“(The carnal mind) is dead set against the wisdom and counsel of God, as revealed in his Word, and therefore is emphatically described as being at enmity against God (Rom. 8:7). It is so impertinent that it considers the practice of godliness, demanded by God in his Word, as pure madness and foolishness (2 Kings 9:11; 1 Cor. 1:18). Indeed, it regards the desire to live a holy life… as no better than prudishness, legalism, and hypocrisy. The carnal mind will never accept bending, yielding, and subjecting all things to the service of God in order to give first priority to the practice of true godliness. Anything rather than that! On the contrary, the carnal mind wants true godliness – indeed, everything – to bend, yield, and be made subject to its own plans and pursuits.

The carnal mind devises a certain way of Christian life through which it imagines that God as well as man can be satisfied. Carnal man is willing to do certain things that God requires, such as giving money to the poor, going to church, and even partaking of the Lord’s Supper. However, other things that God also requires, such as instructing one’s household in the fear of the Lord, regularly visiting the sick, and comforting the poor, are not considered necessary or important. Carnal man rejects those things, not taking the slightest interest in them. Yet the things he himself has chosen he regards as the only right and reasonable Christian way of life. Everything outside of this he calls insincerity, prudishness, narrow-mindedness, superstition, or hypocrisy. Everything that does not fit into his own self-approved program he considers lukewarm, careless, slothful, or ungodly. Truly, these people are foolish because they deceive their own hearts with false arguments, as the apostle James explains when, for those very reasons, he declares that “this man’s religion is vain” (James 1:26).”


Willem Teellinck, The Path of True Godliness
tags: godliness
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The Path of True Godliness The Path of True Godliness by Willem Teellinck
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