Friday | 22 September 2023
A carnal way of living

To be carnal means that we are motivated by our other law. Rom 7:23. We endeavour to take hold of the Law (God’s word) and fulfil it, because we perceive it to be good for us as the means by which we can have life. Although we want to be spiritual, our emotive reactions to life demonstrate that we are carnal. We are doing the works of the flesh that we hate! Gal 5:19-21.

These emotions of sin are provoked within us because the Holy Spirit is frustrating our carnal endeavours to have life. Noting this implication of the Spirit within us, Paul wrote, ‘For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish’. Gal 5:17. This is a source of turmoil within our mind.

This carnal way of living is self-righteous; it is governed by a view that we have of ourselves. In general, as evangelical Christians, our self-righteousness is the measure and motivation for our actions. When the Holy Spirit calls us to make a simple obedient response in humility to His directive, we measure His directive by our own self-righteous perspective.

Our perspective is the rightness of our own self-preservation culture as a Christian, including how we have lived, and how our actions could be viewed by others. Rom 10:3. We refuse to obey what the Spirit is directing us to do in order to preserve the self-image, or projection, that we have of ourselves.

When the Holy Spirit is Lord of our life, He confronts us by asking us to humble ourselves and obey Him in relation to some specific matter. What He asks us to do conflicts with the self-righteous view that we have of ourselves. We are concerned about how we will be perceived by others if we obey what the Holy Spirit is requesting of us. Php 3:8-9.

Further Study:
Daily Proverb:

Rom 7:23
But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

Gal 5:19-21
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practise such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Gal 5:17
For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.

Rom 10:3
For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.

Php 3:8-9
Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith.
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