A. The word “carnal” generally brings a negative thought to mind (Romans 8:5-8 and I Corinthians 3:1-3).
- The word translated “carnal” is about the flesh (Strong’s # 4561) and we know what happens when man is fleshly minded (Ephesians 2:1-3 and Colossians 1:16-23).
- Having said that, not all carnal/fleshly things are wrong (Ephesians 4:28, I Timothy 4:1-8, Hebrews 13:4, etc.).
- Those lawful carnal things can be used to teach spiritual things (i.e. Matthew 20:1-16 and Ephesians 5:22-33).
- When we examine carnal things in this lesson we are not saying it is right to be sinfully, fleshly minded (i.e. Galatians 5:16-21).
- Yet, how we handle things that are carnal is revealing (I Timothy 5:8).
- While your flesh and soul are not one in the same (II Corinthians 4:16 and James 2:26); you cannot separate your mind from your works (Colossians 1:21 and James 1:8).
- What you do comes from within and ties to your thinking (Proverbs 16:3 and Mark 7:21-23).
- The act of sin starts with one’s own lusts (James 1:13-16).
- How well do you know yourself?
II. Body: He That Is Faithful In The Least (Luke 16:1-13)
A. Furthering the illustration of “he that is faithful in the least [little]”… (Luke 19:11-27).
- If someone cannot manage something smaller, why would you trust them with greater responsibility (I Timothy 3:1-7)? *Specifically, the principle in I Timothy 3:4-5
- Our focal point though is in Luke 16:10. You are not going to be somehow more capable in spiritual things when you cannot manage carnal things. Example of the principle: I John 4:20
- You have to be honest with yourself when seeing where you may be lacking (James 1:26).
- Don’t justify yourself if you find your’e lacking (Psalms 36:1-4, Proverbs 16:2, Proverbs 20:6, Proverbs 30:12, and Galatians 6:3-4).
- Christians are supposed to have temperance [self-control] (Galatians 5:22-23 and II Peter 1:3-11). If you cannot control something carnal [i.e. how much food is on your plate], even if not necessarily sinful, what should that tell you about you?
- Even before we became Christians, we needed to count the cost (Luke 14:25-33)? If you cannot count the cost [i.e. how badly going into debt for something will actually cost you in the long run], even in things not necessarily sinful, what should that tell you about you?
- We are not supposed to be busybodies (I Thessalonians 4:11, II Thessalonians 3:11, I Timothy 5:13, and I Peter 4:15). If you just have to be “in the loop” (so to speak) [i.e. have to know what someone posted on social media], what should that tell you about you?
- We are not supposed to be slothful [lazy] (Romans 12:11 and Hebrews 6:12). If you are never motivated to do things in the flesh that are necessary [i.e. Proverbs 24:30-34], what should that tell you about you?
- We are not supposed to do anything through strife or vainglory (Philippians 2:3). What if you are a person that likes to argue and prove that you know more than others (Galatians 5:26)?
- We are supposed to be a people that understand NOT to do things for appearances (Proverbs 31:30, Matthew 6:1-7, and Matthew 23:25-28). If you are caught up (balance here - modesty, pleasing spouse, etc.) in how you look, your house looks, etc.; what should that tell you about you.
- We are not supposed to desire the preeminence (III John 1:9-11; cf. Philippians 2:9-11. If you have to be the first, the most important, the center of attention; what should that tell you about you?
- We are not supposed to be haughty; proud people (Proverbs 16:5, Proverbs 18:12, Isaiah 65:5, and James 4:6). When you think you’re above everyone else, what should that tell you about you?
- We should have happiness in our lives (Psalms 144:15, Proverbs 16:20, and James 5:11). If you’re never happy, what should that tell you?
- We should be strong in the Lord (Ephesians 6:10). If you seem to never be able to summon strength, what should that tell you about you?
- We are supposed to be content and not covetous (Luke 3:14 and I Timothy 6:6-10). If you are never satisfied regarding lawful material things [i.e. always looking for that higher paying job so you can get this or that], what should that tell you about you?
- Christians need to be strong and willing to step up [man-up] in adversity (I Corinthians 16:13). What does it tell you about you if you shrink in times of adversity (Proverbs 24:10)?
- The list could go on and on. Things like preparation (Matthew 25:1-13), endurance (Mark 13:13), etc., etc.
III. Conclusion: If we cannot get the earthly [in principle]… John 3:1-12
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