Scripture: "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto Spiritual, but as unto carnal, as unto babes in Christ."—1 COR. iii. 1.
The difference St. Paul makes between the two kinds of Christians is of great importance. Man's natural life is altogether carnal. The Christian at his new birth receives the Holy Spirit, and immediately there begins a struggle between flesh and spirit. So long as the Christian allows the Spirit to conquer, and is led by the Spirit, the power of the Spirit over him increases, and he becomes a spiritual man. The flesh is still there, and in the flesh is no good thing, but he learns that it means that his flesh is crucified as something that deserves the accursed death, and he becomes the spiritual man, of whom it may be said: "The spiritual man discerneth all things."
When, on the other hand, the Christian is ignorant about the Spirit, or if informed, disobedient, then the flesh obtains the mastery, and the Christian remains weak; and as there is no spiritual growth, he remains a babe. He may try in his own strength to do better, and what was begun in the Spirit is continued in the flesh—a carnal attempt to become holy (cf. Gal. iii. 3). By degrees the flesh triumphs, so that he has no power to resist the works of the flesh or the Spirit of the World.
This is the sad condition of the Church, that the majority of her members remain carnal. They constantly fall under the power of the flesh, and, as a result, are overcome by envy and anger and uncharitableness. Such Christians have no insight into spiritual truth. If their life in Christ, daily fellowship with Him, and what God promises to do for His children is mentioned, they can hardly understand what is meant.
How earnestly we should pray God to reveal to us what is carnal and what spiritual, and enable us to yield ourselves completely to the guidance of His Spirit.