5 Minute Read + Scripture readings

Today’s Bible Reading:

1 Samuel 21-22
1 Corinthians 3
Ezekiel 1
Psalms 37

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

1 Corinthians 3:1 (CSB): “For my part, brothers and sisters, I was not able to speak to you as spiritual people but as people of the flesh, as babies in Christ.”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

If I were to say that there were only two types of people, I would be right. There are saved people who have entered into a relationship with Jesus and the rest are unbelievers who have never entered into that divine relationship.

Yet, in a passage of Scripture that was in today’s Bible reading, we observed that it breaks it down into two groups with a third group mentioned in yesterday’s readings. This is incredibly helpful so let me explain.

First of all, we observe two groups in the verse I have chosen for today. See if you can identify them.

1 Corinthians 3:1 (CSB): “For my part, brothers and sisters, I was not able to speak to you as spiritual people but as people of the flesh, as babies in Christ.”

We observe that there are “spiritual people” and there are also “people of the flesh … babies in Christ” (some Bible translations call them “carnal”).

We will explain these categories momentarily.

But, where is the third category? Just look at one of the last verses of the previous chapter.

1 Corinthians 2:14 (CSB): “But the person without the Spirit does not receive what comes from God’s Spirit, because it is foolishness to him; he is not able to understand it since it is evaluated spiritually.”

Did you see how the verse started: “But the person without the Spirit”? This is the person who has never had the Spirit take up residence within them. They are unsaved. The original Greek can be translated: “human nature” or “a natural man or woman.” They are in the condition in which they were born.

So, let’s briefly define these three categories of people:

  • Natural person – an unbeliever; unsaved; no relationship with Jesus; on their way to Hell.
  • Carnal person – a believer; has not grown in their faith; demonstrates very little evidence of being a child of God.
  • Spiritual person – a believer; has grown in their faith; demonstrates an ever increasing amount of evidences in their words and actions that Jesus has taken up residence in their heart and is cultivating greater degrees of holiness within them.

The first category is a lost person. The second two are saved people.

Someone may ask the question: “So, if I can be saved and still be ‘carnal,’ why wouldn’t I be? Do I really have to take my walk with Jesus seriously?”

First of all, I question anyone’s salvation who would ask such questions. Someone who has truly experienced Christ’s love and forgiveness cannot remain so indifferent to Jesus. They cannot so easily trample on the priceless gift that Jesus died to give them.

Second, nowhere in Scripture does it say that carnality can be a perpetual state for Christians. Instead, it is presented as a temporary condition of believers. It defines those times when a true believer stumbles into sin and falls away from their relationship with Christ. They are saved but they are in a condition of unrepentant sin. A true believe: 1) will eventually reach a point where they repent and make things right or 2) they will remain in a horrible state of conviction and God’s discipline/judgment. God’s Holy Spirit will not allow one of His children to stay away from Him for long without working to bring them back.

Third and finally, it is only the “spiritual person” that can have any assurance of their salvation. They are enjoying a relationship with their Lord and the Holy Spirit within them is testifying that they belong to Jesus. The “carnal person” is saved but has no such assurances. In fact, it very well could be that they are a “natural person” (unsaved). The lack of spiritual fruit may not mean they have temporarily backslidden … instead, it may testify to the fact that they have never truly been saved. And when this person walks through death’s door, there is nothing but fire and judgment for all of eternity.

To be saved, simply trust in Jesus.

To be sure that you are saved and to live a life worthy of what Jesus has done for you, pursue holiness. Move from the natural, past the carnal, to the spiritual.

* * * * * * * * * *

Lord Jesus, You have paid my sin debt and saved me. I want to live my life for You because You are worthy of such a life. I want to be a spiritual man (or woman). I want my life to demonstrate that I truly belong to You. Amen.