Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.
We have full access to the grace that God has provided for us to walk away from sin and to live a life that pleases Him at the moment we are saved. However, our sin nature still works against us and we need to learn to grow in the Spirit and resist the flesh. Even Paul struggled against his flesh and wrote about his struggle at length in Romans 7: 21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? This struggle against the sin nature can be frustrating, but we have this wonderful promise in 11 Cor 10:13, "No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it." Some people confuse temptation with sin itself. Temptation in and of itself is NOT sin; it becomes sin when we entertain temptation to the point of giving into it or when it becomes a distraction that keeps us from functioning. Temptations will always abound, but God will ALWAYS provide the way for us to avoid giving into them. There is no "magic formula" for growing your "Spirit Man," but here are some practical suggestions that can help: 1) Develop a love for the Word of God. 1 Peter 2:2 says: "Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation." 2) Give yourself to the process of renewing your mind according to the scriptures. Romans 12:2 says: "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." 3) Develop your love relationship with Jesus. John 14:15 says: "If you love me you will keep my commandments." You can do this in a number of ways, such as spending daily time with God in devotions, giving yourself to prayer, fellowshipping with other believers, and entering into praise and worship. The more we love Jesus, the less we will be tempted to sin. 4) Ask people you know and trust to hold you accountable in areas in which you stumble. Prov. 27:17 says: "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another." James 5:16 says: "Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working." 5) Read spiritual books and devotionals. "The Normal Christian Life" by Watchman Nee is a great classic, as well as "My Utmost for His Highest" by Oswald Chambers. Drawing from the advice of brothers and sisters who have been successful at growing in Christ is very inspirational and helpful. You are not alone in your struggle, and victory over the flesh is well within your grasp with the aid of the Holy Spirit and the body of Christ. One of my favorite stories in the Bible is the account of Lazarus being raised from the dead in John 11. We usually just focus on his return to the land of the living, but I have always taken special note of what Jesus commanded the crowd once he came out of the grave: 43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” When we are saved, we still have the "wrappings of death" around us. At the moment of salvation we are justified, but the process of sanctification takes time. In verse 44 Jesus told the crowd to unbind Lazarus, because he couldn't do it himself--we need to help each other in the process of sanctification.
In his letter to the Romans, Paul wrote about a struggle he himself experienced—a conflict between his flesh and his mind. (Read Romans 7:21-23.) Paul was not indulging in self-justification or self-pity, as though he were so heavily laden with sin that he could not help himself. After all, he was a mature, spirit-anointed Christian, chosen to be “an apostle to the nations.” (Rom. 1:1; 11:13) Why, then, did Paul write about his personal struggle? Paul was honestly acknowledging that on his own, he was incapable of doing God’s will to the extent that he himself desired. The reason? “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” he said. (Rom. 3:23) As a descendant of Adam, Paul was subject to the effects of sin on the imperfect flesh. We can relate to him because all of us are imperfect and have to face similar struggles every day. Moreover, there are many distractions that could divert our attention and take us off ‘the cramped road leading into life.’ (Matt. 7:14) However, the situation was not hopeless for Paul, and it is not for us. Paul wrote: “Who will rescue me . . . ? Thanks to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Rom. 7:24, 25) Then, he addressed those “in union with Christ Jesus”—anointed Christians. (Read Romans 8:1, 2.) By means of his holy spirit, Jehovah adopts them as sons, calling them to be “joint heirs with Christ.” (Rom. 8:14-17) God’s spirit, coupled with their faith in Christ’s ransom sacrifice, enables them to come off victorious in the struggle that Paul described and thus “have no condemnation.” They are set free “from the law of sin and of death.” While Paul’s remarks were addressed to anointed Christians, what he said about God’s spirit and Christ’s ransom sacrifice can benefit all servants of Jehovah regardless of the hope they entertain. Although Paul was inspired to offer such counsel to anointed Christians, it is vital that all servants of God understand what he wrote and endeavor to benefit from it. How God “Condemned Sin in the Flesh” In the 7th chapter of Romans, Paul acknowledged the power of sin on the imperfect flesh. In the 8th chapter, he commented on the power of holy spirit. The apostle explained how God’s spirit can help Christians in their struggle against the power of sin so that they can live in harmony with Jehovah’s will and gain his approval. Paul pointed out that by means of God’s spirit and the ransom sacrifice of his Son, God has accomplished something that the Mosaic Law could not.
Galatian 5: 16 this i say walk by the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the desires of the flesh.... so then the question is how do we walk by the Spirit. David declared that your Word is a lamp auto my feet and a light to my path. Galatain 5:18 talks of being led by the Spirit so the Holy Spirit will led us. praying in the Spirit helps a lot as well as personal bible study worship songs also these are all tools that keep our minds on things of God and on God himself.
I think we Christians are sometimes surprised by the desires of the flesh. I mean after all, for example, why do I still want to covet someone or something that isn't mine and I have no right to? And even more basic than that, why do I even have this urge (whatever it might be)? Why is this urge still present within me and why is it so strong? I question why I am still being affected by any of "that stuff." Am I even a child of God at all? Well Christian, wake up. You are a child of God. Gal 5:16-17 commands us to walk in the Spirit and we will not gratify the desires of the flesh. So then, the quest for all of us becomes how to walk in the Spirit. For some of us, the hardest battles of spiritual warfare are fought within ourselves. We can understand the circumstances and situations that the enemy uses to destroy us. We can also accept the truth of how the world lures and tempts us. We can even understand to some degree that the battle in the spiritual realm is ongoing and real, even though we cannot see it, BUT to get a grasp on what is going on WITHIN OUR OWN HEARTS AND MINDS can be the hardest thing to understand or explain or accept. Don't ever be fooled while on a “spiritual high” by thinking that "I don't even want to do those things anymore. Victory!" Because when you again want to do them (and you will), you are in danger of becoming the prodigal son (or daughter) if and when you fail. That is, it may cause you to give up the fight. Please do not! It is crucial you understand that fleshly desires will be with you until the day you die, as opposed to somehow thinking you are not saved when you are plagued by them. So what do we do about this ongoing battle within? [Rom 7:24.] I will not pretend to have all the answers but I do know this. If we are indeed in an ongoing battle, then we need weapons. Ephesians 6 lists the weapons. I would encourage each of you to dig deep into this chapter, but the one offensive weapon Paul lists in the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Therefore, we all need to immerse ourselves in the Word to battle these internally sources temptations. Then when the sword has been unsheathed, the Spirit will work within us to overcome the internal temptation. An example: When I am tempted to stretch the truth on my deductions while doing my taxes, I am reminded of or recall Rom 13 1-7 and Luke 20: 19-26. Hmm. Who knows, when faced with these verses, maybe I will receive the grace to run the numbers accurately. God bless you all, brothers and sisters.
All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.
A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.