In the spiritual battle we face daily, there is no greater threat to our walk with God than that which clings to us, our flesh. Much like the world, the flesh is seen physically in the corruption of our body and it is also seen spiritually in the corruption of our heart and minds. Before salvation, the flesh possessed the throne of our hearts and minds, dictating our decisions and actions. But now as a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, we have been set free from the flesh and yet it remains an ever-present enemy in this life. The good news is that we now have a choice in whom we serve: our own flesh or our Lord Jesus Christ. In this lesson, we will see the following aspects of our closest and fiercest enemy:

  • The Flesh is our Ever-Present Enemy
  • The Flesh is Contrary to the Spirit of God
  • The Flesh must be Reckoned Dead

The Flesh is truly our Ever-present Enemy


The flesh has been cursed since the fall of mankind and is our natural inclination Genesis 2:7, Genesis 3:17

  1. There is nothing good in or about the flesh Mark 7:20-23, Romans 7:5, 18, Galatians 5:19-21
  2. The flesh naturally serves sin Romans 6:19-20, Romans 7:19-20, 25, Ephesians 2:1-3
  3. Even after salvation, the flesh is still with us and “the old man” can still be a source of trouble for us Romans 8:1, Ephesians 4:21-24, Colossians 3:8-10

The Flesh is Contrary to the Spirit of God


The flesh cannot be tamed or controlled or work in conjunction with the Spirit of God Galatians 5:17

  1. The flesh is the enemy of the Spirit Romans 8:5-8, Galatians 4:28-31
  2. The flesh can be deceitful when we do “spiritual” things Jeremiah 17:9, Galatians 3:1-3, Galatians 5:13, 2Corinthians 10:3-6
  3. As believers, we are no longer bound to the flesh it is now our choice which we will serve: the flesh or the Spirit Romans 7:5-6, 25, Romans 13:13-14, Galatians 5:16, Colossians 2:11-12

The Flesh must be Reckoned Dead


The flesh is no good and unruly, so it must be reckoned (or known) as dead Romans 6:6-12

  1. There is only one solution for the flesh: spiritual death, i.e. reckoning it dead Romans 8:13, Romans 12:1, 1Corinthians 15:31, Galatians 2:20, Galatians 5:24, Colossians 3:5
  2. We should desire to be completely free of this flesh spiritually and be with our Lord and Savior  2Corinthians 5:1-8, Philippians 1:21-23, Philippians 3:18-21, 2Timothy 4:6-8
  3. There will be judgment regarding our handling of the flesh: did we serve it or die to it and serve Christ? Romans 8:8, 1Corinthians 3:11-17, 1Corinthians 15:50, Galatians 6:7-8, Galatians 5:19-22

 

Digging Deeper – Learning more about our flesh through the Old Testament Tabernacle

In the Old Testament, the Lord gave Moses instructions for Israel to build a tabernacle or sanctuary so He could dwell among them (Exodus 25:8).  He was clear to Moses that it be built “after the pattern” shown to him (Exodus 25:40). As we know the Old Testament is a picture book for spiritual truths uncovered in the New Testament, what spiritual truths from the tabernacle can we learn regarding our battle with the flesh?  (Romans 15:4, 1Corinthians 10:11)

  1. There were 3 sections or parts to the tabernacle: the outer court, the holy place and the holy of holies (Exodus 26-27). How does this relate to us? (Clue: Genesis 2:7, 1Thessalonians 5:23)
  2. The first item encountered entering the outer court of the tabernacle was the altar (Exodus 40:33). Sacrifices were required upon the altar daily (Exodus 29:38) and that fire was never to go out (Leviticus 6:13.) What does this tell us about our battle with the flesh? (Clue: Romans 12:1, 1Corinthians 15:31)
  3. The second item encountered in the outer court was a laver or basin for washing after sacrifices and/or before entering the sanctuary or holy place. What does this say about our approach to God? (Clue: Ephesians 5:26, 2Corinthians 7:1)
  4. When the tabernacle was being raised, the holy of holies was assembled first, then the holy place then finally with the outer courtyard (Exodus 40). What does this show regarding our priorities and/or spiritual emphasis? (Clue: 2Corinthians 4:16, Ephesians 3:16)

 

 Meditating on the Word:

For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die:

but if ye through the Spirit

do mortify the deeds of the body,

ye shall live.

Romans 8:13