Faith not Flesh

02/07/21 – Romans 8:5-11

8:5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
8:10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

Going along in our daily lives, it can be easy to get our focus set on the needs of this world. When you’re hungry, that gets a lot of your attention. When you’re cold, it can be hard to think about anything else. We have to learn to look past the comforts and discomforts of this present world, and set our sights above.

2 Peter
3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 3:11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 3:12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

These bodies, and even this entire world are temporary. One day, they will fade away. We have to learn to follow God and perform our work while we’re here, so we’ll have something that will last later.

If we focus too much on the carnal things of the flesh, we will miss the blessings and lessons God is trying to give us. This world is a training ground. God is teaching us how to handle the spiritual gifts He has in store.

16:10 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. 16:11 If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? 16:12 And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own? 16:13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

God has given us all gifts and placed us in a position to use them. The more we are faithful to perform the work He has given us, the more He will provide. If we only use what He has given for ourselves, or aren’t grateful, we will lose something, either here or on the other side.

In our flesh, we cannot please God. We can’t drum up some work we want to perform and tell ourselves that we did it for God. Anything we do in the flesh is going to be motivated by fleshly motives. We will do it to somehow make some gain. Maybe we even think if we do certain things, we will make God obligated to give us what we want. We have to set aside our own pride and willfulness and let the Spirit guide us.

6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 6:7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

We are presented with many choices every day. The body will clamour and cry to get what it wants. The Spirit will speak to us in that still, small voice. We have to turn our back on the flesh so we can hear what the Spirit is telling us.

We can’t fight the flesh with the flesh. We can’t try and convince ourselves to do right. Anything we do in the flesh, even denying ourselves fleshly desires, is doomed to fail. We have to learn to lean on God and let Him fight our battles in His strength.

2 Corinthians
10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Only by allowing the Spirit of God to rule in our hearts and minds can we have any real victory.

The most sure way to find the will of God is to get into His word. In it, we’ll find the one true way to salvation and eternal life. If you have any doubts about your salvation, take them to God. I used think I was saved, but I wasn’t always sure. It felt like I was doubting God if I questioned it. If you have any doubt, it’s not God that’s weak, it’s your flesh. God won’t mind if you confess your sins and ask Jesus to save your soul a second or a tenth time. He wants to make sure your heart is right. We should want that assurance too. Many think they’re saved, but they aren’t believing in the right things.

13:24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. 13:25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: 13:26 Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. 13:27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.

The more you study God’s word, the more you will find you’ve had wrong. That’s part of what spiritual growth is about. We have to find and remove the dead wood of our false beliefs. If we start with Jesus Christ and Him crucified, we can build on that foundation.

Just because we’re saved, that doesn’t mean the desires of the flesh will stop. The enemy will still use the flesh to attack us. He will try to use it to distract us from our work and to ruin our testimonies. We have to guard against the flesh and let God rule our lives.

6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

The desires of the flesh are strong, but God is stronger when we learn to turn everything over to Him.

Just as God was powerful enough to break the grip of death and raise Jesus from the dead; He is able to break the grip of sin and raise us up from our dead works and lives. He has already won the victory. All that remains is for us to let go of that old dead life and grab hold on the new life He offers.

10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 10:29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. 10:30 I and my Father are one.

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