Galatians 6:17 (NAS): For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.
II Corinthians 4:7-12 (NAS): But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death works in us, but life in you.
The Physical Body:
The purpose of the physical body of man is to bring honor and glory to God always and in everything; to become the living, breathing physical manifestation of Jesus Christ. The physical man is not brought back to life since it was cursed with death at The Fall and buried in death with Jesus. The physical man will ultimately die and go back to its original form of dust and ash. The spirit within, however, is awakened to new life. It is of the utmost importance to understand that the physical is not what Christ saves, but the spirit within man.
Many say incorrectly, “Christ-followers have two natures: that of the flesh and that of the Spirit.” Once a person is in Christ, they have one nature – the supernatural nature of Christ. The second nature is that of the flesh, the natural man, but it does not belong to us – it is no longer who we are. It is merely a temporary dwelling place; a “tent” as Paul calls it. It’s likened unto living in a hotel. No matter how long you live there, you do not own it; it is external from the “you” who dwells there. The things of the hotel, though you utilize the stuff, aren’t yours. We have to take care of the living quarters no matter how rundown or how ritzy. Basically, our spirit (merged with Holy Spirit) only lives temporarily in the shell – the human body – but neither the body itself or the nature of the body is your identity.
When I first rededicated my life to Christ in February 2000 after seven years of rebellion, I once again had awareness of my sinful state. It was my first encounter with Holy Spirit revealing things to me that had to be relinquished such as pride, control, rebellion, perversion, anger, unforgiveness, judgment, etc. For me, the most difficult thing to give up was sex outside of marriage. I smoked randomly and had never been drawn to alcohol. I had a gutter mouth after divorce and miscarriages but I had given that up. Once I dove into the Word and was convicted of fornication, I also willingly submitted it.
I did well for almost a year. The problem was that I did not understand this crucifixion of self. I strived in the natural to do what I had perceived was pleasing to Christ. I knew and even understood that premarital sex was an act of rebellion against God because the Bible plainly stated that as fact. Unfortunately, the drive of the flesh overtook me after eight or nine months and I found myself right back where I started. I could not understand what went wrong. I wanted to please God and I did not want to displease Him. Despite that, I still sinned willingly.
We’ll pick up here next week as we continue with, Dead Flesh, Living Spirit, subtitle “What Went Wrong?” If you are interested in reading more, check out my website to order my books, or go to my Facebook ministry page where I post regularly. This writing is from chapter 6 of the revised version of, What Was God Thinking? Why Adam Had To Die.” Blessings!
Alexys V. Wolf