Years ago, the Christian Rock band Petra, did a song with a line that said, “the enemies on every side, but still no match for the crucified!” That’s what I want to encourage you about today! Though the enemy is on every side, he’s still no match for the crucified!
Whatever you may be dealing with today, it is no match for Jesus! And one of the most ongoing battles we have, even daily, is with the flesh! Gal. 5:17 “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”
The KJV, uses the word “lust”, to describe the battle between the flesh and the spirit. Another translation says, “The desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.” Notice, it is this ongoing opposition that prevents us from doing what we really want to do!
Our behavior is affected by this struggle. Paul mentioned this in in Rm. 7:15 “For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.”
In verse 24, he talked about what a wretched state this produced, but the good news is, there is deliverance from it, and it is through faith in the finished work of Jesus!
It’s not that the flesh goes away, but we are delivered from the power of it through Jesus!
Ga..5:16 says, This I say then, walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh! It’s talking about a way of life! The life we live now, we live in the spirit, even if momentarily, we ACT like we’re in the flesh, that is not where we live, and that one action does not define who we are! Yet, when that happens, we are often judged by that one action, or even judge ourselves as if we are always like that!
What is the “flesh” anyway? The flesh IS NOT, this body we live in! Paul said in 1Co 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, but in Rm. 7;18 Paul said, in your flesh dwells “no good thing”, so the flesh and the body can’t be the same thing! The Holy Spirit is certainly “a good thing”.
The “flesh”, is referred to in some translations as, “the sin nature”, or “corrupt nature”.
Remember what Peter said 1Pe. 1:23? Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever. Incorruptible is that which cannot be corrupted!
Rm. 8:9 says clearly, but ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwells in you.
We are not “in the flesh” if God’s Spirit dwells in us! We may “act out” in the flesh from time to time, but that is NOT where we live nor does that one action defines who we are! It was Batman who said, “it’s what I do that defines who I am”, not God. With God, the opposite is true, who we are, defines what we do! You cannot really act like someone you don’t believe you are!
Col. 1:21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled (22) In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: When we actually believe this, we will begin to act like it!