Topical Sermons 

Power Point Show    MP3 audio

Scripture Reading: Romans 8:5-9

Are You Carnal?



1.  Question: What does it mean to be carnal? What is carnality? (How does carnality show itself in our lives? What does carnality look like?)

2.  Carnal: “Anything related to the fleshly or worldly appetites and desires rather than to the godly and spiritual desires.”[1]

  a.  Physical, sensual pleasures of sin, Jas. 3:15.

  b.  Worldly lusts, 1 Jno. 2:16.



  A.  To be Under the Control of the Flesh, cf. Rom. 7:14.

    1.  Sold under sin, cf. 1 Kgs. 21:20, 25; 2 Kgs. 17:17.

    2.  Ruled, dominated by sin; The servant of sin, Rom. 6:12-13.

  B.  The Carnal Mind and Life is Controlled by the Flesh, Rom. 8:5-8.

    1.  Mind and life are set on worldly things, 8:5 (Col. 3:2).

    2.  Produces spiritual death, 8:6 (Rom. 6:23).

    3.  Enmity against God, 8:7 (Jas. 4:4).

    4.  Not submissive to the law of God, 8:7.

       -Not guided by revelation. This person lives on the basis of human reasoning and fleshly desires, 1 Cor. 2:14.

    5.  Cannot please God / No fellowship with God, 8:8-9 (2 Cor. 5:9).

  C.  What it Means to be Spiritual, Rom. 8:5-8; 1 Cor. 2:15 (Gal. 5:22).

     -Submissive to the law of God, the inspired revelation (Scriptures).



  A.  To Not Develop Spiritually Means One is Still Carnal, 1 Cor. 3:1-2.

    1.  Unspiritual, still babes when should have grown, Heb. 5:11-14; 2 Tim. 3:6-7.

    2.  Thoughts are not on spiritual things, Gen. 6:5; Psa. 10:4.

  B.  To be Against Spiritual Things is to be Carnal, 1 Cor. 3:3.

    1.  Anti-spiritual, cf. 1 Jno. 2:18.

    2.  The “natural man” (controlled by the flesh) – Things of God are foolishness to him, 1 Cor. 2:14; 1:18, 23.

    3.  This mind is set on the things of men, not God, Matt. 16:23.

  C.  What Forms do Carnal Sins Take? (What does carnality look like?)

    1.  The works of the flesh, Gal. 5:19-21.

      a.  Sins of sensuality; Driven by the flesh, Col. 3:5; Rom. 13:13-14.

      b.  Sexual immorality: Pornography (Matt. 5:28), pre-marital and extra-marital sex (Lev. 18:20; 1 Cor. 7:2), homosexuality (Gen. 19:5), 1 Thess. 4:3-8.

      c.  Lustful, lewd behavior (modern dance), lustful longings, inordinate affection, Col. 3:5. (cf. Entertained by lewd behavior)

      d.  Immodest clothing is carnal, displaying the flesh without decency and the restraint of a sense of shame, 1 Tim. 2:9.

      e.  Idolatry and superstitions: Covetousness, greed, false gods... (Col. 3:5)

      f.  Discord, Gal. 5:20; 1 Cor. 3:3-4. Envy, strife, division.

      g.  Intemperate excesses, 1 Pet. 4:3-4. Intoxicants leading to excess, riotous conduct associated with such excesses.

      h.  Lack of self-control over the mind and body, 1 Cor. 6:12, 19-20. (cf. Gluttony, smoking, etc. – being controlled by the flesh!)

    2.  Violates the authority of Christ, Rom. 8:7; Matt. 28:18 (Col. 3:17).



  A.  The Weapons of Our Warfare, 2 Cor. 10:4. (Admit the battle!)

    1.  The cross of Christ, Gal. 6:14. (crucify the world, 2:20)

    2.  The truth of God, 2 Cor. 10:5. (knowledge and obedience)

    3.  Repentance of sin, 2 Cor. 10:5. (change the mind)

    4.  The armor of God, Eph. 6:10-17.

  B.  Ways of Escape, 1 Cor. 10:13.

    1.  Prayer and peace, Phil. 4:6-7 (Jas. 5:16).

    2.  Worship, Jas. 5:13.

    3.  Fervent spirit of service, Rom. 12:11.

    4.  The Scriptures, 2 Tim. 3:16-17. (Spiritual growth to maturity)

    5.  Help of fellow Christians, Gal. 6:1-2.



1.  Carnality is living for the lusts of men, 1 Pet. 4:1-2.

2.  The world and its lusts are passing away; do the will of God and abide forever, 1 Jno. 2:17.


[1] Brand, C., Draper, C., England, A., Bond, S., Clendenen, E. R., & Butler, T. C. (Eds.). (2003). Carnal. In Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (p. 270). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.




By: Joe R. Price

Posted: March 17, 2015