Big Apple Chapel is a New Testament based church in New York City, modeled after the pattern of the early church, with a strong emphasis on following Christ as a community of His disciples.

  • Sunday - 10:30 am
  • 520 8th Ave, 16th floor
    New York, NY
  • phone: +1 (973) 837-1041


BAC Sermons

Responding to Carnal Christians


I. How to Recognize a Carnal Christian - a focus on the temporal pleasures of this life w/o fear of God

A. NT Spectrum: Laborers/mature disciple/spiritual (Paul, Barnabas, Timothy), Disciples, Immature-babes, Carnal/worldling

1Cor 3:1 I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. 3 for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?

B. Believer whose mind dwells on fleshy, temporal things rather than the Spirit, with consequent lack of concern for purity (cf Corinth)

Rm 8:5 those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.

C. Live defeated hypocritical lives, pretending to be something they are not, having a form of godliness, but denying its power

D. Do what they know is wrong, don’t do what they know would please God, and feel powerless to change.

E. Focus on externals; doing things for the temporal praise of men (or to avoid their disapproval) rather than for motives that please God

F. Self-gratifying earthlings Php 3:17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them who walk even as you have us for an example. 18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross (self-denial discipleship) of Christ: 19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

G. Love World 1Jn 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world

H. Pleasure Seeker Js 4:3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. 4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 4 You adulterers and adulteresses, know you not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

I. At  war (God, self, and usually others) 1 Pt 2:11...as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly/carnal lusts, which war against the soul

II. Consequences of Carnality - loss of fellowship with God and His Body, disinheritance, destruction

A. No fellowship with God and consequently his body; Fellowship is to have something in common, what fellowship have God and demons?

B. Lack of fellowship with light-living believers indicates lack of fellowship with God.

1Jn 1:7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.

C. Disunity 1Cor 1-3(esp 3:17); James 3:16  For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.

D. Displease God and cut off self from grace Rm 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

E. Death Rm 8:13 if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 1Cor 11

F. Disinheritance 1Cor 6:9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, adulterers, homosexuals, sodomites, 10  thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

Gal 5:19  Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20  idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

G. Deceived Destruction  Gal 6:7-8 7  Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8  For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. cf 1Cor 5:5; 3:17

H. Rejection by the Body just demonstrates the separation that already exists between the sinning believer and God -Mt 18; 1Jn 1

III. Goals in Responding - Purity of Body; Shame,  Repentance and Restoration of the sinner

A. Fulfill command to love (do what is another’s best interest) {child discipline}; Our definition of love must come from Scripture, not the world. The world accused early Christians of not worshipping God (1Pt). The world must not set the agenda for the Church.

B. Believers must keep the body pure 1Cor 5:7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump Heb 3:13

Leaven destroys the holy temple  Eph 2:21 in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord

2 Cor 6:17 "Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you."

Rev 18:4  I heard another voice from heaven saying, "Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.

Gal 5: 7  You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? 9  A little leaven leavens the whole lump.

Eph 5:11  And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.

C. We must be more concerned about spiritual than worldly Matt 16:23 But He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men."

D. Shame that causes repentance and eventual restoration

Repentance is a change of mind that results in humility, confession, changed values, and consistent changed behavior

1Cor 5:5 deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

Romans 13:14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.

2Cor 7:10  For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. 11  For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

E. Call for Repentance  Rev 3: 19  "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.

F. Expect the best Js 5:19 Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins

IV. How to Respond - Reprove, Recognize Response, Reject or Restore

A. Competent to Judge 1Cor 6:2 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3 Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life? 5 I say this to your shame...there is not a wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge between his brethren?

Don’t judge Hypocritically 1Cor 2:15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.16 For "who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?" But we have the mind of Christ.

Be Truth based Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another...

Rom 15: 14...you, my brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.

Be Spirit-led Ga 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, you who are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest you also be tempted. 2 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ (see One Another list)

B. Start at Low Volume  (Mt 7:12; ch 18)

1. Instruct, Encourage, Exhort, Admonish, Reproof, Rebuke, Reject, leading to Corporate holiness, and possible Restoration

2. Identify your audience 1Th 5:14 we exhort you brethren, warn/admonish-put in mind of consequences) them that are unruly (out of line, immoderate pleasure seekers #813 below); encourage (speak/instruct alongside 2:11; 1 Cor 14:3 ) the fainthearted/feebleminded; support (loyally hold fast) the weak/sick (lack resources to cope), be patient toward all.

3. Remember the real enemy 2Tim 2:24  And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25  in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may acknowledge/epignosis the truth, 26  and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.

4. Go public if necessary 1Tim 5:20  Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear.

5. Three strikes...you’re out Mat 18:15 "Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16 "But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that `by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.' 17 "And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector. 18 "Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19 "Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 20 "For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them."

C. Respond as God has Commanded in the Scriptures  - “Shun” Mt 18:17...let him be to you as an heathen and a tax collector

1. See Sermon on Proverbial Fools Pr 14:7 Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceives not in him the lips of knowledge.

2. Withdraw 2Th 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother that walks disorderly (#813), and not after the tradition which he received from us.

813 ataktos TDNT - 8:47 1) disorderly, out of ranks (often so of soldiers) 2) irregular, inordinate, immoderate pleasures 3) deviating from the prescribed order or rule. Used in Greek society of those who did not show up for work. noun 1) to be disorderly 1a) of soldiers marching out of order or quitting ranks 1b) to be neglectful of duty, to be lawless 1c) to lead a disorderly life

3. Avoid Rom 16:17...mark them who cause dissension and offences contrary to the doctrine which you have learned; and avoid them.

4. People not to have over for dinner 1Cor 5:4 In the name of our Lord...9 I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people.12 For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? 13 But those who are outside God judges. Therefore "put away from yourselves the evil/wicked person."11 But now I have written to you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother is an immoral person, or covetous (have more), or an idolater (Eph 5:5), or a railer (injures reputation of others), or a drunkard (self-indulging escapist), or an extortioner (robber); with such a person no not to eat. 13 But them that are outside God judges. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

5. No Companionship  2Th 3:13  brethren, be not weary in well doing. 14 And if any man obeys not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother

6. Folks to withdraw from 1Ti 6:3 If any man teach otherwise, and agrees not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the doctrine which is according to godliness; 5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing gain to be godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

7. Believers to turn away from 2Tim 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers (speak against/slander) , disobedient to parents, unthankful/ingrates, unholy(impious-shirking moral responsibility), 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers (disloyal to covenants), false accusers/prone to slander, without self-control, fierce/untamed, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, headstrong/impulsive/rash, proud/haughty/highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying its power: from such turn away.

8. Folks to be rude to 2Jn 1:10 If any one comes to you, and brings not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither wish him greetings

9. Folks to reject - Two strikes...they’re out Titus 3:10 Warn a divisive (chooses own way-heretic) person once, and then warn/admonish him a second time; after that reject/have nothing to do with him.

D. Reaffirm love  2Cor 2:6 This punishment which was inflicted by the majority is sufficient for such a man, 7 so that, on the contrary, you ought rather to forgive and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one be swallowed up with too much sorrow. 8 Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him. 9 For to this end I also wrote, that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things. 10 Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, 11 lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.

E. Be open to Repentance 1Kg 8:47-53; 21:25-29

Questions for Discussion/Reflection/Response:

1. How does one obey the above verses while not disobeying the verses about not judging? (Mat 7:1 Rm 14:13; 1Cor 4:5; 11:31)

2. Have you ever evaluated you list of acquaintances against the lists in  2Tim 3 or 1 Cor 5 and taken appropriate action? If not, why not?

3. Why do we feel hesitant to judge and then shun acquaintances who are not being completely obedient? What do you value most?

4. How do you discern whether someone has just taken a couple steps backward or is someone with whom you need to apply these principles? 

5. How does God’s view of Corporate holiness affect your approach to personal holiness and our Corporate obedience?