The Carnal Church
Being Carnal: 1 Corinthians 3:1. And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. 2. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; 3. for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? 4. For when one says, "I am of Paul,'' and another, "I am of Apollos,'' are you not carnal?
It is my observation that this verse today would read, "I am a Catholic", and another, "I am a Baptist" or another, "I am Pentecostal", are you not carnal?
car-nal (kär"n...l) adj. 2. Worldly or earthly; temporal: the carnal world.
It says in Romans 8:6. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. I think this denominational division began even from the time of these verses. What's interesting is that even being carnal they were considered brethren, but what I see is that without being able to accept meat, without spiritual growth, the outcome of being carnal is death. You see, there is no, "to the saving of one's soul" in remaining carnal. I think being carnal is not trusting in the divine revelations of the Holy Spirit. These that were carnal instead were pledging their allegiance to a man or denomination rather than the Holy Spirit of God. That is what made them carnal, not yet having the faith of trusting and believing in God through His Spirit.
No Denominational Division: 1 Corinthians 1:10. Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11. For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe's household, that there are contentions among you. 12. Now I say this, that each of you says, "I am of Paul,'' or "I am of Apollos,'' or "I am of Cephas,'' or "I am of Christ.''
The apostle Paul rebuked this carnal activity by saying in verse 13. Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? He further stated that His message was this in verse 17. For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect. 18. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. And in his closing in verse 30. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God and righteousness and sanctification and redemption 31. that, as it is written, "He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.''
We must understand that with God, He wants us to be united and not divided. He has a plan of unity where those that live in the anointing of His Holy Spirit can enjoy and depend upon the fellowship of their brethren. Brethren that are also growing in the knowledge of God through His Spirit. We are to share our revelations of the Lord, being an encouragement to others in our everyday life and our time of fellowship. Those that are deep routed in the Lord are to help the weak seek for their strength in God. We must avoid being carnal, glorying in the doctrines of man, pledging allegiance to a denomination. Instead, we are to be in "same mind and judgment" glorying in the Lord Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Many deny the power of God's indwelling Spirit, allowing Christ to shepherd them into one mind without contentions and division. The following Scripture tells us not to partake of this behavior of denial.
Appearing godly but Turn Away: 2 Timothy 3:1. But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3. unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4. traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5. having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
One does not need all these identifiers, just one and denying the power of God which is found and experienced within God's Holy Spirit.