Tag Archives: Flesh

Romans 8:1-6 (King James Version)

 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
 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.
 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

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From “Light and Truth: Bible Thoughts and Themes” by Horatius Bonar

The Better Choice Of Moses.

“By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.”- Heb_11:24-26.

Moses had everything to bind him to Egypt, to Pharaoh, to Pharaoh’s house: ties of silk, chains of gold; natural affection, gratitude, learning, pleasure, love of ease, pomp, splendor, riches; everything that the flesh desires, that the intellect covets, and that the world contains. For what was there of worldly glory, pleasure, learning, pomp, and power, that were not to be found in Egypt?

Yet he broke every tie; he came out; he separated himself; he ceased to touch the unclean thing; he flung aside the riches of Egypt, and trampled on the crown of Pharaoh.

What prompted this severance? Was he a disappointed man? Had his life been a failure? Had Egypt used him coldly? Was there no prospect of rising in it? Had its pleasures run dry, or its riches failed? No, these were not his reasons. But he had met with something better than all these. It was this which disentangled his feet, and which broke the bonds.

Yet that which had come across his path was not a new thing. As an Israelite he had known it long, but now his eyes had been opened to see it aright. Nor was it a noble thing or honourable in the eyes of men. It was known as a reproach, a matter of scorn. It is called the reproach of Christ, or the reproach attaching to all who held Israel’s hope of a coming Messiah. This hope was a mockery and derision to all in Egypt. Yet it was this decided hope which Moses took hold of, ‘preferring it to all the treasures of Egypt.’ This was, if not Moses’ conversion, at least the turning point in his life, when he was compelled to make an open choice. We know not what the occasion was, but it brought matters to a crisis. It compelled him to decide for Jehovah or for Osiris, for Christ or for the false worship of the Egyptian temples. It was faith that led him, and enabled him to make the choice; faith that saw through the falsehoods of heathen idolatry, and the vanities of human pleasure and learning; faith that saw the realities of divine truth and joy as centered in Him who, even when seen afar off, was the way, and the truth, and the life. What then does faith accomplish for us? and how? and when?

As to the when, we may answer, the moment that it comes into action by the power of the Holy Ghost. In its state of death or dormancy it effects nothing, whatever its words or professions may be. Has the when in your life come yet, O man? Or is it still a futurity, an uncertainty? When art thou to believe and to act upon what thou believest?

As to the how, we answer, it is the substance of things hoped for. It operates by giving to the future its proper magnitude, to the present its proper littleness; to the heavenly things their true fullness, to the earthly their true emptiness. It sets all things on their right basis, and represents everything in its true proportions. As to the what the answers are endless. What is there that faith cannot do? But the special thing noted in our text is Moses’ change of choice and estimate.

I. His change of choice-He chooses affliction and oppression, degradation and hardship. He chooses them deliberately, joyfully, and not by compulsion. He chooses his company, ‘the people of God,’ as distinguished from Egypt and from earth. With them he casts in his lot for better or for worse. In making this choice he rejects what the world calls pleasure,-the pleasures,-the short lived pleasures of sin. They are worthless and unenduring, as well as evil. He had once chosen them, now he chooses them not.

II. His change of estimate.-‘Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches.’ Faith alters the value of everything to us. That value in itself is incapable of change; but to us it is altered. What we once esteemed we esteem no more; what we disesteemed we now prize, and honour, and love. Faith applies new tests to everything, and finds dross in what we counted gold, and gold in what we counted dross. It changes our estimate, (1) Of sin; (2) of self; (3) of righteousness; (4) of Scripture; (5) of God; (6)of Christ; (7) of earth; (8) of heaven. The aspect of all these things is altered to us. They are not what they were to us, and we are not what we were to them.

Or, to use another figure, faith is the great unveiler. It takes off the mask, or veil, or covering from every object, and shows them to us as they are. There are two kinds of veils or masks on everything here,- bright and dark. The former hides deformity, and makes objects appear fairer than they are; the latter hides beauty, and makes objects appear uncomely. Faith removes both of these. It takes off the bright veil, (1) from earthly pleasure; (2) from worldly riches; (3) from human learning; (4)royal glory. It shows us the dark interior,-the hollowness of all these. It does not misrepresent them or belie them, but simply removes the unreal attractions which deceived and misled us. It does not underestimate, yet it does not over-estimate. It takes off the dark veil, (1) from Christ, and shows Him to us as altogether lovely; (2) from holiness, and shows us what a blessed thing it is to be holy; (3) from the kingdom to come, and shows us what a recompense of reward it is; (4) from the Church of God, showing us what a glory belongs to her, though it doth not now appear what she shall be; (5) from reproach and affliction, showing us how good it is to be afflicted, how honourable to be reproached for Christ, and as He was.

Thus faith works. It does wonders in us, and for us, and through us. It separates us from the world. It brings us out, of the haunts of vanity; it leads us out of the ballroom, and the theatre, and the gay party; it shows us better riches, better pleasures, and brighter glory than the world contains.

 

 

From “Day-by-Day By Grace” Bob Hoekstra

David Confessing God as His Strength

The LORD is the strength of my life . . . The LORD is . . . my strength, in whom I will trust. (Psa_27:1 and Psa_18:2)

Living by grace involves depending upon God to work in our lives. For the greater part of his life, David was an outstanding Old Testament example of such living. This was certainly evident in the way David frequently confessed the Lord as his strength.

For each adult who lives in this fallen world, strength is demanded just to deal with every day responsibilities and challenges. When you add the calling and desire that believers have to please and honor God, much strength is needed day by day. David confessed the Lord as his strength for living. “The LORD is the strength of my life.” How wonderful to know that the Lord is with us to impart His strength in us for every aspect of our lives, whether home, or work, or ministry, or whatever.

In our earthly pilgrimage, we need strength to stay on course. The world, the flesh, and the devil want to prevent us from progressing down the Lord’s perfect path. David found in the Lord the strength for this need as well. “It is God who arms me with strength, and makes my way perfect” (Psa_18:32). At times, when walking along our designated path of life, we get trapped in circumstantial nets, laid by the enemy of our souls. When David experienced these traps, he cried out to God for the necessary strength. “Pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me, For You are my strength” (Psa_31:4). At other times along our path, the problem is not a trap, but an all-out battle. Once again, David found the strength he needed in His Lord. “For You have armed me with strength for the battle; You have subdued under me those who rose up against me” (Psa_18:39).

Sometimes, the need for strength pertains to what is going on within (or flowing forth from within). The thoughts we are thinking, and the words we are expressing might need to be anchored again in the will of the Lord. David also knew how to turn to God for this essential strength as well. “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my redeemer” (Psa_19:14). When he weakened within and stumbled in failure, David still knew where to turn for the only help that will ever prove sufficient. “My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psa_73:26). Whatever the need for strength, David learned to rely upon the Lord. “The LORD is . . . my strength, in whom I will trust.”

O Lord, my strength, I need Your strength for daily responsibilities, strength for staying on track with You, strength for periodic battles, strength for weaknesses within, strength to please You. You are my strength; I trust in You!

From “The Word For You Today” by Bruce Christian – Temptation (3)

     You have open doors before you all day long.  How do you choose which ones to go through?

TEMPTATION (3)

     Temptation enters through three doors: “The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.”  That’s how it entered the Garden of Eden.  “When the woman saw that the tree was good for food (the lust of the flesh), that it was pleasant to the eyes (the lust of the eyes), and a tree desirable to make one wise (the pride of life), she took of it’s fruit (Ge 3:6 NKJV).  Satan has no new tricks, he just dresses up the same old temptations in new attire.  “The lust of the flesh” is anything you recklessly go into debt for, manipulate for, or violate your integrity for.  “The lust of the eyes” has to do with your perception.  By the time you start seeing clearly, you’ve lost a great relationship or walked away from an opportunity, only to look back and say, “I was foolish.  If I’d only waited.”  “The pride of life” is the most subtle, therefore the most dangerous.  You need a certain amount of pride to succeed in life.  So when does pride cross the line?  When you start exalting yourself; when you neglect God and think your success is the result of your own effort;  when you can’t admit you’re wrong; when you’re willing to go all the way to the bottom; fighting and blaming others.  Someone who cannot repent cannot be restored.  After his affair with Bathsheba, David wrote, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise” (Ps 51:17 NIV).

From the Pen of Wil Pounds

     One of the struggles for new christians, and even some old ones is understanding the doctrine of santification.  This is important to know and believe, and helps us realize that learning and loving is a process.  May this help all who struggle from time to time in our walk with the Lord.

Our Old Carnal Sinful Nature

The Christian makes progress in sanctification in his daily life as he yields to the Holy Spirit.  He is in perpetual war against the old nature or flesh.  The greater power in the conflict is the Spirit of God who indwells the true believer.  The indwelling and filling of the Holy Spirit is the secret to our spiritual growth in the likeness of Christ. 

The apostle Paul recognized the true believer’s battle with sin in Galatians 5:16-17. The flesh and the spirit are in continuous war.  The human body is not evil per se, but we do have an old nature with its continuing tendency to sin and rebellion against God.  It is this old flesh nature or self that wars with the Spirit.  “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please” (Galatians 5:16-17). 

We have an old nature that has a continuing tendency to sin and rebel against God. The born again believer does have within him contrary desires and urges. The old fallen instincts of the Adamic nature are not yet destroyed. They constantly distract us from doing the will of God and cause us to sin. 

However, we do have the indwelling Holy Spirit who constantly wages war against this old fallen nature. He is progressively working within us to renew us in the likeness of Christ.

When we are born again, a new nature or disposition is created within the soul. The work of the Holy Spirit in our progressive sanctification affects both this new disposition as well as the old self.

We have a responsibility to cooperate with the gracious operation of the Holy Spirit by which He delivers us from the pollution of sin, renews our whole person according to the image of God, and enable us to please Him in our daily lives.

It is by the work of sanctification that this “pollution” or corruption of our nature is in the process of being removed. Of course, it will not be totally removed until we see Jesus in His glory.

It is by progressive sanctification that God cures our sinning precisely by curing our sinful nature. He makes the tree good that the fruit may be good. Our personal sanctification is a progressive and gradual process, not an instantaneous one. In fact, it is a lifetime process which began with our spiritual regeneration and will continue until we see Jesus in glory.

The Holy Spirit lives within us in order to change us in the inner most depths of our person, not merely to influence our emotions and behaviors. He works in order to eradicate our sinfulness and not merely to counteract its effects. He is working toward a radical change in us (2 Cor. 5:17; Rom. 12:2).

God’s way of cleansing the stream is to cleanse the fountain. The Holy Spirit goes to the source of our problem. He is not content to attack the stream of our activities; He goes directly to the heart out of which the issues of life flow (Mk. 7:20-23).  The Bible does not give us any promise that the fountain will be completely cleansed all at once, and therefore no promise that the stream will flow perfectly pure from the beginning. There is no promise of a once-for-all eradication of our old nature in this life. It does, however, teach a progressive sanctification of the believer in this life.

When we were born again, a change in direction and disposition took place in our lives. We are now a “new creature” (2 Cor. 5:17).  We now have a new direction, new disposition, new attitudes, etc. toward God.

Even though we are a new creation, we are not totally new. We still have in us an inclination toward sin, and we will until that day when “we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is” (1 John 3:2).

We do have “native tendencies toward evil” which consists of  those old characteristics or attributes which incline the believer toward sin.  It is our old nature or old self that we still retain even though we have experienced spiritual regeneration.

In the work of the Holy Spirit, this old nature is progressively being eradicated and the new nature is being “nourished” and perfected.

The more we can mature and grow in Christ likeness, the more we become aware of sin in our lives.  This is the work of the Holy Spirit.  But He also comforts our hearts with the knowledge that “there is now no condemnation for those in Christ.”

The apostle Paul is emphasizing a continual habitual action on the part of the believer as he conducts his daily “Walk by the Spirit.”  Let this be your habitual manner of life.  When we are under the controlling influence of the Holy Spirit, we “will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”

Verse seventeen stresses the continual opposition of “the flesh against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh.”

Selah!

Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006