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What Is Carnality? (Romans 7:14)

Introductory Thoughts

The Lord frequently uses comparison and contrast to provide insight for discovering biblical definitions. For instance, our text verse contrasts the carnal with the spiritual. This truth is not limited to our text as 1 Corinthians 3:1 also sets forth this teaching and contrast. In a related study, the Bible repeatedly contrasts the spirit and flesh (Isaiah 31:3; Matthew 26:41; John 3:6; John 6:63; Galatians 5:17). By considering these truths together, we find that the Lord defined a “carnal mind” (Romans 8:7) as someone who is “in the flesh” (Romans 8:8). Based upon these verses and others, we understand the word carnal to mean that which is earthly, natural, or fleshly.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): People love to go to the zoo and there is nothing wrong with going; however, if you go on Sunday morning, where would the Lord rather you be? Spiritually speaking, being carnal means doing that which comes to you naturally rather than obeying God. For instance, Eve ate a piece of fruit from a certain tree. Though fruit is healthy and Eve was hungry, God had already told her not to eat of that tree.
  • (For everyone):  God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). Since God wants man to worship Him in this fashion, we know that being carnal opposes God's expectation and demands. What does God want us to understand concerning carnality and worship?
  • Do you think God cares about man's carnality? Do you think He is at all pleased when we walk in a carnal manner? How important should walking after the Spirit become for every sincere Christian?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask the Lord to show you when you are walking after the flesh.
  • Ask God to teach you to worship Him in spirit and in truth.


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