How many sides are on a single coin? Would you believe there are three? We know of the heads and tails sides, but have you ever flipped a coin and have it land on neither heads nor tails, but on its edge? The two sides of the coin we are familiar with can represent black and white, right and wrong, carnal and spiritual, etc., and this is how we are conditioned to examine everything. But between every extreme, lies the “grey area,” the edge of the coin so to say. Just as it is a rare occasion to have a coin land and stay on its edge when it is flipped, it is rare to consider the “grey area” of any discussion. After spending the time to define in some manner, (though incomplete), what a carnal Christian may be, it would seem fair to attempt to reveal the other side of the coin. But it’s not really fair to identify the first extreme of the Body of Christ, (carnal Christians), then go to the next extreme of the Body of Christ, (radical Christians), without first considering the people that make up the majority of the Body of Christ and the church. These are people who are neither babes in Christ, nor mature. They are all born again, but may or may not be fully mature and walking in faith by the Holy Spirit either.
The edge of the coin is where the majority of the Body of Christ belong. The edge of the coin represents to the Body of Christ a beam of white light. A prism can separate a beam of white light to display the full visible spectrum that is “white” when it is altogether. This is the first thing we need to realize. The Body of Christ is first of all pure. It is white and pure in God’s eyes and He loves us all. Even the Word of God calls us children of light.
1 Thessalonians 5: 5 “Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.”
But just as a prism will separate light into its full spectrum, the Word of God and His Holy Spirit can also reveal the full spiritual spectrum of people as well. And the full spectrum begins in darkness and unbelief and ends with a full fellowship and walk in spiritual faith with God by the Holy Spirit. So the “edge of the coin” really contains the majority of the Body of Christ. It is a narrow edge, like a narrow beam of light. But now, we will consider the Body of Christ in the manner of what happens to light after it passes through the prism and is expanded.
When light goes through a prism, we see the visible spectrum from red to violet, but there is also present the invisible spectrum ranging from infrared and beyond and ultraviolet and beyond. So in this analogy, both invisible sides of the light spectrum will represent those who walk in darkness. They either don’t know God and have never heard the Gospel of Salvation so they need to hear to be delivered from darkness, or they have heard the Gospel of Salvation and chose to reject it, they prefer to live in darkness. These are the two sides of unbelief and they don’t know Jesus Christ, or have refused to make Jesus Christ their Lord at all. We all began our walk as believers by being delivered from darkness with only the understanding of the flesh, we were carnal in our believing.
Ephesians 5: 8 “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light” NKJV
Since we all began in darkness, all we knew at the beginning of our Christian walk was the walk of the flesh. This is carnal Christianity, but it’s still Christianity. Carnal Christians are still children of light. Yes, carnal Christians walk by the flesh, are law bound, religious, walk in fear of, (well everything), and respect their church leadership more than the revelation of the Holy Spirit. Young believers that are new in the Word are no different from young children. It is best and easiest at this point in their growth to simply teach the “right” and “wrong” of things. What is “good character?” What are “good morals?” What does the church teach? What are “right doctrines?” These are things that young believers, irregardless of their physical age, need to learn and know. When the church teaches new people these things, it’s simply to get everyone on the same page. So that’s the first level of a believer’s growth, the level where they are “babes in Christ.”
1 Corinthians 3: 1 “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, as unto babes in Christ.”
Even the apostle Paul knew that believers grew spiritually over time and needed to be taught according to their level of maturity. We know that infants mature into toddlers. It is a natural part of growth. The same thing is true of believers in their spiritual walk. As infants, we give babies milk, not solid food, or meat. Here is what Paul said.
1 Corinthians 3: 2a “I fed you with milk, not with meat; for ye were not yet able to bear it:”
Paul is talking about spiritual milk and spiritual meat. Spiritual milk are Biblical lessons that are easy to understand but have very little deep, spiritual content. Spiritual meat are Biblical lessons that are harder to understand and may be more personally challenging or confrontational. But spiritual meat is not only taught, but demonstrated with miracles, healing, and the casting out of devil spirits. This is how spiritual meat is introduced to babes in Christ.
1 Corinthians 2: 1 – 5 “And I, brethren, when I came unto you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”
The demonstration of spiritual meat introduces concepts like spiritual manifestations, spiritual gifts, ministries, and the activated, operational power of God. All of these things were openly taught and demonstrated in the book of Acts. In the beginning of the church, spiritual power was practiced by the believers as well as by the leadership. Spiritual power and wisdom was a demonstrated part of Christian life, the apostles set the standard for believing and demonstrated the walk of faith with the Holy Spirit. This is what built the early church, the demonstration of God’s power at work in mature believer’s lives. The early believers copied the example of the apostles and matured in their spiritual walk very quickly making it possible to have a pool of mature believers available to ordain into leadership as the need arose by Acts chapter 6.
In every church, the full spectrum of believing maturity and immaturity exists. But to the degree that the mature walk of faith is demonstrated openly, determines how quickly young believers are able to mature themselves. The early church was taught the spiritual walk of faith heavily by example. It was the way Jesus taught His disciples and apostle. By and large, the traditions and doctrines of the Temple and synagogues took care of the doctrinal teachings but the walk of faith required practical demonstrations. This is what the modern church doesn’t have and many choose not to believe in miracles at all. We depend upon the wisdom of men and persuasive music to motivate and teach believers the walk of faith, but all that is really learned is a walk of obedience to men.
Even when faith is demonstrated with healing and miracles. We are led to believe it is the result of obedience to doctrinal rules of procedure without any trust in spiritual revelation. The Holy Spirit in many of today’s believers of the Lord Jesus Christ is a “non-entity.” The Holy Spirit is present and there are varying forms of spiritual obedience, but the average believer does not place their full faith in God’s Word or His Spiritual revelation. They still maintain a level of faith in the words and doctrines of men. They are afraid of offending the leadership of the church. Finally, their logic, training, and intelligence over rides and hold more value than anything that comes spiritually. The Holy Spirit and anything that originates from a spiritual source is considered to be devilish. Believers on the “edge of the coin” struggle with faith and struggle with understanding how to make Jesus Christ their Lord.
Are they able to experience miracles in their life? Absolutely, but they cannot be certain that they can experience miracles on a daily basis. Are they certain that their prayers are heard? Some do, but many do not. Answered prayers are a hit and miss matter. In fact, the infrequency of answered prayers are even cause for questioning whether their prayers are answered by God or by chance. They cannot be certain that good things happening in their lives come to pass according to their obedience to church traditions and doctrines, obedience to their ministers, or simply due to their own intelligence. God holds a questionable level of practical importance. It can range from a few minutes of thought on Sunday morning to a daily part of their lives when reading the Word and praying. God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit are not all encompassing partners in life and living.
But all of this can be changed. If you are struggling with understanding how to really make Jesus Christ your Lord, the book below was written for you. If you want to make God a living and real partner in all you do, the book below was written for you. If you have any doubt that your faith has been misplaced because you really cannot be certain that your prayers are heard, the book below was written for you. You are suffering from carnal Christianity and you are ready for the next phase of your spiritual growth with God Almighty. When you are able to recognize the weakness of religion, you are ready to test God at His Word to begin to build your trust in Him. The church you attend will always be important to your life, but your essential focus of spiritual trust will change. Instead of your own intelligence, or the words of men, spiritual maturity requires a full and complete trust in God Almighty by way of His Holy Spirit in your heart and life. This is why “Rules for Radical Christians: A Practical Primer for Defeating Radical Liberals at Their Own Game” was written. Helping believers recognize when they are walking by the flesh and what can be done to build trust in the Holy Spirit from God is the whole purpose of the book. Are you ready to learn how to mature spiritually? You’ve made Jesus Christ your savior when you became born again. Are you ready to really make Jesus Christ your living Lord?