May 6, 2020 The Flesh - Enemies (the Fight of Your Life)

ENEMIES of the Soul
“Enemies” – Part 1 (The Flesh)

Text: I Peter 2:11
Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

Reading for Study: Romans 7:18-25; 8:1-13

Three basic areas we will cover in these next three weeks are: The Flesh, The World and The Devil.

DEFINITION
Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance we derive the following meaning:
FLESHcomes from the Greek word SARX which indicates human nature with its frailties and passions. It also encompasses carnality and being carnally minded.

ORIGIN
When man fell in the garden of Eden, the LAW OF SIN (Romans 7:18-25), or the SIN PRINCIPLE we might call it, became a part of the human race. This corrupt, defiled sinful nature is automatically transmitted through the procreation process. Humanity’s bloodline not only carries and transmits physical death, but spiritual death as well (Genesis 2:9-17; 3:1-7; Romans 5:12-19).

We have this treasure in an earthen vessel (II Corinthians 4:7), and we will get a redeemed body when Jesus catches away His church (I Thessalonians 4: 13-18; Romans 8:11). God’s Word calls this the redemption of the body (I Corinthians 15:44; II Corinthians5:1-8; Romans 8:23).

WORKS OF THE FLESH
You can look up the meanings of each of these words in as many sources as are available to you.

1. ADULTERY
2. FORNICATION
3. UNCLEANNESS
4. LASCIVIOUSNESS
5. IDOLATRY
6. WITCHCRAFT
7. HATRED
8. VARIANCE
9. EMULATIONS
10. WRATH
11. STRIFE
12. SEDITIONS
13. HERESIES
ENVYINGS
MURDERS
DRUNKENNESS
REVELLINGS

SCRIPTURAL FACTS CONCERNING THE FLESH

Here are several Scriptural facts relating to the flesh, for your own benefit you can research them further and discover the full scope of what they reveal.

1. The flesh is weak, but the spirit is willing (Matthew 26:41).
2. The will of the flesh verses the will of God (John 1:13).
3. The flesh profits nothing (John 6:63).
4. The lusts of the flesh are exposed (Galatians 5:16: 1 Peter 2:11; Ephesians 2:3).
5. The filthiness of the flesh is spoken of (2 Corinthians 7:1).
6. The desires of the flesh are mentioned (Ephesians 2:3).
7. The flesh is not to be trusted (Philippians 3:3-4).
8. The flesh, when sown to reaps corruption (Galatians 6:8).
9. The sins of the flesh is noted (Colossians 2:11).
10. The flesh spots our garment of righteousness (Jude 1:23).
11. The flesh is not to be leaned upon (Jeremiah 17:5).
The birth of the flesh versus the birth of the spirit (John 3:6; Galatians 4:23-29).

YOUR BODY – THE TEMPLE OF THE HOLY GHOST
Inside this earthly temple, there abides both the sin-principle and the Holy Ghost when we have been born again (1 Corinthians 3:16-17; 6:19-20)- A veritable treasure according to Paul (2 Corinthians 4:7). Christ wants to be Lord, and Satan wants to be Lord of our lives; herein lies the conflict. “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” (Galatians 5:17).

Several synonymous terms describe our condition and position as Christians. Study the contrasts in these seven (7), matters and you will better understand the conflict going on in your life continually.

TWO BIRTHS– Every saint has experienced two separate, distinct births in his life; one natural and one spiritual. With two such experiences, how can we expect less than a struggle?

That which is born of the flesh is flesh (John 3:6). We are born naturally: (1) Of blood. (2) Of the will of the flesh. (3) Of the will of man (John 1:13).

That which is born of the Spirit is spirit (John 3:6). Receiving the Holy Ghost is the birth of the spirit (Acts 2:1-4, 38; 1 Corinthians 12:13 ).

ALLEGORY – Study this allegory (Galatians 4:23-29), closely for insight on this point.
A. ISHMAEL – was born after the flesh.
B. ISAAC – was born after the spirit.

TWO NATURES– Every Christian, by nature of the fact that he is a Christian, possesses two natures, one fleshly and one divine.

We, by natural birth have a human, carnal, earthly nature (1 Corinthians 11:14; Ephesians 2:3; Romans 1:26).

Because we have been born again, we are made partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). Both want to rule. so a fight ensues.

TWO WALKS– Walk in this instance means to order one’s behavior or conduct. Two roads rise to meet us; Jesus said one was narrow and the other broad. Before you choose one, do look at its destiny, because both of these roads lead somewhere.

We can walk in the flesh according to Paul (Galatians 5:16-17; Romans 8:4), or there is an alternate path.

Paul now presents a walk in the Spirit with better benefits than walking in the flesh (Galatians 5:16-17).

TWO LAWS– Law here is defined as a principle rather than a decree or command.

The law of sin and death refers to the original sin-principle man was possessed with at the fall (Romans 8:1-2).

The Law of the spirit of life delivers and makes us free from the law of sin and death (Romans 7:18-25; 8:1-2).

TWO FATHERS – In Adam we all die, but in Christ we are all made alive. Adam and Christ serve as the federal head of two distinct generations; the Christian has both as a Father. From each we inherit a nature, mind, and will, along with other attributes.

Adam is our father in the flesh when we go to the fountain-head of the human race (1 Corinthians 15:22; Romans 5:12-19).

Christ is our heavenly Father, by and through Him and His word, we are begotten again unto a lively hope (1 Peter 1:23; 1 Corinthians 15:22; Romans 5:12-19).

TWO MINDS – Now that we are saved we have the mind of the flesh and the mind of the Spirit to contend with. The intellect, wisdom, and knowledge of both seek to direct our paths (Romans 8:5; Ephesians 2:3; Philippians 2:5; 3:19: Colossians 2:18; 1 Peter 1:13 ).

The carnal mind that is enmity against God seeks to dominate our thought life and give us directions (Romans 8:6-7; 1 Corinthians 3:1-4 ).

Spiritual mindedness brings life and peace when we walk after the bidding of the spirit and Word (Romans 8:6-7; 1 Corinthians 3:1-4).

TWO MEN – Two different bodies are not existent, but in one body there dwells two different men that Paul describes to us.

The old man is the carnal, sinful, and fleshly man that is born with these tendencies and is called the outward man (Romans 6:6; Ephesians 4:22-24).

Paul describes the other man as the new man, or the inward man that needs renewing (Romans 6:6; Ephesians 4:22-24; 2 Corinthians 4:16).

Paul tells us what to PUT ON as well as what to PUT OFF of this man (Colossians 2:11; 3:8-14).

THE SCRIPTURAL METHOD FOR CONTROLLING THE FLESH

Our Bible is concise and clear on how we are to handle this enemy of the soul. Though unpleasant, the method is surprisingly successful. We are to CRUCIFY THE FLESH, in order to be alive unto God.

CRUCIFIXION – Was a means of death frowned upon by both God and man. Crucifixion is one of history’s most shameful ways to die. God’s Word declares those who are crucified to be cursed of God (Deuteronomy 21:22-23). Christ was made a curse for us through His crucifixion (Galatians 3:13). Now we have the responsibility of crucifying the flesh, in a spiritual sense as a means of control.

Our old man is crucified with Him (Romans 6:6).
Paul was crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20).
They that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh (Galatians 5:22-25).
A CROSS is the means by which we are crucified to the world and the world to us (Galatians 6:14).

Discipleship has three prerequisites (Luke 9:23-25; 14:26-27).
We are to deny ourselves.
We are to take up our cross DAILY.
We are to follow Him.

Prayer, fasting, Bible study, church attendance, altar work, communion and washing the saints feet, loving our enemies, giving our time and money, and witnessing are a few of the ways we can crucify the flesh.

Every lawful, allowable, human desire, no matter how scriptural, must at some time and place be cured, controlled, and abstained from for a season. This is crucifying the flesh.