PAULFROMNYS

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Hosted by PAULFROMNYS|Malachi 3:16-18/Bible talk

Based on Malachi 3:16-18 I believe the Lord will harken to us as we consider his word together.

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The Spiritual man #31   Topics/belief

Started 12/31/21 by PAULFROMNYS; 60 views.
PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

12/31/21

      The Boastings of the Flesh The Other Side of the Flesh Do the works of the flesh include only what we hitherto mentioned? Or are there other fleshly works? Is the flesh now inactivated under the power of the cross? Up to this point what we have stressed has been the sins of the flesh which are the lusts of the human body. But our attention now needs to be drawn to another side of the flesh. You will recall we stated earlier that the flesh comprises the works of the soul as well as the lusts of the body. Thus far we have touched upon the body side only, leaving the soul side nearly unscathed. The believer, it is quite true, must rid himself of the defiling sins of the body, but he also needs to resist the works of his soul; for these are no less corrupt in the eyes of God than the sins of the body. According to the Bible the works of the “flesh” are of two kinds (though both are of the flesh) : the unrighteous and the self-righteous. The flesh can produce not only defiling sins but also commendable morals: not only the base and the ignoble but the high and noble as well: not only sinful lust but good intention too. It is this latter side to which we must address ourselves now. 

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

12/31/21

   The Scriptures employ the word “flesh” to describe man’s corrupt nature or life which embraces soul and body. In the creative act of God soul is placed between spirit and body, that is, between what is heavenly or spiritual and what is earthly or physical. Its duty is to mingle these two, according each its proper place yet making them intercommunicative, that through such perfect harmony man ultimately may attain full spirituality. Unfortunately the soul yielded to temptation which arose from the physical organs, thus releasing itself from the authority of the spirit and embracing instead the control of the body. Soul and body accordingly were joined together to be flesh. Not only is the flesh “devoid of the spirit”; it also is directly opposed to the spirit. The Bible consequently asserts that the “flesh lusts against the spirit” (Gal. 5.17 literal). The opposition manifested by the flesh against the spirit and against the Holy Spirit is two-fold: (1) by way of committing sin— rebelling against God and breaking the law of God; and (2) by way of performing good—obeying God and following the will of God. The body element of the flesh, full of sin and lust, naturally cannot but express itself in many sins, much to the grief of the Holy Spirit. The soul part of the flesh, however, is not as defiled as the body. Soul is the life principle of man; it is his very self, comprising the faculties of will, mind and emotion. From the human viewpoint the works of the soul may not be all defiled. They merely center upon one’s thought, idea, feeling, and like or dislike. Though these all are focused upon self, they are not necessarily defiling sins. The basic characteristic of the works of the soul is independence or selfdependence. Even though the soul side is therefore not as defiled as the body side, it nonetheless is hostile to the Holy Spirit. The flesh makes self the center and elevates self-will above God’s will. It may serve God, but always according to its idea, not according to God’s. It will do what is good in its own eyes. Self is the principle behind every action. It may not commit what man considers sin: it may even try to keep God’s commandments with all its power: yet “self” never fails to be at the heart of every activity. Who can fathom the deceitfulness and vitality of this self? The flesh opposes the spirit not just in sinning against God, but now even in the matter of serving Him and pleasing Him. It opposes and quenches the Holy Spirit by leaning upon its own strength without wholly relying upon God’s grace and simply being led by the Spirit. 

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

12/31/21

   We can find many believers around us who are by nature good and patient and loving. Now what the believer hates is sin; therefore if he can be delivered from it and from the works of the flesh as described in Galatians 5, verses 19 through 21, then is he content. But what the believer admires is righteousness; therefore he will try hard to act righteously, longing to possess the fruits of Galatians 5, verses 22 and 23. Yet, just here lies the danger. For the Christian has not come to learn how to hate the totality of his flesh. He merely desires to be liberated from the sins which spring from it. He knows how to resist somewhat the deeds of the flesh, but he does not realize that the entire flesh itself needs to be destroyed. What deceives him is that the flesh not only can produce sin but can also perform good. If it is still doing good it is evident it is yet alive. Had the flesh definitely died the believer’s ability both to do good and to do evil would have perished with it. An ability to undertake good manifests that the flesh has not yet died. We know that men originally belong to the flesh. The Bible distinctly teaches that there is no one in the world who is not of the flesh, for every sinner is born of the flesh. But we additionally recognize that many, before they are born anew, and even many who in their lifetime never believe in the Lord, have performed and continue to perform many commendable acts. Some seem to be naturally born with kindness, patience or goodness. Notice what the Lord Jesus says to Nicodemus (John 3.6); though the latter man is so good naturally, he is nonetheless regarded as of the flesh. This confirms that the flesh can indeed do good.

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