Sunday Message Summary, 26 September 2021
The flesh is weak and it is hopeless. The flesh pursues after sin, wanting to do things that are contrary to the will of GOD and contrary to the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:7 AMP). The flesh acts impulsively with no regard for GOD and the Word of God (Galatians 5:16 AMP). The flesh is beyond salvation. Although we are born again, our true selves are not the bodies that we see. It is the spirit man that is born again into righteousness, holiness, justification, and sanctification, but not the flesh. Although we are resurrected with Christ insofar as our spirit man is concerned, our flesh remains defiant, resistant, and disobedient to GOD. The flesh cannot be born again and is rendered useless insofar as spirituality is concerned. Therefore, the flesh cannot be subjected to GOD, it is set on doing the things of this world and is always hostile towards GOD. The inner man, the one who is perfect, is willing (Romans 7:15-20), however there is no one perfect in the flesh, and only the spirit man can be made perfect.
In every believer there is a war, a conflict, an irony, a paradox, a dichotomy, and a duplicity that exists between the flesh and the Spirit (Galatians 5:17 AMP). The flesh opposes us as believers, resisting us from doing the things of GOD. As a result, we do not always do the good things that we want to do. When we do what we do not want to do, it is no longer us but the sin that dwells in the flesh. The flesh from time to time will raise its ugly head, wanting to cause us to do things that are contrary to GOD, the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit. For this reason, we ought to live a life of surrender and obedience to the Holy Spirit on a day-to-day basis. If we don’t follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, we will always find ourselves in the flesh. Our whole duty as Christians is pleasing GOD, but when we are in the flesh, living a life that caters to sinful appetites and impulses by choice, we cannot please GOD (Romans 8:8 AMP).
Whilst there are those who are living according to the flesh, under its influence and control, we who are born again are not living according to the flesh but according to the Holy Spirit. We set our minds on things of the Spirit, His will and purpose (Romans 8:5 AMP). However, although we are born again, we can still choose whether to be led by the Holy Spirit or by the impulses of the flesh. To set our minds on the things of the Spirit is an act of the will and it is a choice we have to make, because we can only follow the Holy Spirit willingly. When we are born again, we still have our own will, choice, and minds, which we must submit, surrender, and yield to the Holy Spirit in order for Him to lead us. Will power can only take us so far, but the true, permanent, and lasting victory for us is in Jesus when we submit ourselves to the Holy Spirit. Even after we may have succumbed to the flesh, we should not run away, but we should run to GOD, because we can only resist in the Spirit, not in the flesh. Sin eventually leads to death and destruction, but if we are walking according to the Spirit, we are progressively crucifying the deeds of the flesh (Romans 8:13 AMP).
We are not indebted to the flesh (Romans 8:12 AMP), so the flesh has no power over a believer. In the new birth, the flesh is defeated, conquered, and subdued, even though our spirit man is housed in this weak, hopeless, and pathetic flesh. Weak as we are, we are more than conquerors through Christ who loved us (Romans 8:37), and we carry this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellency of the power may be of GOD and not of us (2 Corinthians 4:7). The Christian life is a life of victory, but the victory is in allowing ourselves to be led by the Holy Spirit. Victory is in Christ, and Christ alone.
When we are born again, we still have our own will, choice, and minds, which we must submit, surrender, and yield to the Holy Spirit in order for Him to lead us.