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Sermon #3138

Carnal or Christian?

A Sermon on Romans 8:5-8


Romans 8:5-8 ESV KJV
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on …

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Sermon Description

According to the apostle Paul, there is a sharp distinction between a Christian and non-Christian. As Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones elaborates in this message on Romans 8:5–8 titled “Carnal or Christian?”, the non-Christian is “under the flesh.” Some popular interpretations of this passage miss this distinction and instead posit a distinction between Christians. They will say there are two kinds of Christians: the “spiritual” Christian and the “carnal” Christian. In this sermon, Dr. Lloyd-Jones argues against the “carnal” Christian view. What emerges from the biblical text is a devastating picture of the “natural man.” The natural man, according to Dr. Lloyd-Jones, is a person of the “flesh.” Their mind is opposed to the things of God. They are an enemy of God and refuse to submit to the law of God. Dr. Lloyd-Jones reminds the listener that ‘good’, cultured, and well-spoken people are just as much under God’s wrath as regular sinners. Listen to this sobering message on the spiritually dead and be encouraged that God has put life into His people through Christ.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostle Paul is contrasting the non-Christian and the Christian, not two types of Christians.
  2. The non-Christian is dominated by the flesh, the fallen human nature. They are under its control and authority.
  3. Those dominated by the flesh deliberately set their minds on worldly things, things opposed to God and spiritual realities. Their whole personality is bent towards worldly pursuits.
  4. To have the mind of the flesh is death. It is spiritual death, being outside the life of God. The non-Christian is dead to spiritual realities and God.
  5. The mind of the flesh is enmity against God. The non-Christian hates God and is opposed to him. They cannot be a Christian and be opposed to God.
  6. The non-Christian does not subject themselves to God's law. They rebel against God and do what they want. They are antagonistic towards God.
  7. The non-Christian cannot change themselves. They cannot choose to love God or obey him. They lack the spiritual ability. They are helpless.
  8. Those in the flesh cannot please God. They are displeasing to God and can do nothing to change that. They are outside of God's life and approval.
  9. The only way to become a Christian is through God's action. We are saved by grace through faith, as a gift from God. We are made new creations by God, not by our own doing.

The Book of Romans

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.