Friday, June 20, 2014

The Spirit Trumps Flesh Every Time

Let's be frank about the current condition in the Church: Unless there is a radical change in our perspective we are going to see continued major splits over biblical teaching. Far too many of us are interpreting God's Holy Word according to our flesh. We look at it to justify our established pattern of thinking. We are not coming to it to be changed, to be transformed into the character of Christ. We want to use it to back up our version of love, so the parts that don't agree with us we dismiss.

The Christian life is not about us getting what we want while trying to be good. It is just the opposite to such a self-centered philosophy of life. The Christian life is about dying to our flesh and living in obedience to the Father's will. But people really don't want to hear that. They just want to shout at Yahweh that they are willing to serve him on their terms. In truth, they aren't shouting at Yahweh because they don't know him to shout at him. They know of him through traditions but their acting out they are shouting at the Church : I will serve Jesus as long as I get to do it as I want to do it". Listen to Jesus:

The Spirit is the one who gives life and the flesh doesn’t help at all. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. Yet some of you don’t believe. (John 6:63-64)

The flesh doesn't help at all. I don't need to list all the issues splintering the Church right now, I think you are well aware of those to list them yourself. But as you list them, mark beside each one whether it is a flesh issue or not. We can all think for ourselves and I pray you are possessed by the Spirit that you are able to think in spiritual terms. You should be able to discern these matters for yourself. Is it a bunch of people who want what their flesh desires and all that Jesus offers, or is it those who have been crucified with Christ and who no longer live according to the desires of their flesh but it is Christ who lives in them?

You see, we live this life in these weak bodies only by faith in the Son of God. We deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Jesus. We live here in this place according to the Spirit and truth not according to the desires of our unredeemed and deceptive flesh. We have to live in these bodies by faith in Jesus, what he taught, what he did, how he directs us now, by the power of the Spirit, because if we try to trust our own desires we will be lost again to that from which Jesus set us free. Jesus has given us life by the Spirit which is not life by the flesh.

The real question is, will we believe Jesus over the flesh that gives no life at all? Will we receive the life the Spirit gives.

I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity,promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. I tell you about these things in advance—as I told you before—that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:16-21)

For those who live according to the flesh think about the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, about the things of the Spirit. For the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set of the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind-set of the flesh is hostile to God because it does not submit itself to God’s law, for it is unable to do so. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God lives in you.But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. (Romans 8:5-9)

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