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No such thing as a carnal Christian

What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:9).

Paul balances four activities: “learned and received” and “heard and seen.” It is one thing to learn a truth, but quite another to receive it inwardly and make it a part of our inner man (see 1 Thes. 2:13). Facts in the head are not enough; we must also have truths in the heart. In Paul’s ministry, he not only taught the Word but also lived it so that his listeners could see the truth in his life. Paul’s experience ought to be our experience. We must learn the Word, receive it, hear it, and do it. “But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only” (James 1:22).

Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 96). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

The demons had learned, but they have not received. The difference between intellectual and saving faith is the evidence. A lived lived in obedience to God is evidence of a regenerated and converted heart.

Therefore, there is no such thing as “a carnal Christian.”

Has the Gospel gone from your head and saturated your heart, then radiated from you in glorious acts in Christ?


Further reading

What is a Carnal Christian?

Ligonier: The Carnal Christian

GTY: 2-min video, Carnal Christians


Christian writer and Georgia teacher's aide who loves Jesus, a quiet life, art, beauty, and children.