what the old man is, and how deceitful he can be within your members, then you can be deceived by the enemy of your soul to give way to that old man.
I want to encourage you to take this next week and listen carefully to the thoughts in your head, to watch the things that you do, to listen to the words that come out of your mouth, and to ask the Holy Spirit to show you the difference between the thoughts, words, and deeds of the old man, and the thoughts, words and deed of God that he would do through you. As you discipline yourself in this manner you will quickly learn to lay that old man in his grave and walk in the newness of the Life of God in Christ Jesus within you.
Sincerely, your faith-filled, grace-filled sister in Jesus Christ.