|1 Corinthians 3:1-3 |
1 However brothers, I could not speak to you as spiritual men, but as to men of the carnal nature, even as to infants in Christ.1 [A carnal man is man of flesh and none of Christ's; a carnal man is still sinning, still walking by the impulses of his flesh, his fallen mind, and his evil imagination. Don't read this scripture and think that carnal, sinful men can be born in Christ, for John clearly tells us: Whoever is born of God does not commit sin, for his seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God; and We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but God protects the one he has fathered, and the wicked one does not touch him. 1 John 3:9, 1 John 5:18.]
2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat; for previously you were not able to receive it, neither are you now able. [As Peter says: "Yearn like newborn babies for pure, spiritual milk so that you may grow up to salvation," 1 Pet 2:2)]
3 For you are still carnal [captives of the sinful nature]. Because there is envy, and strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal; and do you not walk as men? [So then those who are in the flesh [live in their sinful nature] cannot please God. Rom 8:8. Until a man's sinful nature has been crucified, he walks according to the ways of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air [Satan]. Eph 2:2.]
1 However brothers, I could not speak to you as spiritual men, but as to men of the carnal nature, even as to infants in Christ. Don't read this scripture and assume that carnal men can be "in Christ," rather read this as carnal men that are infants in the things of Christ. John explains who is in Christ: whoever keeps his word [obeys the Lord's commands spoken to him], truly the love of God is perfected in him; by this we know that we are in him. 1 John 2:5. If we love one another, God dwells in us, and his love is perfected in us. 1 John 4:12. Notice, this is to be "in Christ" — to have the love of God perfected in you.
To be those who are in Christ is also explained by Paul: Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Cor 5:17; and those those who who are in Christ Jesus, walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Rom 8:1. This is not to imagine yourself a new creature; this is to experience the death of the old and the birth of the new; old things having passed away definitely includes your sinful nature having been mortified by the Spirit. The Word of the Lord within, explained the new life: "The new life is as radically different as a man who has lived underground his whole life, suddenly coming above ground to see the sun, the sky, the plants, the animals, the wind, the stars."
From the Word of the Lord within: "The errors in understanding the Bible come from men saying: 'look at this Bible verse.'" You must consider the whole of scripture's verses and not just focus on a few.