The Last Perfect Man and The Carnal Christian
Copyright 2012 Anonymous. All rights reserved
This is one of the most helpful comments I heard when I was new in Alcoholics Anonymous and began to hear all the condemning remarks made about ministers, politicians, doctors, 12-Step people, and AAs who—though Christians—had missed the mark. The comment was:
The last perfect man left us some 2000 years ago. But He is seated at the right hand of God. And He is coming back to gather together the children of God.
Yet “scholars,” writers, historians, a few Christian leaders, and many in and out of 12-Step Fellowships denigrate participation, service, and actions of Christians in A.A. They do so by pointing to the so-called foibles and shortcomings of A.A.’s founders and 12-Step groups themselves. They pontificate in saying nobody should associate with an organization founded by such “sinners.”
I can truthfully affirm that, when I sat down in A.A., I had some sinning problems to deal with. Also that God had provided the Way and the power to deal with them.
I can truthfully affirm that some of the drunks and addicts who were sitting next to or near me seemed also to be in need of some instruction and some cleansing. And that the Word of God contained instructions for doing the job for them if they wanted to believe in God and diligently seek Him.
My Bible has some important comments about such sinners—whether yet redeemed, or already saints. It says:
But, God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 2:4- 6)
That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise (Ephesians 1:12-13).
Does that new man in Christ status make us perfect? If it did, then many of the following verses would be virtually meaningless:
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh, For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other; so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. . . . If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another (Galatians 5:16-18, 25-26).
Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens; and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. But let every man prove his own work, then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden. Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things (Galatians 6:1-4)
Romans 8:1-2, 5-7 tell us:
There is therefore no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death . . . For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
Our job is laid out in Romans 12:1-2:
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto to God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
What do you do, then, when:
you are sitting next to someone in A.A. who says: “Bill and Bob were not Christians?”You show them the evidence, and let them decide for themselves. And what do you do when you hear anyone—Christian or not—say: “Bill and Bob dabbled in spiritualism?” You show them the evidence that these men were born again Christians and may well have occasionally walked by the flesh. What do you do when you read something like “12-Steps to destruction?” You show them that a born again Christian can put on the whole armor of God and resist the wiles of the devil. And what do you do when someone writes that Dr. Bob was a freemason? You show them from the Word of God and tell them it is not what man belongs to or may have done, it is whether he is a born again Christian, who asks forgiveness for a sin when he wants forgiveness, and whose walk by the Spirit of God helped thousands to become children of God and overcome their sins, their shortcomings, and their obsessions—if they then chose to do so.
When you hear that someone or some group or some fellowship is being condemned, do you see if you can love and serve there? Do you tell those who are hungry that they can be fed the Word of God? Do you show them exactly how they can become children of God by accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior?
Do you simply think of Jesus’s instruction in Matthew 7:1-5 and realize the accuser has an eye problem? He has failed to pull the log out of his own eye, so that he can see clearly how to tell another how to be rid of the speck in the other’s eye.