If your flesh is evil, then your hands are evil. Now imagine one hand picked up a pencil and wrote blasphemy with it. Where would the evil reside that produced this act? In the pencil?
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In your hand? Or in your mind?
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What does your common sense answer? Common sense tells you that the evil is not in the wooden pencil, or in your fleshly hand, but rather in your spiritual mind. It may be wise for us therefore to look at what else the Bible says on this matter, to shed some light upon, and to see if there is a more sensible way to understand, the few verses we have read. Jesus understood that the human body as such is not evil. He said, "If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off Jesus was not teaching people to butcher themselves.
He was simply pointing out that blaming your flesh for your sins is not valid, because if you apply logic to that proposition you come to the crazy conclusion that you should cut bits out of your body. If your hand does something evil, can you blame your hand? If so, then you should get rid of your hand. But of course it is not your hand causing you to sin. On the contrary, it is you causing your hand to sin. Now let's look at some things Paul says which show that the flesh is not really to blame for the sins that we commit Paul speaks of "indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind" Ephesians , and "the defilement of flesh and spirit" 2Corinthians These verses show that the spirit or mind can be equally involved in corruption and filth as the fleshly body can be.
Furthermore, both spirit and flesh can be equally free of evil, because Paul tells us to " cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit " 2Corinthians Again, Paul says of certain wicked people, "God gave them over to uncleaness in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonour their bodies among themselves" Romans This seems to make the heart or mind the enemy of the body. The fleshly body is dishonoured by an evil mind. Therefore while it is true that fleshly lusts can wage war against the soul, it is also equally true that the lusts of the mind can wage war against the fleshy body.
When Paul speaks of the flesh in association with sin, we notice that whilst he is certainly thinking of the human body, he is not thinking of it as isolated from its environment the world. Paul is not imagining, as it were, a naked body in a glass case.
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Rather, he is thinking of the fleshly body living and functioning in a physical, natural, social, economic, and political environment. Paul is thinking of what John calls "all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life" 1John Paul goes on to list some of the "deeds of the flesh" Galatians How can these be "works of the flesh"? If you were envious of someone, what part of your fleshly body would be envious? Your hand?
How should we fight against sin in the flesh?
Sin lies at the door, and its desire is for you, but you should rule over it! In the end, it becomes a way of thinking. Then it has overcome you, rather than the other way around. Resist it until the desire is gone, no matter how long that takes. And then you will be free!
Passages for Further Study
The power of the Holy Spirit from God gives you the energy you need to stand firm in the fight against sin and never give up, no matter how long the temptation continues. Acts To patiently, with endurance, deny the temptations to sin that rise up inside of you without ever giving in. It is a power that only the Holy Spirit can give you. That is why you need to humble yourself, acknowledge your own weakness, and come boldly to the throne of grace to find the mercy and grace for help in time of need.
Hebrews The more you overcome in temptation , the more hope you get for the future.
God can transform you, change you, make you new. Romans Sin has been put to death! We are born with an inclination to many sins that dwell in our flesh, but we do not have to die with them! Grace and peace will be multiplied to you, in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. Used by permission. All rights reserved. To put to death the deeds of the body we have to first understand what they are, and how they differ from living according to the flesh.
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E-books Check out our selection of free e-books! Human nature would rather sin than suffer, so how do we take up the battle against sin? Written by ActiveChristianity.
James ; 1 Peter The power of the Holy Spirit to fight sin Sin lies at the door, and its desire is for you, but you should rule over it! Hebrews The more you overcome in temptation , the more hope you get for the future. Download free E-book. Written by Elias Aslaksen. Read more Go to e-book library. And it really matters. Written by David Risa. Published in Edification Questions.
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