What Does The Lust Of The Flesh Mean
According to Paul, we were all by nature children of wrath, who once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind . Our sinful nature is evidenced by our inclination toward seeking our own interests, to disobey and rebel against God, the Law Giver.
When we follow the desires of the flesh, the results are very clear: adultery , impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these.
Those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God , because these all are against Gods holiness. A self-centered, carnal attitude is never part of His kingdom.
John wrote, For everything in the world the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life comes not from the Father but from the world .
These worldly desires are not from God but are the results of sin, which infected this world through mans disobedience, that is the desire to be independent, or to be like, the Creator, having the authority over ones own life.
Worldliness is anything that draws our hearts away from God.
The lust of the flesh speaks of any wicked desires stirred by our physical or emotional needs, particularly the desire for pleasures.
The lust of the eyes speaks of any wicked desires stirred by the things that we see and covet, including the desires for passion and possessions.
The Fruit Of The Flesh In Galatians : 19
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God .
For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life .
The church in Galatia was divided over the issue of circumcision. Some argued that circumcision was required by God, while others said that it was not. Paul wrote to the Galatians to weigh in on this matter.
The term flesh often refers to the tendency of humans to focus primarily on fleshly, material matters for decision making, and when it comes to religion, to focus only on external behaviors and actions as a way of deciding who was in the right with God and who was not.
The Flesh In Romans 7 Does Not Mean The Human Condition
1 John 4:2-3 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God.
Many New Testament writings, especially 1st John and Colossians, contradict the claims of a heretical group called the Gnostics. The Gnostics believed that the material world was base and corrupt but the spiritual was pure.
Because of this, the gnostics denied that Jesus came as a man. How could a holy, sinless God inhabit a human body? This was impossible in the gnostic belief system. The gnostics saw salvations as the spirit being liberated from the body. Many Christians today think like gnostics because they think only death will free them from sin by freeing them from the body, instead of trusting the completed redemptive work of Jesus to free them from sin while then are still in their bodies.
In the flesh in Romans 7 does not mean in the human condition.Jesus came as a human and was sinless and holy.
Have you ever read the book of Romans in just one sitting? I have. Ive also read chapters 1-8 in one sitting many times. The way I described above that many people interpret Romans chapter 7 contradicts many verses in other parts of Romans. You say we are human.But there are two kinds of humans. There are those that are in Adam, and those that are in Jesus. Which human are you in? Are you in the first Adam, or in the second Adam Jesus Christ?
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Proper Knowledge Is Crucial
Having the proper knowledge that even as believers our sinful flesh remains unchanged is essential, because it alerts us to the danger our flesh poses to us. Whether or not we know this can seriously affect us.
Lets say we dont know a particular substance is extremely toxic. Because we dont know its so dangerous, we might be very casual, even careless with it and hurt ourselves as a result. But once we find out its true nature, well be quite careful how we handle it in order to protect ourselves.
This illustrates how having proper knowledge of our flesh can help us believers, and how not having it can harm us. The danger to our spiritual life from our flesh is real. And unlike the toxic substance in the illustration, our flesh isnt something apart from us that we can simply ignore its part of us, ever present.
Satans Strategy Through The Flesh Of Christians
Satans strategy is to hide the truth about the flesh from Christians. He wants us to think that our flesh isnt a problem once were saved, or that it has improved and is no longer a danger since weve been following the Lord Jesus for some time. He knows that if we think like this well begin to drop our guard, and sin will result.
What do we mean drop our guard? What does this look like practically?
Lets say were confident we wont fall into a particular sin because we havent committed it in a long time, or were confident we would never commit such a sin because we never have before. What happens when we think were safe? Often, well allow ourselves to be in certain situations that we dont realize could stir up our flesh to overpower us.
Perhaps before we were saved we went to bars with our friends and drank. And lets say now our coworkers or friends invite us out to a bar. We go, thinking, I cant be tempted to drink anymore, now that Im saved. We dont realize our flesh hasnt gotten any better, and its still just as strong as before. Our flesh overcomes our willpower, drawing us back into the same life we previously had. We learn too late that were still subject to the lusts of the flesh.
In this way Satan damages believers, over and over again, lulling them into not guarding against their flesh.
Do not let sin therefore reign in your mortal body so that you obey the bodys lusts.
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What Does It Mean To Crucify The Flesh
Wrestling with fleshly desires is a daily exercise. We cannot rely on past victories to cushion us from the struggles ahead. We must relinquish control of our lives each day and yield to Gods will and supremacy.
- Keren KanyagoCrosswalk.com Contributing Writer
You have such a short fuse! My husband remarked as I narrated how I was embroiled in an argument with a motorist on my way home. His words bored right into my heart because they were true. I am aware that as a Christian, the scriptures urge me to be temperate, patient, and even long-suffering. Yet I struggle with a short temper.
Let’s face it, we all have a couple of weaknesses that easily lead us to sin. Paul calls it the sin that so easily entangles us . Paul plainly expressed his frustration in his struggle against sin.
He confessed that the things that he wanted to do, he did not do. Instead, he wound up doing the things he hated doing . In his letter to the Galatians, we see Paul urging the church to crucify the flesh.
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires .
But what does it really mean to crucify the flesh? How can believers accomplish this seemingly arduous task in order to wiggle out of slavery to sin? Here are five things that crucifying the flesh entails.
How Christ Sees You
If you judge yourself according to the flesh, either you will always be looking down on others because you see yourself as having more going for you than they do, or you will always be losing heart, because others have more gifts and talents and advantages and opportunities than you. Heres the good news: Christ does not regard you according to the flesh.
Jesus said to the Pharisees, You judge according to the flesh I judge no one . We know from other Scriptures that Jesus will be the judge of every person, The Father has entrusted all judgment to the Son . Jesus is not denying that.
Jesus is saying, You judge people according to the flesh. But I dont do that! Jesus does not form an opinion about you according to the flesh. He does not base a judgment about you on your appearance, ability, age, friends, race, gender, work, home, family, or experience.
Jesus offers himself to every person, of every race, with every ability, and from every background. He offers himself, without partiality, as the living Savior and the reigning Lord. And whatever you are according to the flesh, he is able to make you a new creation.
When Jesus Christ is your sovereign Lord, what he thinks of you is the first thing that really matters. A change in how you see Jesus will lead to a change in how you see others and a change in how you see yourself, so that you will not lose heart!
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The Old Man And The Flesh
Are the old man and the flesh one and the same? We read the old man has been crucified with Christ, and that we are to mortify the flesh. I’m confused.
How do we distinguish between the flesh and the old man? Generally, they are synonyms. Specifically, the flesh is connected to the body and the old man has to do with the nature of man. Other than that, there is little difference.
The Basics: The Inspiration And Authority Of The Bible
The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible
In Genesis 1:1 we read in the beginning was God. Echoing the opening declaration of the Bible, in John 1:1 we read that In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. But John goes on to say the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth . The fact that God chose to reveal himself in the person of Jesus Christ brings us to the subject of the inspiration and authority of the Bible. This is where God primarily chooses to reveal himself and his purposes to his peoplein a collection of sixty-six written books which tell the story of Gods mighty deeds and words of explanation, all of which point to Jesus, the Word made flesh.
The Bible never claims to be an inspirational book which grants its reader greater spiritual insight or self-enlightenment. The Bible was not given to motivate us to live better lives, or to do great things. The Bible is given to us by God as a testimony to the Word made flesh , who came to save us from our sins. This is what the various human writers of the Bible say about the Bible itself. What kind of book is it? What do they testify about it?
In 2 Peter 1:16-21, the apostle writes,
As B. B. Warfield so aptly says of scripture, It says, God says.
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What Does The Bible Mean By The Flesh
There are many references to the flesh in New Testament Scripture, especially in the letters of St. Paul. The phrase confuses some who think it synonymous with the physical body. It is true that there are many times when Scripture uses the word flesh to refer to the physical body. However when the definite article the is placed before the word flesh we are dealing with something else. Only very rarely does the Biblical phrase the flesh , in Greek) refer only to the physical body , but almost always the phrase refers to something quite distinct from the physical body.
The flesh is in direct conflict with the spirit.The spirit here refers not to the Holy Spirit but to the human spirit. The spirit is that part of us which is open to God, which desires him and is drawn to him. It is that part of us which is attracted by goodness, beauty and truth, which yearns for completion in God and to see His face. Without the spirit we would be totally turned in on ourselves and consumed by the flesh. Thankfully our spirit, assisted by the Holy Spirit draws us to desire what is best, what is upright, good and helpful.
Perhaps it is good that we look at just a few texts which reference the flesh and thus here in Lent learn more of the flesh and its ways. This will help us to be on our guard and to rebuke it by Gods grace and learn not to feed it. I make some comments in red with each quote.
In this clip, the Knights ridicule goodness and sing Fie On Goodness!
The Confusion About The Old Self And Flesh Being The Same
Christians get confused by incorrectly assuming the old self and a term called the flesh are the same. Let me define the flesh briefly and distinguish between the two terms.
First, the term flesh in Scripture does not mean the human body in the majority of verses. Instead, the flesh is a spiritual term which means all the ways people use their bodies and personalities in sinful ways as a result of not depending on God. The term flesh represents all the ways people have learned to cope with lifes challenges apart from dependence on Christ. The flesh also means living as if we are separated from God though, as Christians, were united with him. In other words, living as if we arent Christians, though we are Christians.
When people dont have Christ in them, they live according to the flesh all the time. The reason is because the old self is 100 percent sinful and motivates them to develop patterns of the flesh.
As weve seen, Christians do not have the old self as their core identity. They have only the new self. Christians do have the flesh, but it cant be the old self. As Christians, however, we can still live independently without relying on God. When we do, we live according to the flesh.
If you believe the old self and the flesh are the same, you will immediately think these verses mean the old self is fighting against the new self. But thats impossible since the old self is long gone. We still deal with the flesh, but its not the old self in us.
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Bible Verses About Flesh As The Sinful Nature
Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality,idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions,envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Those who desire to make a good showing in the flesh try to compel you to be circumcised, simply so that they will not be persecuted for the cross of Christ.For those who are circumcised do not even keep the Law themselves, but they desire to have you circumcised so that they may boast in your flesh.
For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so,read more.and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.
Overcoming The Lust Of The Flesh
First, we need to remember what Jesus said to His disciples at the Garden of Gethsemane, Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak .
Here Jesus reveals that we need to be watchful and prayerful to overcome temptation. We need to be led and controlled by the Spirit in our prayers and actions.
Importantly, Paul also urges Gods people to put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh . We must remain near to Jesus, continually abiding in Gods Word.
Let the Lord Jesus Christ be as near to you as the clothes you wear. Then you won’t try to satisfy your selfish desires .
Perhaps, this is also what Jesus had in mind when He said,
Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him .
Moreover, Peter reminds us to be willing to suffer in the flesh so that we can live for the will of God . It is consistent with what Jesus has taught, If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me .
Suffering in the flesh for Christ means that we are willing to deny ourselves, putting to death the deeds of our bodies .
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