In I Corinthians 3: 1-4 the apostle Paul refers to some “brethren” as carnal. Carnality means “of the flesh.” The “flesh” is mankind’s natural fallen condition. After mankind sinned, “prone to sin” became the natural condition. There is a remedy for carnality. It’s spirituality, which means being under the influence of the Holy Spirit, which is analogous to being under the influence of wine.
For a Christian to be carnal is like living in an Arctic house with the furnace turned nearly off. With little influence from the furnace, the house returns to the natural condition – cold. Mind you, the house has a furnace, but it’s turned down. A carnal Christian is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, but the Spirit is grieved, quenched, and largely ignored.
Why would anyone live in an Arctic house with the furnace turned down? Perhaps to save fuel cost. So there is an explanation. Still, it’s a poor choice. And there are reasons Christians minimize the influence of the Holy Spirit; nonetheless, it’s a poor choice.
Sadness over carnality underlies my book, Lifestyle Decisions. However, its content will not cure the ailment. I believe the book will help someone who is eager for truth, someone whose intellect is weighing evidence. But foundational to good lifestyle choices is being “under the influence” of the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 5:18
A word of warning. Should you pursue holiness and purity, do not be intimidated by accusations of legalism and unChrist-like separation from lost people. James 1: 27 names two characteristics of “pure and undefiled religion.” One is visiting orphans and widows; the second is keeping oneself “unspotted from the world.” Such religion has an outreach dimension and a personal holiness dimension. The two dimensions are compatible.