Bible Internet
Quick References


 CONTENTS TOPICAL  SCRIP  ORDER BOOKS HOME AUTHOR CONTACT


Table of
Contents

Bibliography & Notes

Topical Scriptures
Basic Evangelism Training
Advanced Evangelism Training

Concerning Donations

1 Corinthians 9:11
"If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we should reap material things from you?"


www.layevangelism.com

 INTERNET QUICK REFERENCE  

















Quick Reference Home Page  Spiritual Warfare Home Page

The Nature of the Flesh

 

December 2, 2002

Subject: The Nature of the Flesh

Dear Sally:

In Chapter 5 of Section 1 of the Basic Textbook we talked about the importance of time management through relationship with Jesus. What I want to share with you in this letter is how this relates to the Nature of the flesh and how Time Management helps us to keep our flesh under control.

What is the nature of the flesh? Paul tells us in the Book of Romans,

"For we know that the Law is spiritual; but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin." (Romans 7:14)

"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; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God." (Rom 8:6-8)

What is the nature of the flesh? The nature of the flesh is that it is in bondage to sin. What does that mean? It means that when we try to overcome a problem in our flesh through the strength of the flesh, even though we seem to be having current victory over that problem of the flesh, in the end we will find ourselves in deeper bondage to those problems. Paul wrote,

"For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the wishing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I wish, I do not do; but I practice the very evil that I do not wish. But if I am doing the very thing I do not wish, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wishes to do good." (Rom 7:18-21)

The reason for this is because when we try to over come a problem through the strength of the flesh, we energize the flesh. Because the flesh is in bondage to sin, when we energize it, it will sin. How then do we over come problems of our flesh and keep it from sinning? First, by daily drawing upon Jesusí grace, strength and power to overcome our flesh. Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:10 "Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might." Jesus doesnít command us to overcome in our strength but in His. The way we draw upon Jesusí grace, strength and power to overcome sin in our lives is by spending daily time with Him in His Word (See Section 4 Chapter 3). Jesus said "He who is of God hears the words of God" (John 8:47). Jesus said if you want to be of Him, you will show this by spending daily time with Him in His word. When we acknowledge God over our daily lives His promise is that He will give us His Holy Spirit grace, strength and power over our flesh. Paul speaking about this in the negative wrote in Romans 1:28 "And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them up to a mind void of judgment, to do those things which are not proper." It is only because of the power of God we have any victory over our flesh at all.

The second way we keep from sinning in the flesh is by not giving the flesh the opportunity to sin. Paul wrote in Romans 13:14 "But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts." How do we keep from giving the flesh opportunity to sin? Paul gives us the answer in Galatians 5:16. Paul wrote in Galatians 5:16 "But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh."

How do we walk in the Holy Spirit? How do we know when we are walking in the Holy Spirit and when we are not? Paul again gives us the answer to this in Ephesians 5:15-17,

"Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is." (Ephesians 5:15-17)

We are walking in the Holy Spirit when we seek Godís will in our use of time and then use our time as God has instructed us to in the Holy Spirit.

You see Paul tells us in Romans 8:6-8 that the flesh never did obey Godís laws and it never will. What that means is that if the flesh is given the opportunity to sin, you will sin. A pretty girl goes by. What is going on in your mind? Your sinning. If you love chocolate and some really good Sees Candy is set before you, what are you going to do? Iím a chocoholic. I would be dead meat, lol. Your going to have a piece of chocolate, even though you may be on a strict diet like I am (tear! tear! No more chocolate in the house). Given the opportunity the flesh will sin.

So then, how do we keep the flesh from sinning? By completely occupying your time with Godís will so that the flesh doesnít have the opportunity to sin.

Let me give you an example in my own life from my past. When I was in Junior College many years ago, I went through a degree in Electronic Technology. This required four hours a day of class time five days a week. We were allowed a twenty minute break in between that four hours of class. I remember how difficult it was for me in those days to sit in a chair for 4 hours. I was so antsy. I used my 20 minute break every day to go out and share the Gospel with a student. There were 15,000 students on this Junior College campus so I never had any trouble finding someone to share Jesus with. I would go through a Salvation Tract like the one provided in this Training Program of Evangelism. It took me about five minutes to find someone to share with, ten minutes to share the Salvation Tract with them, and five minutes to get back to class.

One day I decided instead of going out and sharing Christ on campus with students to go to the break room and buy a coke. Hey!  Don't I deserve a break once in a while?  I went in and bought a coke and sat down at a table to enjoy it. When I did I looked around the room and noticed all the beautiful women that were there. RED FLAG! RED FLAG! RED FLAG! That was all it took. My mind was on females and the gymnastics of my perverted sinful mind went into action. Paul wrote in Romans 8:7 "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." You see our flesh is in bondage to sin; therefore, given the opportunity the flesh will sin. James the brother of Jesus wrote:

"Let no one say when he is tempted, ĎI am being tempted by Godí; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and he Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death." (James 1:13-15)

The saying "An idle mind is the play ground of the Devil" is an absolute truth. If your fleshly mind is idle it will gravitate to and sin. How then do we keep the flesh from sinning? By filling up our time, including our recreation, with activities according to Godís will. "But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16). When you are walking by the Holy Spirit, using your time according to Godís will, the flesh does not have opportunity or a chance to sin. When I was using my break to share the love of Jesus Christ with others, my mind was filled with how to help that person release their faith in Jesus. My mind and flesh did not have an opportunity to sin. When I went into that break room and sat down at a table with my mind idle, like radar it zeroed in right onto its object of sin without even blinking an eye. "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; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God" (Romans 8:7-8). Therefore the only way you can keep your flesh from sinning is by walking in the Holy Spirit which means to seek Godís will in your use of time and then using your time, including your breaks, according to Godís will. When you do that, your flesh wonít have the opportunity to sin.

This is why Godís will for us is to use our free time to share Him with others. That twenty minutes I used to share Jesus Christ with others brought a lot of students to Christ and will go into eternity. That twenty minutes I spent in that break room produced no fruit, only gave my flesh the opportunity to sin, and is gone forever. If you want victory over your flesh on this side of heaven, the only way you can keep it from sinning is by filling up your time with not just activities, but Holy Spirit led activities. When you use your free time to share Christ with others, you are walking in the Holy Spirit and not carrying out the desire of the flesh.

"And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, ĎAll authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. GO THEREFORE and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.í" (Matthew 28:18-20)

This involves also giving your desires and wants to Jesus. This means making a willful choice to trust Jesus to fulfill your desires when it is best for you and His kingdom; it also means that because you have given them to Him, they are no longer your desires and choices, but Jesusí! For that reason you need to get your mind off of them by focusing instead on what God wants you using your time for.

When you do not give your desires to Jesus to fulfill when He deems it is best, then again your focus is on fulfilling those desires and thus on the flesh. The only outcome will be lust and sin. The only way you can have victory over your flesh is by giving your desires to Jesus to fulfill in His time and then to fill your time and mind with Godís will, not chasing after the lusts of the flesh.

The first generation of Israel out of Egypt did not make it into the promised land. Why? Because instead of focusing on Godís will for them, instead they focused on and pursued the desire of their flesh. Therefore the Psalmist wrote:

"They quickly forgot His works; they did not wait for His counsel, But craved intensely in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert. So He gave them their request, but sent leanness into their souls." (Psalm 106:13-15)

When we are occupied with our lusts and wants, we cannot focus on God's will and purpose for our lives.  The end result is that the soul life Jesus created and intended us to have is never developed.

"If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his soul shall lose it; but whoever loses his soul for My sake shall find it. For what will a man be profited, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?í" (Matthew 16:24-26)

The writer of Hebrews wrote:

"While it is said, ĎToday if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts, as when they provoked Me.í For who provoked Him when they had heard? Indeed, did not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses? And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they should not enter His rest, but to those who did-not-obey? And so we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief." (Hebrews 3:15-19)

What is Godís counsel to us then concerning this? Psalm 37:4 states "Delight yourself in Yehovah; and He will give you the desires of your heart." God says if you focus on Him and His will for you and fill your time with that which He leads you to do through His Holy Spirit that in His time He will give you the desires of Your heart, that is His promise; but note, you do not get by chasing, but by focusing on Godís will, and His promise is HE , not you, will bring it to you when it is best for you and His kingdom in His time. David the Psalmist said in Psalm 31:14-15, "But as for me, I trust in You Yehovah, I say, ĎYou are my God. My times are in Your hand.í"

"Not one of the good promises which Yehovah had made to the house of Israel failed; all came to pass." (Joshua 21:45)

What does God say is the outcome of chasing after the lusts of our flesh instead of Godís will?

"Let no one say when he is tempted, ĎI am being tempted by Godí; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and he Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death." (James 1:13-15)

"They quickly forgot His works; they did not wait for His counsel, But craved intensely in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert. So He gave them their request, but sent leanness into their souls." (Psalm 106:13-15)

"Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever." (1 John 2:15-17)

"Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life." (Galatians 6:7-8)

"ĎWoe to the rebellious children,í declares Yehovah, Ďwho execute a plan, but not Mine, and make an alliance, but not of My Spirit, in order to add sin to sin.í" (Isaiah 30:1)

There is only one way to keep the flesh from sinning: it is by walking in the Holy Spirit. You are walking in the Holy Spirit when you are filling your use of time from the time you get up until you go to bed with Godís will and activities. When you do that, the flesh, which is in bondage to sin already, never has the opportunity to fulfill its lusts. Walk by the Holy Spirit and your flesh will not have the opportunity to carry out its desire to sin. There is no other way to keep the flesh from sinning on this side of heaven. Left idle, the flesh WILL sin. It is an absolute spiritual law because the flesh left idle will automatically gravitate to sin. but if you "Walk by the Spirit. . . you will not carry out the desire of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16).

Sincerely in Jesus,

Dale P. Kruse
Pastor-Evangelist

Next:  Anointing Your House & the Armor of God

__________

*For More Information on These Subjects See the Following Books:

Brown, Rebecca M.D. He Came To Set The Captives Free. Chino: Chick Publications, Copyright 1986 by Rebecca Brown, M.D.

 

 


Rebecca Brown, MD. Prepare For War. chino: Chick Publications. Copyright 1987 by Rebecca Brown.

 

 

Spiritual Warfare Home Page
Quick Reference Home Page
Top of Page