Understanding and Overcoming the Flesh – Part 2

For part 1 of this 2 part series click here.

Some Definitions and the New Man

The Bible uses the term “flesh” in different ways. The term “flesh” can be defined in the following way when referring to the wayward and sinful inclinations of Man:

Flesh (sinful): The deformed desires of the body and mind that have been perverted by living separated from God and His righteousness

At other times the term “flesh” just means:

Flesh (natural): The earthly nature of humanity

In John 1:14 we are told the Word became flesh. We know that Jesus took on humanity and lived and died as a man. But we also know that he walked in fellowship with God from his mother’s womb. In the famous Messianic Psalm that prophesies the crucifixion of Christ, we read, “Yet you are he who took me from the womb; you made me trust you at my mother’s breast” (Psalm 22:9). Since he lived in continual fellowship with God the Father, his human desires never became unbridled or perverted. The desires of his body and mind were always kept in perfect submission to the will of the Father; he walked righteously and remained righteous.
Continue reading “Understanding and Overcoming the Flesh – Part 2”

Understanding and Overcoming the Flesh – Part 1

In the next two posts we want to clarify what the Bible means when it refers to the Flesh. We will start by looking at the definition the Bible itself provides for us in the book of Ephesians.

In Ephesians chapter 2, verses 1 and 2, we are told that all unbelievers are dead in sin, and follow the course of this World and the “Prince” of that system, namely Satan. People who are spiritually dead (i.e. alienated from God) are being led by Satan via the World system. Verse 3 goes on to say that these people live in the passions of their Flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind. Flesh, in its negative sense, is defined in this verse.

Flesh: The desires of the body and the mind

So are the body and its desires evil? Are the various desires of the mind evil? Jesus had a human body and a mind with all the natural desires that accompany them, so was he sinful? These and many other questions must be addressed, and we will seek to address them. But before we describe the Flesh in technical terms let’s first look at the picture painted for us in the book of Exodus.

An Ingrained Culture

After being led through the Red Sea, the Hebrews were a free people. They were no longer subject to the slavery of Pharaoh. They were brought out into the wilderness to become a new people that would be reorganized under the Law of Moses. This was a fulfillment of the promise given to Abraham that he would be made into a great nation (Gen. 12:2). The taskmasters were back in Egypt collecting the straw that the Hebrews would never collect again; and Pharaoh’s top henchmen lay dead at the bottom of the Red Sea. The Hebrews were a free people!
Continue reading “Understanding and Overcoming the Flesh – Part 1”