“And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.” 1 Corinthians 3:1

Some people think of a spiritual Christian as being a rather tragic, anemic, mousey, soft-spoken, gentle and harmless person who walks about with a permanent smile and cannot be roused to any kind of spiritual indignation. I do not find this to be the scriptural definition of spirituality. If so, then Jesus Christ, John the Baptist and John and Peter could not be said to be spiritual men.

The carnal Christian is regenerated but is carnal and spiritually imperfect, retarded in his development. It is possible to be spiritually retarded just as it is possible to be retarded in our physical, spiritual and mental development, having the characteristics of a baby. Paul uses the word “babe” in 1 Corinthians 3:1, which is an anonymous description, such as the phrase “babes in Christ”.

The Church of Christ includes at least four classes. There is the average Church person who comes all the time but never is converted. They come and seem to enjoy it and have friends among the Christian people, but they themselves have never passed from death unto life. That is one class.

There is another class, those who are trained to be Christians but are not. They appear as Christians because they have learned the language and are able to perform certain things, giving everybody the impression that they are in fact Christians. Usually, you find them in charge of all of the activities of the local Church.

Then there are true Christians, but they are carnal. They have never developed into a mature, functioning Christian. They are where they were when they were saved.

Thankfully, there are also those who are true Christians and are spiritual. Unfortunately, this seems to be the minority in most Churches.

What Typifies a Carnal Christian

I want to zero in on the carnal Christian. This seems to be the largest group in the contemporary Church. They drain the Church of power and influence while contradicting clear Bible teaching. Paul said those characteristics were unspiritual, they were carnal; and when those characteristics are in Christians, we find an unspiritual Christian. The best way to understand this is to compare the carnal Christian by noticing the characteristics of a baby.


Allow me to compare these carnal Christians with babies. Everyone is familiar with the delightful antics of babies. Personally, I love babies. In our home, we have had our share and then some of these delightful creatures. But the first thing about a baby is its self-centeredness.

The baby has a little world all its own and has no idea there is any other world but its world. It is a self-centered little thing, and everything else—mother, father, brothers and sisters—revolve around the little central sun. All others are but bodies and are insignificant to the baby. He defines his world by “me”, “mine” and other such phrases.

This is Paul’s concept of a carnal Christian, somebody that is self-centered, living a self-centered Christian life. He is born again, certainly, but living so that everything revolves around him. The only meanings others have are in relation to the baby’s needs…

—A.W. Tozer

A is for Always Abounding And Abiding

Reflections of Brethren on the Study of God’s Word (Life in my Father’s House) in Sunday School

Thank God for the joy and privilege to teach in the Sunday School class. I have learned the most since I have to spend much time to pray and prepare for the lessons. God has taught me more of the biblical truth of the Church that we belong to. (Elder John)

Thank God that I can learn and benefit from the lessons, and memorize verses. I Timothy 3:15. (Sister Baoyan)

The privileges of being a member in a local Church. Being in a local Church means we will get help from the Church. This gives us a sense of belonging. (Sister Crayson)

Thank God that I can learn more about my role as a Church member and what the foundation of a Church is. (Brother Edmund)

I would like to thank God for this opportunity to study God’s Word in Sunday School. I have learnt many spiritual lessons about the roles of leadership of the Church, the unity of the Church, and other truths as well. I believe that these lessons will help all of us grow more in faith in Christ and help the Church grow spiritually. I appreciate the lessons and want to encourage other brethren to join in the Sunday School to learn more of God’s Word. (Sister Kim Hoa)

The Sunday School has taught me a lot about Church membership, especially the reasons people have for leaving Church. Often, people are easily offended by words and actions, and think of the easy way out. Nevertheless, we are reminded of the biblical reasons to leave Church. Leaders are important and we are constantly reminded to continuously be persuaded by the Word of God. We are supposed to constantly subject ourselves under their leadership. These lessons are crucial for our modern days of lukewarm love for Christ. I have benefited much from them. All glory to God! (Brother Daniel)

Far more interesting, thought-provoking, heart-searching, unlike the passive, man-made lessons, from my previous charismatic church of my parents. (Brother David Han)

I was reminded that our Church Tabernacle BP Church doesn’t include the building that we worship in. But it’s the people we worship with that make up the Church. So we ought to show more love and concern to one another, our brothers- and sisters-in-Christ, especially through praying for them constantly. (Sister Meijie)

This series of lessons has caused me to realize that I am as responsible as the Church leaders for the health and growth of the Church. There are many personal failures to address, such as showing greater care for the leaders, how to handle issues when I cannot agree with the Church, etc. I’ve enjoyed learning and sharing these lessons. (Brother Isaac)