The Triune of Man – Defeating the Flesh – Pt. 4

We are a spirit, we have a soul, and live in a body. Our spirit is renewed at the rebirth.  The soul needs renewing in the Word and controls the flesh.

1 Thessalonians 5:23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (separate; purify; venerate)

Our born-again spirit is contrary to our fleshly desires and vice versa.

Galatians 5:16-17;20 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 20 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

This is not referring so much to the natural fleshly body, the skin-tent we live in, as it is the fleshly carnal mindset which must be renewed by the Word of God. Although, our bodies can crave certain things in the same way an alcoholic’s body craves drink. It is what we choose to think on that causes most of our problems.

Romans 8:5-8 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

The things you love the most will dominate your thinking.

1 John 2:15-17 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

Each of us were born with a sin nature meaning we are all naturally selfish. Becoming a Christian does not change that natural desire. Yes, we want to do good and please God but the habits of our past haunt us. We often find ourselves doing things we know we shouldn’t and not doing the things we know we should.

Romans 7:14-25a For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.

21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!

There is a desire in each of us to do the will of our Heavenly Father. Because of the weakness of our unregenerated mind, each of us must be willing and actively applying the written Word of God.

Matthew 26:41 Jesus said, “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Any and every desire that does not line up with the Word must be deleted and replaced with leadership of the Spirit.

Romans 8:12-17 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

The living Word of God is the only power strong enough to discipline your flesh. Will-power is not enough. We cannot restrain ourselves from sinning. Just reading the Word is not enough. We must act on what we read allowing the Holy Spirit to bring the change.

James 1:21-22 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted Word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

How do we get that help? First, we ask for it through repentance, then we submit ourselves to the Word of God.

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