The Apostle Paul’s Carnality Index

The Pauline Carnality Index

The Pauline Carnality Index

by Rev. Paul A. Hughes

A key to the theology of the Apostle Paul is in understanding his classifications of carnal vs. spiritual, and “saved” versus “unsaved.”  That the unsaved live in the flesh and are lost in darkness is clear-cut.  Not so clear is the status of those who espouse belief in Christ but live an unregenerate and carnal life, ranging from Left/Libertine to Far Right/Legalist:  who by living and thinking according to mere human reasoning and with selfish motivation fall into a “gray area” in terms of salvation vs. judgment.

Carnal Unsaved

Natural, foolish, spiritually dead, hopeless, unenlightened, rebellious, reprobate, lawless, malicious, greedy, callous, care for things of the flesh, alienated from God, ungrateful

Romans 1:18-32
Romans 2:12-13
Romans 8:5-10, 13
1 Corinthians 2:11, 14
1 Corinthians 5:9-13
2 Corinthians 4:4
2 Corinthians 6:14-17
Galatians 5:16-21
Ephesians 2:1-3, 11-12
Ephesians 4:17-19
Philippians 3:18 –19
2 Timothy 3:1-9, 13
2 Timothy 4:3-4

Spiritual Christians

Renewed, enlightened, dead to sin, alive to God, servants of righteousness, clear of conscience, not condemned, Christ-minded, spiritually minded, led by the Spirit, children of God, patient, a living sacrifice, foolish in human terms, not judged by man, not under law, wise, understanding, thankful, submissive, obedient, forgiving, gracious, circumcised in the heart, humble, patient, acting in love

Romans 2:14-16
Romans 6:1-23
Romans 8:1-39
Romans 12:1-2
Romans 13:13-14
1 Corinthians 1:27-29
1 Corinthians 2:5-16
2 Corinthians 5:15-17
2 Corinthians 10:2-7
Galatians 2:20
Galatians 5:16-25
Ephesians 5:8-21
Ephesians 6:10-18
Colossians 2:11-15
Colossians 3:1-25

Carnal Christians

Judgmental, hypocritical, hard-hearted, contentious, disobedient, under threat of judgment, alive to sin, serving sin, living according to the flesh, babes in Christ, factious, saved “as by fire,” “puffed up,” to be faulted and ashamed, heretical, not acting in love, ignorant, children, credulous, lacking understanding, insensitive, wrathful, malicious, envious, foolish, enemies of Christ

Romans 2:1-13
Romans 6:1-23
Romans 7:1-25
Romans 8:5-6, 12-13, 20-23
Romans 13:13-14
1 Corinthians 2:11-14
1 Corinthians 3:1-23
1 Corinthians 4:18-21
1 Corinthians 5:1-12
1 Corinthians 6:1-20
1 Corinthians 10:1-33
1 Corinthians 11:16-22, 27-34
1 Corinthians 12:25-26
1 Corinthians 13:1-10
1 Corinthians 14:20, 36-38
1 Corinthians 15:33-36
2 Corinthians 7:1
2 Corinthians 10:2-7
2 Corinthians 12:20-21
2 Corinthians 13:2
Galatians 5:13-26
Galatians 6:7-8
Ephesians 2:1-19
Ephesians 4:14-32
Ephesians 5:3-21
Philippians 3:18-19
Colossians 3:1-25
1 Timothy 5:8

Legalistic Religionists

Judgmental, hypocritical, contentious, disobedient to the truth, subject to judgment by the Law, carnally minded, cause unbelievers to blaspheme, not true Jews, “puffed up,” glory in the flesh, “suffer fools gladly,” legalistic, ritualistic, in bondage to the Law, fallen from grace, vainglorious, envious

Romans 2:1-13, 2:12-29
Romans 8:1-15
Romans 14:1-23
1 Corinthians 7:19
1 Corinthians 8:1-13
1 Corinthians 10:23-33
2 Corinthians 11:18-31
Galatians 2:11-20
Galatians 3:2-28
Galatians 4:16-31
Galatians 5:1-26
Galatians 6:12-15
Ephesians 2:4-17
Philippians 3:3-7
Colossians 2:16-23

© 2012 Paul A. Hughes


2 Comments on “The Apostle Paul’s Carnality Index”

  1. Pam Thompson says:

    Excellent use of he graph, it really brought it home for me.

  2. [...] I posted what I described as the Apostle Paul’s “Carnality Index.”  The chart is based upon exegesis from the New Testament, and is not overtly political:  [...]


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