1 Cor. 2:14-3:1 THE ROAD MAP TO MATURITY
Intro: Ill. We are all the time categorizing people. We label them according
economics, careers, etc. The Bible is a book that also categorizes men.
into three categories: Natural, Spiritual, and Carnal. Everyone in this
today falls into one of these three categories. You are in one of the
The primary purpose of the Bible is that God desires to reveal Himself
fallen men so that He might enter into a relationship with them. His
desire is that
men will come to know Him through His Son Jesus Christ, and that after
saved, they will grow up in him into mature Christians. Sadly, not everyone
saved, and not all saved people are growing in Christ. Now, as I said,
offers a plan for growing into maturity. However, you must know where
before you can ever hope to go farther.
My desire in this message is to help you see which of these 3 Biblical
categories you fit into, and to help you grow from there. Notice with
me the Road
Map To Maturity.
I. 2:14 THE NATURAL MAN (Lives Naturally)
A. He Is Depraved - Ill. Psa. 58:3; Isa. 48:8;
John 8:44a (Ill. Eph. 2:3a)
The natural man is prone to sin. There is a bent in his nature toward
(Ill. Water and electricity - The course of least resistance!) (Ill
no good -
B. He Is Directed - Eph. 2:1-3 The natural
man’s life is out of his hands. He is
under the control of Satan and like a mindless puppet he carries out
whim of the flesh and the devil! (Ill. John 8:44b)
C. He Is In Darkness - 2 Cor. 4:4 (Ill. Nicodemus
- A teacher among the Jews,
but in the depths of darkness.) The natural man does not see his problem,
nor does he understand the things of God. (Ill. Receiveth = “to welcome”
He may appreciate some things about the church and worship, but spiritual
things will be pure foolishness to him - Ill. 1 Cor. 1:18.) (Ill. He
understand the people of God and he will criticize the things he doesn’t
understand because they bother him and he doesn’t know why!) (Ill. Like
deaf man criticizing music or a blind man ridiculing art!) He is in
but Jesus can change all that - Ill. John 9:25!
D. He Is Doomed - Hell is his certain future!
Psa. 9:17 (Ill. Born 1 die 2)
E. He Is Dead - While he lives and breathes,
the natural man is in a perpetual
state of death. (Ill. What death is!) (Ill. A car with no battery!)
II. v.15-16 THE SPIRITUAL MAN (Lives Supernaturally)
(Ill. There is a vast difference between the natural man and the spiritual
The spiritual man has been born twice. He is in a living, growing, vibrant,
personal relationship with Jesus Christ. As a result, he has the God
capacity to live differently. Because of the indwelling of the Holy
spiritual man is able to comprehend the spiritual things of God and
it tells in
the way he lives his life - Ill. 1 Cor. 2:12-13)
A. He Lives By The Spirit - The spiritual man
lives his life governed by the
rule of the Holy Spirit in his heart. He gets into the Word and allows
transform his life and he is different because of it - Ill. Psa. 119:105.
Christians are not tadpoles! We have already been changed into princes
the kiss of God’s amazing grace, but we are to make an effort! (Ill.
Spirit will lead if we will allow Him to - John 16:13; Gal. 5:16.
B. He Learns From The Spirit - The spiritual
man is able to receive the truths
of the Word. He is able to grasp spiritual things, he can understand
Bible, he can enjoy the presence of the Lord. God’s truths are not
foolishness, they are food - Job 23:12 (Ill. When the treasure house
Word is opened, he gathers all he can and then he applies it to his
grows from it!)
C. He Is Liberated By The Spirit - The spiritual
man is liberated from the
bondage to the flesh, the world and the devil because he is able to
the will of God by “judging” or “examining” everything by the truth
Word! Therefore, he is not easily squeezed into the world’s mold, Rom.
12:2, but he is a able to look at things through a different set of
literally possesses the mind of Christ in His daily life! (Ill. He is
misunderstood and thought to be crazy by the world!)
D. The spiritual man is literally “filled” with the Spirit of God. God
his mind, his heart, his hands, his feet, his tongue, his flesh, everything
yielded to the control of the Spirit of the Lord! Nothing is held back
E. Not many achieve this level of Christianity, but it should be the
every sincere Christian! Are you here yet?
III. 3:1 THE CARNAL MAN (Lives Unnaturally)
(Ill. This type person is saved, yet mostly unchanged. He has never
in the Lord. He is always being defeated by the flesh, the world and
devil. It is possible to be a Christian and be very carnal!)
A. He Is Defeated - There are three areas where
his carnality continually shows
1. He Can’t Walk Spiritually - Constantly losing the
battle to the flesh, the
world and the devil.
2. He Can’t War Spiritually - He isn’t able to dress
up in the “whole”
armor of God - Eph. 6:10-17. Some of the pieces are missing and the
ones he does have, he doesn’t know how to use! He can’t fight evil!
is always beaten!
3. He Can’t Work Spiritually - This type person is
not much use to the
Kingdom. The carnal Christian doesn’t win souls, support the church
with his presents or his presence, doesn’t teach, and never becomes
actively involved! He is always riding around on the effort of others.
B. He Is Dependent - 3:2 (Ill. Must always be
The carnal Christian is totally dependent on others for any spiritual
nourishment he receives. He can’t teach, he must always be taught, (Ill.
Heb. 5:12-14!) He cannot serve, but must be served. He cannot glean
spiritual truth for himself, the pastor must spoon feed him when he
for church. He is helpless. Spiritually speaking, he is a baby! (Ill.
monstrosity of not growing!)
C. He Is Divisive - 1 Cor. 3:3-7) (Ill. The
troubles at Corinth!)
The carnal Christian is always looking for a fight. They are willing
the church to pieces over any silly, immature issue that comes to mind.
They are easily offended and quick to defend rights that they have never
earned for themselves. This type of person is to be watched very, very
D. There are many, many carnal Christians in churches today. If you
please let me remind you that Jesus did not save you to stagnate. He
you to serve Him. Today would be a very good time for you to throw off
works of the flesh, old carnal attitudes, laziness, or whatever it is
caused you to become carnal and get right with the Lord.
Conc: What type of person are you? You know, now what do you need to
natural, be saved. If spiritual, keep growing. If carnal, repent and
change for His