I needed to take a pit stop and go into this before Part II of “The discernment of saints”
1 Cor 3:4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?
What is at issue here is the definition of a ‘carnal Christian’. The best definition of which is: A Christian who needs to, or prefers to, drink from another man’s spiritual bucket.
Instead of going to the well which is found in Christ, these men considered themselves to be in a good state because they referred to their status by the human teacher preferred; whether Paul or Apollos, (or Calvin, or Wesley, or Luther, or whomever besides the Holy Spirit). And for that Paul refers to them as carnal; for their preference of drinking from the bucket of men rather than the living waters flowing forth from the Father, through the Son, by the Holy Spirit.
Refer to other men if necessary, but if we allow their thoughts (whether good or bad) to rattle around all alone unchecked in our heads, THAT is what defines us as carnal! Too lazy to press on after and slay our own spiritual meat, that we may chew the cud on it. A spirit that prefers that other men present the truths of God to us. A cup not full enough that it runneth over, but one that requires overflow from another cup to fill it, is the clearest definition of a carnal Christian.
By that definition, was Solomon carnal? No. Did Solomon live in sin? Yes. Was Solomon comfortable in his sin? No. Was he grieved by it? Yes. Did he go to the well which is found in Christ? Yes. Through all his sin, Solomon fits the mainstream definition of a carnal Christian, yet having wisdom above all men, he does not fit the true definition of a carnal Christian. What Solomon did have was a very tumultuous battle against the old nature that he put on display as an example for the rest of us, and poured forth his wisdom from it, to the glory of God.
Compare that to King Saul, Judas, and the rich young ruler, who outwardly did many things right, and gave much evidence of submitting to the lordship of Christ, yet through their sin of morality the damnation of each is most obvious.
Take heart, there is such a thing as a carnal Christian, the difficulty has always been the definition.