By Evangelist B. N. Wire
The Seven Differences Between The Carnal and The Human Element In Temptation
Many people are afraid to claim the experience of perfect love because they are not able to distinguish between the human and the carnal elements in their own experiences. Also, a large number of Thos. who have received entire sanctification have cast away their confidence during temptations because of confusing the carnal and the human. Since an understanding of the differences between these is vital to the attaining and the retaining of heart purity I have prepared a chart followed by a detailed explanation in order that my readers may see more vividly the contrast between these two factors in Christian experience. The following will set forth seven fundamental differences between the carnal and the human.
In the following chart and the following discussion of the chart, I am aware that there is much dove-tailing and overlapping of truth, but each division presents a distinct phase of the differences between the carnal and the human and is necessary to an understanding of the problem involved.
We shall first consider numbers one and two on the chart, namely, The Imposition of Satan vs The Gift of God and The Law of Sin and Death vs The Laws of Physical and Mental Life.
As we said in the proceeding chapter, through the subtlety of Satan our first parent was enticed into evil when she chose to transgress God's laws to satisfy human desires. Thereby, full grown in the heart of Eve, sin leaped into the world. It was the imposition of Satan upon the human family. This transgression of God's law admitted the carnal element that has polluted the seed of woman ever since the fall. This element is from the resister of God and deceiver of man, and came into human experience only because God's warning was not heeded nor His commandment kept. "For as in Adam all die." I Cor. 15:22. "Soon as we draw our infant breath the seed of sin grows up for death", wrote the poet Pope. Paul called this imposition of hell upon his soul, "The law of sin and death" warring against the law of God in his conscience and causing him to do evil when he would do good. The apostle says that "It is not I (that is the proper and human self) but sin (the carnal element or self) that dwelleth in me causing me to do that that I would not". Romans 7:20. Hence the carnal man is spoken of as the natural man since "We are all by nature the children of wrath" Eph. 2:3. "Behold I was shapen in iniquity and in sin did my mother conceive me." Psalm 9:6. There is one thing to remember. While this carnal element is imposed upon every son born of Adam's race by natural generation it is not the normal condition in which God plans man's soul should be: that is, the natural man is not the normal man.
In the beginning God made man a normal human being and endowed him with physical and mental passions, appetites and varied physical functions, and told him to exercise these God-given powers to replenish the earth and rule over and make use of all other creatures and things. "And God saw everything that He had made, and behold it was very good." Gen. 1:31. T he Creator and Father of us all is still saying that about every human element. These physical and mental powers and propensities are proper and indispensable to personality and normal human existence.
Now let us discuss Numbers Three and Four on our chart. Namely, Carnality not subject to God 's Law while the Human Element Is and Carnality Working Against God While the Human is Working For God.
Having seen that the carnal element is the law of Sin and Death, a Satanic imposed corruption upon the human spirit, we shall not be surprised to hear Paul say that the carnal mind "is not subject to the law of God". Romans 8:7. It is pictured as such an outlaw against God's law that it is not only not subject to God's law but "neither indeed can be." (It is an element that is diametrically and eternally opposed to the righteousness and holiness of God). Carnality is the Dillinger (Public Enemy No. 1) in the kingdom of the soul. It refuses to be subject to law. These are the orders we must give to all those who desire assurance of safety and perfect soul peace: Don't let the "Old Man" get the drop on you! Get rid of the "Carnal Mind" or it will get rid of you. Paul tells us in Romans 8:6 "To be carnally minded is death." Even regeneration does not subject the carnal element to the laws of God. It is only the first blow toward its crucifixion and eradication. Here in the soul the "old man" wars against the law of the spirit of life imparted by regeneration. Even now he is not subject to God's law but only bound and restricted by both divine law and grace.
On the other side we see the human element capable not only of being subject to the laws of God but also capable of glorifying God. There is no law or propensity in the body or mind of a normal man that is not good and perfectly in harmony with God. These human desires, unlike the carnal element, can be brought into subjection to the will of God by the power of the will of man as well as by the grace of God. Many are the people who adjust most of their human relations and desires to the moral law of God even without saving grace. I am sure you know people upon whose lives you could hardly lay a finger with the exception that they do not take their stand definitely for Christ. They bring their human appetites and passions into subjection to divine law and are admirable and noble, morally speaking. However, until grace enters the heart, even the human element cannot be fully subject to the will of God. The great difference between the carnal and the human elements is that there is no place in God's will or law for the carnal for it is of the kingdom of Satan and cannot be subject to any good purpose, either by the human or the divine will, whereas there is a place in the divine will and plan for the human element in working with and for God. It pleases and glorifies God to have all mankind exercise and satisfy each and every human propensity as long as such is exercised and satisfied within the limits of his divine purpose and will: Therefore, He gives us a touchstone in our Christian living, "Whether ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do do all to the glory of God." I Cor. 20:31. I believe that the physical passion for food and drink represents all human appetites and desires. In this, the only true scriptural standard for Christian conduct is plainly expressed the fact that all human elements glorify God when directed by the human will to that end. Let us never be disturbed or afraid of any human desire which may surge in our minds or bodies, only let us keep watch with our will to find God's will for the satisfying of these desires. Let the body crave food and drink but give it the proper kind in temperate quantities. Let the mind crave knowledge but guide it into worthy, wholesome, helpful fields of learning. Let the affections cry for human love, let that love be sought and found, and let such culminate in marriage, a home and children. It is all beautifully working together with God, ennobling to all characters concerned, and bringing new personalities into being who are to become God's partners, world without end. These are the pure functions of the human elements apart from the pollution and perversion of the carnal element.
In the fifth place we consider how the sin element always degrades character while the human passions and propensities in themselves are beautifying and uplifting For another definite distinction let us note the difference in effect of these two elements upon character and usefulness in human living. The carnal element always degrades character. It does not lift. Its pull is always downward. It is the root of selfishness, greed, malice, envy, jealousy and every other characteristic that makes men unlovely and a burden to society and friends. The carnal element is always negative and destructive to the virtues that make noble men and women.
With the human element in life it is different. The more human one is the more happy he may be and the more useful he may become to his fellow strugglers in life's way. He must be one subject to like passions as his fellows if he is to sympathize fully and help them in their hard fought battles. The more intensely human a man is(when his humanity is guided by human will and divine grace into proper channels, bringing true happiness and reserve force of character) the more he will be able to influence those his fellows to follow his example in doing the will of God. Passion is power to enable and beautify manhood and womanhood when directed properly. It is also power to dam and degrade personality if not directed in lawful channels. Remember that any human element exercised in its rightful place to its purposed end always uplifts, strengthens and builds character. There is nothing degrading about the lawful and temperate exercise of any human passion but it is always degrading to give place to any carnal passion or propensity. There are no exceptions to the foregoing statement.
Finally, we discuss the sixth and seventh divisions of the chart. The main difference we desire to emphasize is that the carnal element must be eradicated while the human element is to be suppressed or directed. There can be only one logical and successful way to deal with carnality and that is by eradication. Since carnality is the imposition of the Devil and the corruption of the human soul and always destructive to character it must be destroyed. Paul said, "I (the carnal self) am crucified with Christ nevertheless l (the human self) live--yet not I but Christ liveth in me." It would be tragic beyond words to think of the crucifixion of the human self that would put an end to mortal life. Paul had experienced death to the carnal self and thus enthroned Christ to rule without a rival over his human self. Again we hear Paul ring the bell of hope and certainty: "Knowing this that our old man is crucified with him that the body of sin might be destroyed (for the purpose) that henceforth we should not serve sin." Romans 6:6. Our old man in this passage is the same as the carnal "I" in Galatians 2:20. It is absurdly false to teach that this chapter deals only with regeneration and the old life or deeds of the old man. It is true that it can be made to mean the old life, but the clear emphasis is a revelation of the fact that in Christ on the cross is atonement for that inbred sin principle that cannot be forgiven or pardoned and always prevents stability in Christian living. Christ gave Himself for the church and "Our old man is crucified with him" (not forgiven but crucified) that the body of sin might be destroyed. The emphasis not upon the old sinful life and pardon but upon the crucifixion and destruction of the BODY OF SIN. Again in the last clause "that henceforth we should not sin" is the same note sounded by the Apostle Paul in all of his epistles as he calls the church to holiness. I Thess. 3:13 states "To the end that He may establish your hearts unblamable in holiness--for this is the will of God even your sanctification--that you might abstain from (backsliding) falling." "That you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God." Then we hear John cry: "Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world". 1:29. This is sin singular number--sin principle inbred and outlawed. Then again in I John 1:7 we read "If we walk in the light as He is in the light we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His son cleanseth us from all sin. "
Without eradication of the carnal element such a promise would be a lie. There can be no cleansing from all sin as long as sin is suppressed. Those who try to teach or believe counteraction or suppression as a way to deal with inbred sin do not teach or believe in entire sanctification at all as a present attainment. The heart is never pure or holy if sin in any degree is being suppressed or counteracted. There is no sense in quibbling over some peculiar manifestations of human emotions that cause us to question whether people are holy or not. This kind of critical attitude on the part of some manifests and proves only that they do not enjoy this grace of "Charity that covers a multitude of sins."
Since sin cannot adhere in matter and God demands a perfect heart, and since the holiest of men are still just men, and subject to temptation, and human errors due to lack of knowledge, power and judgment, it behooves us all to leave the judgment seat, dare to believe God's word, expect more of ourselves than our brethren and" Above all have fervent charity among yourselves." I Cor. 9:27.
For us to teach that entire sanctification or eradication of sin from the soul is impossible in this life would be to deny the Bible and brand the greatest and holiest saints and soul winners of all time as badly deceived souls if not dangerous liars. May God help us ministers to have these problems clear in our own minds and experiences and teach the people so. The fault is with us, the ministers, not with the pew.
Of course, we are human after holiness and to destroy or eradicate these physical and mental faculties and functions would lead to the cemetery. It is a sort of cursed spiritual pride that makes folks ashamed and afraid to confess that they are tempted after sanctification. We must be truthful, frank and humble - only then can we understand and have charity one for another.
Paul said, "I keep my body under and bring it into subjection," I Cor. 9:27. This is supression, subjection or direction of the proper physical and mental passions and powers indispensable to personality and normal human existence. This clearly expresses God's desire for the human element in contrast with His plan for the destruction of the unnecessary carnal element corrupting the unsanctified heart