Humankind today is divided into three groups from a biblical standpoint.
i. Natural mankind
ii. Carnal mankind
iii. Spiritual mankind.
These three groups encompass both the saved and the unsaved.
1 Cor 2:14-15 (NIV) The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment:
2. THE NATURAL HUMANS.
These are the unregenerate. He/she cannot know the things of God for they are foolishness to them.
Rom 3:9-19 (NIV) What shall we conclude then? Are we any better ? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. 10 As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; 11 there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. 12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” 13 “Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.” “The poison of vipers is on their lips.” 14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.” 15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 ruin and misery mark their ways, 17 and the way of peace they do not know.” 18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” 19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.
John 3:18 (NIV) Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
John 3:36 (NIV) Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”
These Scriptures tell us about natural humankind.
a. All persons are in this class or were in this class.
b. under sin they are sin’s servant.
c All are unrighteous.
d. All are unprofitable to God.
e. None are good…all are evil.
f. None of them understand or seek the true God.
g. All are guilty before God.
h. They are all condemned already.
i. God’s wrath abides upon natural humankind NOW.
Eph 2:1-3 (NIV) As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.
This extract tells us that the natural (unsaved ) person is….
i. dead in trespasses and sins
ii Is demon controlled and driven.
iii Is a child of wrath.
When reading Ephes.2:12 we find they are persons who has no hope, are without God, aliens, separated from Christ and have no claim on God’s blessing. Other Scriptures show them to be deceitful, wicked, blind, having evil fruit, vanity of mind and darkness.
Jer 17:9-10 (NIV) The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? 10 “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.”
Mat 15:18 (NIV) But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’
Eph 2:12 (NIV) remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.
Eph 4:17-19 (NIV) So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.
Eph 5:8 (NIV) For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light
Titus 3:3 (NIV) At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.
If unsaved their eternal destiny is shown to be everlasting destruction and banishment from God presence.
2 Th 1:7-10 (NIV) and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power 10 on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marvelled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.
2 Th 2:10-12 (NIV) and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.
Jude 1:15 (NIV) to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”
Rev 20:11-15 (NIV) Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
Natural man/woman have only one hope
To be born again(regenerated) .
John 1:12 (NIV) Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God–
Rom 10:8-9 (NIV) But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: 9 That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
1 John 3:1-5 (NIV) How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure. 4 Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. 5 But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin.
3. CARNAL HUMANS
The carnal person is a born again Christian, they may be baptised in the Holy Spirit BUT they are mainly governed by the senses. They are led by what they can feel, or see or touch, or hear with natural ears….. sense knowledge believers. Thomas had this problem. He was not condemned but Jesus said “It was more blessed…….?
1 Cor 3:1-4 (NIV) Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly–mere infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarrelling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men? 4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere men?
Here Paul is speaking to the worldly/carnal Christian They are typified by:-
i…Acting/being like babies.
ii.. Cannot digest/take in spiritual meat. (advanced teaching.)
iii.. Follow humankind and their unredeemed ways.
Rom 8:5-11 (NIV) Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7 the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. 9 You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.
This extract illustrates the behaviour of carnal humans.
i. take notice of the natural desires
ii. often hostile towards God
iii. cannot please God.
Such a one continually refuses to speak of themselves as God speaks of them. They talk failure and defeat, doubt and confusion, lack of this and lack of that. They seek experiences and signs through the senses. They are often spiritual hitch hikers.
Heb 5:11-14 (NIV) We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
James 1:5-8 (NIV) If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.
James 1:22-25 (NIV) Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it–he will be blessed in what he does.
2 Pet 1:9 (NIV) But if anyone does not have them, he is near sighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.
Their only hope is a renewed mind . When born again a person’s spirit is made alive. This means they can receive knowledge in the spiritual realm. Before this they could “know” only through the physical senses. To know in the spiritual means that the mind must also be renewed. i.e. brought into harmony with the recreated spirit. The spirit must be allowed control and be “in control” or no spiritual growth occurs and the person remains carnal.
1. Rom 12:1-3 (NIV) Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. 3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.
THE BODY A SACRIFICE.. RENEW THE MIND.
2. Eph 4:22-23 (NIV) You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds;
PUT OFF THE OLD PERSON…. RENEW THE MIND.
3. Col 3:10 (NIV) and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.
PUT ON THE NEW SELF…. .RENEW THE MIND IN THE IMAGE OF GOD.
IN SUMMARY….believe the word…confess the word
4. SPIRITUAL MANKIND
Those who believe the Word of God and do it.
Those who KNOW by the WORD OF THE LIVING GOD.
Mat 16:13-17 (NIV) When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” 14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.
Peter in this Scripture is an example of the spiritual person. Not a truth revealed by mankind but by the Father in heaven.
From later extracts we will see that the spiritual person is to be perfect. i.e. mature and grown up into the full stature of Christ. This is the purpose of the Holy Spirit coming to dwell within.
This person thinks as God thinks, refuses to accept the evidence of the senses if such evidence contradicts the Word of God; they continue a walk in harmony with the plan and purpose of God.
To the natural person they are fools, to the carnal person a mystery.
Such a one can only be discerned (really known.) spiritually, i.e by the Holy Spirit’s workings.
1 Cor 2:13 (NIV) This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.
The following Scriptures refer to the spiritual person..
Mat 5:48 (NIV) Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Luke 6:40 (NIV) A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.
1 Cor 2 (NIV) When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power. 6 We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”– 10 but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. 14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment: 16 “For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
2 Cor 13:11 (NIV) Finally, brothers, good-by. Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.
Eph 4:8-13 (NIV) This is why it says: “When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men.” 9 (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions ? 10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Phil 3:15 (NIV) All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.
Col 1:29 (NIV) To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.
Col 3:10 (NIV) and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.
Col 4:12 (NIV) Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.
Heb 6:1 (NIV) Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God,
But notice in particular the following …..
1 Cor 13:10-11 (KJV) But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
The Scripture says WHEN the perfect is come….
We are growing up into the full stature of Christ. It will take time.
Remember with humility
Rom 12:1-3 (KJV) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. 3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.