Gain the Biblical Perspective on Sex and the Flesh-S13Ep7
What is the flesh?
The flesh is the personality of a human controlled by sin and directed to selfish pursuits rather than the service of God. (Dr. Charles Ryrie)
God created this marvelous human body for us. The body is not evil in itself. But sin which indwells our humanity—that is the enemy. Since the time of Adam, every human has been born with a sinful nature.
We don’t know what it is, but we know how the flesh works. It sends messages to the mind that are in conflict with the Spirit. The work of the flesh is obvious and ugly. Mark 7; Galatians 5
Why does the flesh assault us?
When we trust in Christ as our Savior, we get forgiveness for our sin plus, and we get new life as the Holy Spirit comes to live inside our once-dead spirits to make us spiritually alive.
Our human spirit communicates with the Holy Spirit. We have direct access to God who is our Father. We are made into a new creation—spiritually.
We now possess the life of the new creation through the Holy Spirit in us while still living in bodies of the old, fallen creation in a fallen, evil world. At the moment of salvation, we are born again of the Spirit. Our bodies are not born again. And, our souls—that is, the mind, emotions, and will, those are not instantly transformed.
We need to know this enemy to have victory over it.
The New Testament teaches us some truths about the flesh we must know to have victory over it.
Truth #1: The desires of the flesh won't go away. You choose to gratify them or not.
Truth #2: The flesh doesn't improve over time. It does not become “godly” over time.
Truth #3: The flesh won't leave us alone to be spiritual. Romans 6
Truth #4: The flesh wants control. There will be continual conflict. Romans 7
Truth #5: The flesh doesn't become less able to be tempted over time.
Truth #6: The flesh uses a consistent pattern: Sending a thought to your mind leading to familiarity with that thought, leading to a loss of repugnance, and, eventually, leading to curiosity and a desire to experiment with an activity. Having tried the activity, the flesh learns to like it, and even grow dependent, on any sensual stimulus.
The culture feeds the flesh, especially regarding sex.
“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.” (Colossians 2:8)
Whenever human ideas are separated from Christ and the Bible, they are hollow and deceptive philosophies. But, even more than that, they are under the influence of Satan and his demons. Ephesians 2
Paul says stay away from any system of thought that depends on and gives credit to human thought and tradition more than to Jesus Christ. When considering anyone’s philosophy, the qualifying test is this: Where does Jesus fit into their thinking? If their thinking says he is just a way to know God or just a good teacher, and we accept that thinking, then we trade the core and eternal truth of Christ for lies. If their thinking is He is just the way to get saved and go to heaven when we die, but doesn’t care about what you do now, then you have turned Him into a ticket for a destination and devalued Him as Lord. Either way, we allow ourselves to be “taken captive” by the culture.
What makes us susceptible to this cultural captivity?
Cultural captivity looks to the culture rather than to Christ and the Bible as truth and a primary guide for living. Cultural captivity is usually caused by 3 things: Putting our trust in something other than the person or promises of Christ, misunderstanding the truths by which Christ has called us to live, or a combination of both. (Probe Ministries)
The culture’s teachings lead Christians to think the culture will satisfy your heart needs more than Christ. So, you become more likely to side with your culture rather than with Christ or the Bible, even on those religious practices or cultural issues clearly addressed in the Bible.
Victory comes through dependence on the Spirit of God to overcome the desires of the flesh.
“Living by the Spirit” or “walking by the Spirit” is dependence on the Spirit of God to empower you to say no to the flesh and say yes to obedience to God. The blood of Jesus paid your freedom price so you no longer have to obey the flesh. The Bible calls that redemption. You have a new master with greater power than the flesh living inside of you now—the Spirit of God Himself. He can give you freedom from any entrapping sin. Titus 2:11-14; Galatians 5:16
We never outgrow our need to depend 100% upon Jesus Christ. Recognizing this should lead us to have compassion on one another and to not take risks with sinful behavior!
Seek to depend on Christ more in your life than on yourself. It’s okay to say, "Lord, I can't do this on my own. But you can do this in me and through me.” Then, watch what he does!
The more we choose God’s truth and God’s way, the easier it becomes to resist the lies of the enemy and turn away from the temptations of the flesh. (Teasi Cannon, Mama Bear Apologetics, p. 91)
Let Jesus satisfy your heart with His perspective on life in the present and in the future. Then, live securely in Him during this time of waiting.