Bible verses about Carnality

13 Lessons from Bible Verses about Carnality

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In the words of the prophet Isaiah, we find hope in Jesus Christ’s promise to set us free from our struggles with carnality. Isaiah spoke of a Savior who would bring good news to the broken, freedom to the captives, and release to those bound by fleshly desires.

This Old Testament prophecy came true through Jesus, who declared its fulfillment during his earthly ministry. By accepting Jesus’ sacrifice, we break free from the chains of carnal nature, embarking on a journey toward renewal and redemption. Without Christ, we remain trapped in sin, but through His sacrifice, we find liberation from negativity, impurity, and despair.

As we pursue spiritual growth, the Bible guides us toward a renewed mindset and a liberated soul. Scriptures teach us to discern between fleshly desires and the peace of the Spirit. In the face of carnal struggles, we shift our focus from fear to the power of God’s grace. Through daily seeking, prayer, and reliance on God’s Word, we confront the lies of the enemy and break free from his grasp. Jesus’ blood not only purifies us but also empowers us to overcome the enemy’s attacks, ensuring that we walk in victory as beloved children of God.

13 Lessons from Bible Verses About Carnality

1. Understand the Meaning of Carnality:

For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” Romans 8:6-10

The dictionary defines carnality as being focused on the desires and pleasures of the flesh, rather than spiritual things. In our context, it means living a life driven by selfishness, pride, lust, and other worldly pursuits. This is starkly contrasted with the life Jesus calls us to live—a life of selflessness, humility, and spiritual fulfillment. Recognizing the implications of carnality helps us understand what qualities makes us righteous and the importance of turning away from worldly desires and aligning ourselves with God’s will.

2. Recognize Signs of Carnality:

Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21)

The signs of carnality listed—distrust of God, selfishness, manipulativeness, etc.—serve as a diagnostic tool for evaluating our own spiritual condition. Also, self-ambition, selfishness, lust, gossip, anger, manipulation, control, etc. are all manifestations of living according to the flesh rather than the spirit.

When we operate in the flesh, we prioritize our own desires, ambitions, and interests above everything else, including God’s will and the well-being of others. This self-centered approach stems from a carnal mindset that seeks to satisfy immediate gratification and personal gain, often at the expense of others.

When we exhibit these behaviors, it’s a sign that we’re operating from a carnal mindset rather than a spiritual one. By identifying these signs in ourselves, we can take steps to root out carnality and grow in our faith.

Related Article: 18 Signs of Carnality

3. Discern the Flesh and from the Spirit 

For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?” (KJV- 1 Corinthians 3:1-3)

But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” James 3:14-16

In these verses, we’re urged to distinguish between living according to worldly desires and growing spiritually. Paul tells the Corinthians they’re still spiritually immature due to their jealousy and quarrels, indicating they haven’t fully embraced spiritual growth. Meanwhile, James warns against harboring envy and selfish ambition, which lead away from spiritual development. Both passages emphasize the importance of discerning between worldly impulses and the path of spiritual maturity.

4. Acknowledge Your Need for Redemption:

Once you acknowledge that you struggle with carnality and your human weakness, you can open your heart and mind for God to help. Paul understood that God’s power is most effective in a humble man that has surrendered it all to God:

“[Jesus] said: “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore I (Paul) will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me. That is why, for the sake of Christ, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

The passage from Romans highlights the stark contrast between a mind governed by the flesh and one governed by the Spirit. It emphasizes that those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. This underscores the importance of acknowledging our need for redemption and surrendering to God’s transformative power. Without this acknowledgment, we remain trapped in our carnal nature, unable to experience true freedom and peace.

Related Article:  When you’re Weak, God is Strong

5. Believe in the Power of Christ’s Sacrifice:

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.” (Isaiah 61:1)

Jesus didn’t come just to offer temporary relief from our carnal nature; He came to completely liberate us from its grasp. This liberation was prophesied by Isaiah, who spoke of the Messiah bringing good news to the poor, binding up the brokenhearted, and proclaiming liberty to the captives.

When Jesus declared in the synagogue that these words were fulfilled in Him, it signaled the beginning of a new era where freedom from carnality became accessible through His sacrifice. This teaches us that true transformation and purity come not from our own efforts but from humbly accepting the redemptive power of Christ’s blood.

6. Guard Against Satan’s Lies:

[The devil] was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44)

Satan is described as the father of lies, and his primary aim is to deceive and lead people away from God’s truth. By recognizing his tactics and replacing his lies with biblical truths, we can protect ourselves from falling into carnality. This lesson teaches us the importance of staying grounded in God’s Word and discerning between truth and deception.

Related Article: Do you believe that Jesus Is the Messiah (Deliverer or Savior)?

7. Use Spiritual Weapons:

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” (2 Corinthians 10:4)

Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” (Ephesians 6:11-19)

Equip yourself with spiritual weapons to combat carnality and overcome strongholds. 2 Corinthians 10:4 highlights the spiritual nature of warfare and encourages believers to rely on God’s power to tear down strongholds of carnal thinking. Engage in prayer, scripture study, and reliance on the Holy Spirit to overcome carnal tendencies and live victoriously in Christ.

8. Embrace God’s Truth and Love:

“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:14-16)

We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him. We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” (1 John 5:18-19)

The passage highlights God’s unwavering love and the power of His truth to set us free from the bondage of carnality. It encourages us to hold fast to our confession of faith and draw near to God with confidence, knowing that His grace and mercy are always available to us. This emphasizes the need to trust in God’s promises even when faced with hardship and adversity.

Related Article: 10 Steps To Stop Being Carnally Minded & Renew Your Mind!

9. Receive God’s Free Gifts:

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:8-10)

Salvation, forgiveness, and spiritual power are emphasized as free gifts from God, given to us through Jesus’ sacrifice. This lesson reminds us that we cannot earn God’s favor through our own efforts but must instead receive His gifts with faith and gratitude. It challenges the misconception that we must work for God’s approval and affirms the sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice for our redemption.

10. Reject Fear and Control:

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)

Fear and control are identified as tactics used by Satan to keep us bound to carnality. By trusting in God’s strength and resisting the urge to control outcomes, we can break free from these chains and experience the abundant life that Christ offers. This lesson emphasizes the importance of surrendering our fears and anxieties to God and allowing Him to guide our lives.

11. Cultivate a Spiritual Mindset:

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8)

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.” (Galatians 5:16-17)

Cultivating a spiritual mindset involves focusing on pleasing God, building a relationship with Him, and aligning ourselves with His kingdom principles. This requires actively replacing worldly thoughts with biblical truths and seeking to discern God’s will in every aspect of our lives. By doing so, we can overcome carnality and experience the transformative power of God’s Word in our lives.

Related Article: What does it mean to be spiritual minded?

12. Grow in Spiritual Maturity:

And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?” (KJV- 1 Corinthians 3:1-3)

Aim for spiritual maturity rather than remaining spiritually immature. 1 Corinthians 3:1-3 admonishes believers for behaving in a carnal manner and encourages them to grow beyond spiritual infancy. Seek to deepen your understanding of God’s Word and mature in your faith journey.

13. Renew Your Mind Daily:

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)

Renewing our minds involves daily disciplines such as prayer, reading the Bible, and seeking wise counsel. These practices help us overcome carnality by confessing our sins, repenting, and embracing God’s transformative power. By making these disciplines a priority in our lives, we can experience true freedom and spiritual growth.

Christina Daniels is the founder of Adorned Heart. She is devoted to learning about human behavior and its affects on society. She received a B.A. in Psychology and M.A. in Public Policy. She hopes to use her life and academic experience to empower & heal the hearts of women!

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