The Meaning Of Backsliding

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Good morning T____,
Thank you for your question. You ask:

It is very little understood, but it is nevertheless explained throughout the scriptures, that when we all first come to Christ, we are “yet carnal.”

1Co 1:1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,
1Co 1:2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:
1Co 1:5 That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;
1Co 1:6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you:
1Co 1:7 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:

If we were to stop reading the book of 1 Corinthians at verse 7, we would think that these people were “rich and increased with goods and in need of nothing.” Which is exactly what people who buy into the false doctrine of a ten second sinner’s prayer, believe.
It would be just like reading about God’s deliverance of Israel out from under the oppressions of their Egyptian taskmasters; Reading about all the miracles that were performed to accomplish that task; Reading about all the plagues upon Egypt, culminating in Israel being spared the death of all the firstborn of Egypt; Reading about coming victoriously though the trauma of facing death again at the Red Sea, only to again be spared and again seeing the Egyptians destroyed, and then stopping right there, and reading no farther.
That is the message of the first part of chapter one of 1 Corinthians, and that is the message of the beginning of our spiritual experience with Christ. He performs many wonderful miracles of deliverance in our lives to this point but where was Israel when all of this was behind them. Were they now prepared to do war with the giants within the land? No, no, no! They were nowhere near being prepared to take on their own sinful flesh and blood, which is what the giants in the land foreshadow. Israel is typical of us, and they had to wander in the wilderness in total rebellion against God for forty long symbolic years, and they had to “die daily” until they were symbolically “buried with Christ, and risen in newness of life,” then they were ready to experience another baptism in the Jordan, before they were prepared to face the giants in the land.
How about these Corinthians, who had just been called to follow Christ. Were they now mature enough to face every false doctrine that came along and withstand all the trials of the Adversary? After all they were “sanctified in Christ Jesus and they came behind in no gift.”
Here is the answer to that question:

1Co 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
1Co 3:2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
1Co 3:3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
1Co 3:4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I [ am] of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

A “carnal babe in Christ” is a concept which is totally foreign to the Billy Graham, “Just accept Jesus as your Savior… ten second sinner’s prayer” doctrine, and yet it is an essential part of  “every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” and a vital part of “the things which are written therein.”

Mat 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Rev 1:3 Blessed [ is] he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time [ is] at hand.

‘The time is at hand, to keep every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God, and the things written in all of God’s Word.’ But there is much sore trial and “an evil experience… written therein.” It take a lifetime to “live by every word of God,” and that is why we are told “in your patience possess ye your souls.

Ecc 1:13 I applied my heart to inquiring and exploring by wisdom concerning all that is done under the heavens: it is an experience of evil Elohim has given to the sons of humanity to humble them by it. (CLV)

So backsliding is an essential part of our walk. It is common to all men, and it is a humbling and humiliating experience which must be endured until we come to realize deep in the marrow of our bones, that we are totally incapable of subduing our flesh, and that it takes Christ living His life of dying daily within us to ever overcome the giants in the land. It is “an experience of evil which God has given us to humble us.” It involves our whole life, and it is a daily process of Christ increasing in us as we slowly decrease. It is called “dying daily,” and while the “backslidings” subside, the victories which are completely non existent at the first, begin to dominate our lives.

Luk 21:19 In your patience possess ye your souls.
Mat 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
Pro 24:16 For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.

The number seven signifies completeness. Until we see that we of ourselves are nothing more than a complete failure and in need of a Savior, Christ cannot even begin His sovereign work of overcoming the beast within us all.

Ecc 3:18 I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.

Be patient, endure to the end, and you will have lived by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God and you will have kept the sayings of the prophecies of this book and kept the things written therein.
But it is a daily process of you decreasing as Christ in you increases.

Joh 3:30 He must increase, but I [ must] decrease.

The apostle Paul was dying daily all his life, and you and I will do the same so long as we are in these corruptible “earthen vessels.” God wants us to know that the power is all of Him and not of us.

2Co 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
1Co 15:31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

Your brother in Christ,

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