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Intro: Ill. We are all the time categorizing people. We label them according to

economics, careers, etc. The Bible is a book that also categorizes men. It groups

into three categories: Natural, Spiritual, and Carnal. Everyone in this building

today falls into one of these three categories. You are in one of the three.

The primary purpose of the Bible is that God desires to reveal Himself to

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 they are

saved, they will grow up in him into mature Christians. Sadly, not everyone is

saved, and not all saved people are growing in Christ. Now, as I said, the Bible

offers a plan for growing into maturity. However, you must know where you are

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 evil.

(Ill. Water and electricity - The course of least resistance!) (Ill no good -

Rom. 3:10-12)

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 every

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 doesn’t

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 a

deaf man criticizing music or a blind man ridiculing art!) He is in the dark,

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 man.

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 given

capacity to live differently. Because of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the

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 it to

transform his life and he is different because of it - Ill. Psa. 119:105. (Ill.

Christians are not tadpoles! We have already been changed into princes by

the kiss of God’s amazing grace, but we are to make an effort! (Ill. The

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 the

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 of the

Word is opened, he gathers all he can and then he applies it to his life and

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 discern

the will of God by “judging” or “examining” everything by the truth of the

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 lenses. He

literally possesses the mind of Christ in His daily life! (Ill. He is always

misunderstood and thought to be crazy by the world!)

D. The spiritual man is literally “filled” with the Spirit of God. God controls

his mind, his heart, his hands, his feet, his tongue, his flesh, everything is

yielded to the control of the Spirit of the Lord! Nothing is held back from

the Lord!

E. Not many achieve this level of Christianity, but it should be the goal for

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 grown

in the Lord. He is always being defeated by the flesh, the world and the

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! He

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 spoon fed)

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 shows up

for church. He is helpless. Spiritually speaking, he is a baby! (Ill. The

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 to tear

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 are one,

please let me remind you that Jesus did not save you to stagnate. He saved

you to serve Him. Today would be a very good time for you to throw off the

works of the flesh, old carnal attitudes, laziness, or whatever it is that has

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 do? If

natural, be saved. If spiritual, keep growing. If carnal, repent and change for His


These outlines were developed by clergyman in ministry as preachers of the gospel. Feel free to use them as they are, or adapt them to suit your own personal style. To God be the glory!

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