The Special of the Day... From the Orange Moon Cafe...
"Spirit and Flesh"
"God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying Abba Father" (Galatians 4:6).
"In my flesh dwelleth no good thing" (Romans 7:18).
No good thing dwells in our flesh. However, the best thing, that is, the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, dwells in the born again hearts of those who have received God's grace by faith. Thus, Christians are capable of a life of consistent and growing faithfulness. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Philippians 4:13). We are also capable of works of the flesh that contradict the presence of the glorious One who indwells our spirits. "The flesh lusteth against the spirit" wrote the Apostle Paul regarding the susceptibility to sin that remains in our humanity (Galatians 5:17). This references every believer, from the newest born babe in Christ to the most mature among us. No less than the elderly Apostle John included himself among the company of those yet to be delivered from the possibility of temptation and sin. "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us" (I John 1:8; emphasis added).
The dichotomy of spirit and flesh must be acknowledged and understood by every believer. The person we most deeply are, spirtually birthed in the moment of our conversion, lives now and forevermore as a "new creature" in Christ, and inhabited by Christ (II Corinthians 5:17; Colossians 1:28). In our earthly lives, however, we retain fleshly members and faculties that, left to themselves, will always escort us downward and away from faithfulness. Through Christ, our spirits possess infinitely greater power and capability than the flesh. We can and should always overcome the temptations we face, regardless of their measure or degree. "His commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world" (I John 5:3-4). The fact remains, however, that we do not always overcome. No excuse exists, and it is never inevitable that we will sin. However, it remains true that sometimes we walk after the flesh rather than after the Spirit. The conflict between spirit and flesh will remain until we leave this present world. The Apostle Paul, referencing his own personal experience, stated the matter as succinctly as anyone has ever decribed:
"For I delight in the law of God after the inward man, 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 members... So then with the mind, I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin" (Romans 7:22-23; 25).
We must affirm the presence of the Holy Spirit in our innermost being, wherein "it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13). We must also acknowledge the "law of sin" in our members. Recognizing the internal and external conflict in Biblical terms prepares us to more consistently walk in accordance with who we are in Christ and who He is in us. We can consistently and increasingly overcome the inclinations of our flesh by discovering greater Biblical light regarding our Savior and ourselves as spiritually united with Him...
"Walk in the Spirit and ye shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh."
Weekly Memory Verse
"His commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world."
(I John 5:3-4)