Summary: What is a carnal Christian? The word “carnal” is translated from the Greek word sarkikos, which means fleshly.” Here in the text, Paul is addressing the Corinthian church and he describes them as being carnal minded or having a fleshly yearnings.
“You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans?”
What is a carnal Christian? The word “carnal” is translated from the Greek word sarkikos, which means fleshly.” Here in the text, Paul is addressing the Corinthian church and he describes them as being carnal minded or having a fleshly yearnings. The truth is, a Christian can be carnal but he or she should not live their entire life in carnality. Of all the churches founded by the Apostle Paul, the church at Corinth just had to be the absolute worst. First of all, they were new believers; imagine an entire church filled with totally new believers? Imagine a church with no seasoned saint among them to guide them with their valuable life experiences?
And then imagine a church in which almost everyone had his or her own idea about how the church should operate. This is the very reason that a church seeking a pastor should not wait too long to find one because sooner or later someone within the body will try and take control. And when this happens you can’t easily take over the leadership of the church as a new pastor, the leadership in the church will have to be rescued.
The Corinthian church made many mistakes, eventhough they were enthused about serving the Lord, and Paul found it necessary to temper down their wild enthusiasm with godly instruction. They were “babes in Christ” not yet spiritually matured; they had not grown fully in Christ. The carnal man or woman does not know Christ or the things of God the way they should, they have to be taught.
Therefore Paul found it necessary to write two letters to this church. Note: It is said that Paul actually wrote four letters, two of which were canonicalized (1st and 2nd Corinthians), one that was non-canonical and the other written to him. Be that as it may, Paul because of his love for the church at Corinth found it necessary to explain to them the difference in being spiritual as oppose to being carnal in nature.
Paul Organizes The Corinthian Church
Paul like the other churches founded by him had a deep love for the church at Corinth. In Acts 18, there is an account of how this love affair developed. On his second mission Paul left Athens and traveled to Corinth, while there is Corinth he found and grew people.
Paul organized the church of Corinth, eventhough he experienced strain and rejection he pressed on with the Word of God. He made his testimony that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. There in Corinth, he gave himself entirely to the preaching and teaching of the Word. He proclaimed that Jesus Christ was the Messiah, but sadly what he preached and taught was rejected. The people opposed and blasphemed the very name of Jesus Christ. –Acts 18: 5-6
However, this did not stop Paul from witnessing about salvation through Jesus Christ although he was no longer accepted in the Synagogue. This action caused Paul to turn from the Jews to the Gentiles. There were some saved Jews but the majority reached by Paul ended up being Gentiles. When a Christian witnesses to those who totally reject the Gospel, he or she is to turn away from them but continue on with the work given to them in God’s vineyard.