What is the flesh?


Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

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Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
John Knox (c. 1510-1572) was a Scottish clergyman, a leader of the Protestant Reformation, and a man who is considered to be the founder of the Presbyterian denomination in Scotland. Knox has been ...

July 01 2013 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Data Tony Flores Tony Flores a servant of Jesus Christ
The flesh is our human body created by God. The desires of the body are very strong and can be over whelming, like wanting food, greed, sex etc...
This is the contrary desires that God wants us to focus on. His desires for us is the fruits of the Spirit. When going through life, we have to shift the body desires for the spiritual desires that God wants us to have to be more like him. This is the battle that we face daily, the desires of the body against the 
spiritual Godly desires. We cannot achieve and win this battle with out help from God. We need the Father, the Son and especially the Holy Spirit that duels in us to win this earthly battle. If you do not have the Holy Spirit living in you there is no way you will win this battle. Jesus Christ is the only Way, the only Truth and the only Life, for the Father and Son are one with the Holy Spirit.

April 09 2014 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Q jcryle001 JD Abshire
I believe we need to be extremely careful about assigning sinful desires to the physical body. Is your hand, foot or leg sinful? If I steal a pack of mints from the convenience store, yes my legs and feet carried me there, my hand took it but where was the desire conceived? Where did the desire originate? It originated in my mind, my heart my core, my soul. If sin resides in the physical body we would all need to become quadruple amputees and have our mouths stitched shut! 

James 1:14-15 “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

If not careful we will end up practicing historical self flagellation, a form of whipping or flogging in order to “mortify the flesh”. I understand that Origen, one of the greatest theological minds of the 3rd century castrated himself, hoping to get rid of impure sexual thoughts and tendencies only later to discover it did not work! Uh-Oh.

Romans 12:1 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”
1 Corinthians 6:15 “Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.”
1 Corinthians 6:19 “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”
1 Corinthians 6:20 “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.”

I believe it is clear from scripture that the body, the physical flesh is controlled by the mind or “heart” if you prefer. As Paul stated in the above passages and others previously referenced, our bodies are controlled by inward desires, the flesh. Our bodies can be used for the glory of God or for dishonor.
The real danger in this misunderstanding affects our thinking and opinion of our Lord Jesus Christ. First, if the flesh or human body is sinful this would call Christ’s impeccability into question. Christ did not become the sinless Son of God because of the virgin birth, he always was the sinless Son of God. (Micah 5:2, John 1:1-3) Yes, the virgin birth proves that there was no human contribution and also protected him in this sense but the virgin birth was for a “sign”, a prophetic fulfillment and for authentication. (Isaiah 7:14, Jeremiah 31:22)

Adam was made clean, pure and sinless. What caused his fall and the subsequent fall of the entire human race? Not taking God at his word, disobedience. Christ, the last Adam in his incarnation was also sinless. He was 100% human flesh yet never sinned. Why? He was also 100% God. The Lord proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the human flesh is not sinful. It is the heart, core and soul of man. As divine, Christ had no sin tendency.

I personally believe a correct understanding of this is imperative. It makes the difference between heaven and hell to the poor lost soul who is erroneously hoping to attain salvation by works. It is also extremely important to the true believer in Christ who has been ill taught and misinformed. So many Christians today think they can justify themselves before God with self righteous effort by doing good things. Of course Christians should “do right” and lead exemplary lives. However, we need to realize that our failure in struggling against sin is a direct result of reluctance in submitting to the divine prerogative, not allowing the indwelling Holy Spirit to lead, guide and direct. (Romans 8:1-4, Galatians 5:16; v.25) 

Hebrews12:3-4 "For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin."

April 10 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

My picture Jack Gutknecht ABC/DTS graduate, guitar music ministry Baptist church
The flesh may be defined as “man’s fallen nature as under the power of sin.” It is the evil principle in man’s nature, the traitor within who is allied with the attackers without. The flesh provides the tinder on which the devil’s temptations can kindle.

The flesh can never be reformed or improved. The only hope for escape from the law of the flesh is its total execution and replacement by a new life in the Lord Jesus Christ. See Michael’s inclusion of this verse (above), Colossians 3:5, in the process of how to overcome the flesh. A walk in the Spirit might be rightly expected of believers. This is only possible for those who have crucified the flesh. The word is not slain, but crucified. It is a task of the Christian to be accomplished only by continual effort (Colossians 3:5).

“In ‘crucified,’ however, the simple slaying is not the main idea, but the condemning, giving sentence, surrendering to infamous death. This has necessarily taken place in becoming Christ’s. Fellowship with Christ involves a crucifixion of the flesh for the very reason that it is fellowship with Christ’s death on the cross.[ Philippians 3:10] “Christ indeed has only suffered what people have deserved on account of their sinful flesh. Whoever appropriates to himself Christ’s death upon the cross regards the flesh to himself no longer. For him, in Christ’s death, the flesh has been crucified.”

The idea is that the flesh is not slain but crucified.

“Paul’s meaning is not that the flesh, with its affections and 
lusts {Galatians 5:24 'Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires."}, is no longer present at all with those that have become Christians, but that a walk in the flesh should not any longer exist in the case of Christians. A walk in the Spirit might be rightly expected of believers. This is only possible for those who have crucified the flesh. The word is not slain, but crucified. It is a task of the Christian to be accomplished only by continual effort (Colossians 3:5).

The word flesh besides its literal meaning also has a metaphorical (symbolical) sense when it refers to our disposition [our bent toward] to sin and to oppose or omit God in our lives. The flesh is characterized by works that include lusts and passions (Galatians 5:19-24; I John 2:16); it can enslave (Romans 7:25)—(The flesh serves as a base of operation for sin (Romans 7:8, Romans 7:11) and thus enslaves a person to sin (Romans 6:15-23; Romans 7:25). This does not imply that flesh is automatically sinful, but its history in Adam*** 
shows the weakness of flesh and its strong tendency to give in to the commands of sin.

***	All I have in Adam is but sin and death,
I in Christ inherit life and righteousness;
When in flesh abiding, Adam I express,
But when in the spirit Christ is manifest.

Those who follow the impulses of the flesh are governed by the flesh and are characterized as those who live “after the flesh” (Romans 8:5). They are those who give in to sinful passions and produce works contrary to God and His law (Galatians 5:16-17, 19-21, 23-24; compare 1 John 2:16; 1 Peter 4:2; 
2 Peter 2:10).

In the flesh is nothing good (Romans 7:18). Based on this meaning of the word flesh, to be carnal means to be characterized by things that belong to the unsaved life (Ephesians 2:3). I love this verse in Ephesians and have memorized it in the New American Standard Version: “Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.”

April 20 2020 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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