Summary: Paul describes three Identities in our world. All mankind fall into one of these identities. The natural man, the carnal man and the spiritual man.


1 Corinthians 2:14-3:4 (NLT)

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Back in the late sixties and the early seventies there was a TV show called “To Tell The Truth”. They would have a panel of 4 celebrities who would attempt to identify a particular person that they did not know out of three contestants. The contestants would try to mask their identity by lying and making up things about the person the celebrities were trying to identify. Example, one of them would be an airline pilot but the other two could be anything else but a pilot. The celebrities would ask questions and through this they would attempt to identify the pilot. At the end of the show, the celebrities would guess who the pilot was. The three contestants would get money for every wrong guess from the celebrities.

. The object of the game was to search for an identity.

. Our scripture this morning talks about a person’s identity.

. The world is made up of over 6 billion people. By the year 2040 we will peak at 7.2 billion people, and by 2050 we will be losing 150 million people a year. All sizes, types, shapes, colors, etc. But there are only three kinds of people in the world, no matter where they are from. Everyone falls into one of these three categories.

. There is the Natural Man, the Carnal Man, and the Spiritual Man.

The natural man is incomplete with a dead spirit. The only way he can find completeness is through Jesus Christ.

. The carnal man is one who clings to the flesh.

. When we see or hear the word “carne” we think of chili con carne or chili with meat. This word carne was derived from the same Latin word that means meat or flesh.

. In biblical terms, it means a person who still clings to their fleshly desires.

. Then there is the Spiritual man.

. The spiritual man is a person who responds to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and has the mind of Christ.

. Paul speaks of all three types of people in our scripture this morning.

. As we look at these people, allow God to convict you of your identity.

. Our world today faces an Identity Crises.

. What is your identity this morning, we all fall into one of the three categories.

. Lets read our scripture. 1 Corinthians 2:14-3:4

14But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.

15Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others.

16For, “Who can know the LORD’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him?”But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.

1Dear brothers and sisters, when I was with you I couldn’t talk to you as I would to spiritual people. I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in the Christian life.

2I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren’t ready for anything stronger. And you still aren’t ready,

3for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you living like people of the world?

. The first type of person is the:

I. Natural Man. (We must realize that when Paul uses the term man, he is talking about persons, both male and female.)

. Look at verse 14 again: 14But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.

A. This person is lost

1. The natural man is the Lost Man. (there is nothing spiritual about him)

2. This man has no relationship with God whatsoever and lives by nothing but his base urges and desires.

3. He has absolutely no understanding of God.

B. He does not receive the things of God. He values only what he can see, feel or count.

1. The things of God seem foolish to him.

2. He has man’s wisdom. Only the knowledge of the things of the world.

. He is like a man in a foreign country who can’t speak the language.

. I was stationed in Germany while in the Army back in the seventies. I was there for two years and I was lost when it came to understanding the German people. You see, I did not understand what they were saying to me. All I learned while I was there was how to count to ten and to ask where the bathroom was. I could ask but when they answered, I couldn’t understand what they told me.

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