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philologos
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 Word Study: The Flesh

According to the flesh:

Among Christians, to describe something as being ‘of the flesh’ is the almost the worst judgement possible. Probably only ‘demonic’ and ‘satanic’ are worse. This little study is not designed to provide all answers but to help some to ask questions.

Vine’s Expository Dictionary has an entry under ‘flesh’. This is the noun.
[b]Flesh[/b]
[i]sarx[/i] has a wider range of meaning in the NT than in the OT. Its uses in the NT may be analyzed as follows:(a) "the substance of the body," whether of beasts or of men, 1_Cor_15:39;
(b) "the human body," 2_Cor_10:3; Gal_2:20; Php_1:22;
(c) by synecdoche, of "mankind," in the totality of all that is essential to manhood, i.e., spirit, soul, and body, Matt_24:22; John_1:13; Rom_3:20;
(d) by synecdoche, of "the holy humanity" of the Lord Jesus, in the totality of all that is essential to manhood, i.e., spirit, soul, and body, John_1:14; 1_Tim_3:16; 1_John_4:2; 2_John_1:7; in Heb_5:7, "the days of His flesh," i.e., His past life on earth in distinction from His present life in resurrection;
(e) by synecdoche, for "the complete person," John_6:51-57; 2_Cor_7:5; James_5:3;
(f) "the weaker element in human nature," Matt_26:41; Rom_6:19; Rom_8:3;
(g) "the unregenerate state of men," Rom_7:5; Rom_8:8,9;
(h) "the seat of sin in man" (but this is not the same thing as in the body), 2_Pet_2:18; 1_John_2:16;
(i) "the lower and temporary element in the Christian," Gal_3:3; Gal_6:8, and in religious ordinances, Heb_9:10;
(j) "the natural attainments of men," 1_Cor_1:26; 2_Cor_10:2,3;
(k) "circumstances," 1_Cor_7:28; the externals of life, 2_Cor_7:1; Eph_6:5; Heb_9:13;
(l) by metonymy, "the outward and seeming," as contrasted with the spirit, the inward and real, John_6:63; 2_Cor_5:16;
(m) "natural relationship, consanguine," 1_Cor_10:18; Gal_4:23, or marital, Matt_19:5." [ From Notes on Galatians, by Hogg and Vine, pp. 111,112.]
In Matt_26:41; Rom_8:4,13; 1_Cor_5:5; Gal_6:8 (not the Holy Spirit, here), "flesh" is contrasted with spirit; in Rom_2:28,29, with heart and spirit; in Rom_7:25, with the mind; cp. Col_2:1,5. It is coupled with the mind in Eph_2:3, and with the spirit in 2_Cor_7:1.
Note: In Col_2:18 the noun sarx is used in the phrase "(by his) fleshly mind," lit., "by the mind of his flesh" [see 1(h) above], whereas the mind ought to be dominated by the Spirit.

But there are at least two adjectives which come from ‘sarx’.

[b]The first adjective is [i]sark[u]ikos[/u][/i].[/b]
Carnal, Carnally
[i]sark[u]ikos[/u][/i] from [i]sarx[/i], "flesh," signifies
(a) "having the nature of flesh," i.e., sensual, controlled by animal appetites, governed by human nature, instead of by the Spirit of God, 1_Cor_3:3 (for 1_Cor_3:1, see below; same mss. have it in 1_Cor_3:4); having its seat in the animal nature, or excited by it, 1_Pet_2:11, "fleshly," or as the equivalent of "human," with the added idea of weakness, figuratively of the weapons of spiritual warfare, "of the flesh" (AV, "carnal"), 2_Cor_10:4; or with the idea of unspirituality, of human wisdom, "fleshly," 2_Cor_1:12;
(b) "pertaining to the flesh" (i.e., the body), Rom_15:27; 1_Cor_9:11.

Fleshly, Fleshy
[i]sark[u]ikos[/u][/i] akin to [i]sarx[/i], signifies
(a) associated with or pertaining to, "the flesh, carnal," Rom_15:27; 1_Cor_9:11;
(b) of "the nature of the flesh, sensual," translated "fleshly" in 2_Cor_1:12, of wisdom; in 1_Pet_2:11, of lusts; in 2_Cor_10:4, negatively, of the weapons of the Christian's warfare, RV, "of the flesh" (AV, "carnal").

[b]The second adjective is [i]sarki[u]nos[/u][/i].[/b]
Carnal, Carnally
[i]sarki[u]nos[/u][/i]
(a) "consisting of flesh," 2_Cor_3:3, "tables that are hearts of flesh" (AV, "fleshy tables of the heart");
(b) "pertaining to the natural, transient life of the body," Heb_7:16, "a carnal commandment;"
(c) given up to the flesh, i.e., with almost the same significance as sarkikos, above, Rom_7:14, "I am carnal sold under sin;" 1_Cor_3:1 (some texts have sarkikos, in both these places, and in those in 2(a) and 2(b), but textual evidence is against it). It is difficult to discriminate between sarkikos and sarkinos in some passages. In regard to 1_Pet_2:11, Trench (Syn. lxxi, lxxii) says that [i]sarkikos describes the lusts which have their source in man's corrupt and fallen nature, and the man is sarkikos who allows to the flesh a place which does not belong to it of right; in 1_Cor_3:1 sarkinos is an accusation far less grave than sarkikos would have been. The Corinthians saints were making no progress, but they were not anti-spiritual in respect of the particular point with which the Apostle was there dealing. In 1_Cor_3:3,4, they are charged with being sarkikos.[/i]

Fleshly, Fleshy
[i]sark[u]inos[/u][/i] denotes "of the flesh, fleshly" (the termination, [i]inos[/i] signifying the substance or material of a thing); in 2_Cor_3:3, RV, "(tables that are hearts) of flesh," AV, "fleshly (tables)," etc.
Note: The adjectives "fleshly," "carnal" are contrasted with spiritual qualities in Rom_7:14; 1_Cor_3:1,3,4; 2_Cor_1:12; Col_2:18 (lit., "mind of flesh"). Speaking broadly, the carnal denotes the sinful element in man's nature, by reason of descent from Adam; the spiritual is that which comes by the regenerating operation of the Holy Spirit.

These words are not always easy to trace due to some contention in the different manuscript families, but hopefully this will give you enough to start.


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Ron Bailey

 2005/1/8 7:53Profile
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 Re: Word Study: The Flesh

Hi Bro Ron,

I have been waiting a long time to get to the bottom of this word. ;-)

Quote:
Speaking broadly, the carnal denotes the sinful element in man's nature, by reason of descent from Adam; the spiritual is that which comes by the regenerating operation of the Holy Spirit.




I don't want to oversimplify this discussion right from the start, but could it be that sarkikos and sarkinos are simply words that describe persons apart from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit? In other words, a person is carnal because the Holy Sprit is not present to orchestrate the natural desires of human beings? Apart from the Holy Spirit men walk according to the course of this world, according to the Prince of the Power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.

Could this be the contrast we see in Galatians 5 between the "works of the flesh" and the "fruit of the Spirit"?

God Bless,

-Robert


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Robert Wurtz II

 2005/1/8 8:45Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
[i]Vine's quote:[/i] Speaking broadly, the carnal denotes the sinful element in man's nature, by reason of descent from Adam; the spiritual is that which comes by the regenerating operation of the Holy Spirit.

Personally I think this is a little 'too' broad. I want to fine tune it.


Quote:
[i]Robert's quote:[/i]I don't want to oversimplify this discussion right from the start, but could it be that sarkikos and sarkinos are simply words that describe persons apart from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit?



Hi Robert
I don’t want to jump the gun either but my working hypothesis is linked to the phrase ‘kata sarka”. (Act 2:30; Rom 1:3; Rom 8:1; Rom 8:4; Rom 8:5; Rom 8:12; Rom 8:13; Rom 9:3; Rom 9:5; 1Co 1:26; 2Co 1:17; 2Co 5:16; 2Co 10:2; 2Co 10:3; 2Co 11:18; Gal 4:23; Gal 4:29; Eph 6:5; Col 3:22;) in most of these references the phrase is translated ‘according to the flesh’.

Some of these references are to Christ Himself; there can be no question of ‘flesh’ having a bad connotation with those;
[b] Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; (Act 2:30 KJV)[/b]
[b] Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; (Rom 1:3 KJV)[/b] and others…

However, some of these references have ‘kata sarka’ in a deliberate contrast with ‘kata pneuma’, ‘according to the spirit.’
[b] That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not [u]after the flesh[/u], but [u]after the Spirit[/u]. For they that are [u]after the flesh[/u] do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are [u]after the Spirit[/u] the things of the Spirit. (Rom 8:4-5 KJV)[/b]
[b] But as then he that was born [u]after the flesh[/u] persecuted him that was born [u]after the Spirit[/u], even so it is now. (Gal 4:29 KJV)[/b]

‘kata sarka’ means from the point of view of the flesh. At its gentlest we might say ‘humanly speaking’. So a dynamic equivalence translation has [b] This good news is about his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ! [u]As a human[/u], he was from the family of David. But the Holy Spirit proved that Jesus is the powerful Son of God, because he was raised from death. (Rom 1:3 CEV)[/b] Paul is explaining that at the ‘human level’ Christ was the descendent of David; from the perspective of ‘the flesh’ he was thoroughly human.

There is a very carefully expressed statement later in Romans [b] For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the [i]likeness of sinful flesh[/i], and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: (Rom 8:3 KJV)[/b] You will know that if Paul had said ‘in the likeness of flesh’ it might have implied that Jesus was not really human but a spirit in human form, and hence a phantom. (a later heresy called Docetism, from ‘appearance’ believed this.) On the other hand if Paul had said ‘in sinful flesh’ he might have meant that is some way Christ inherited something ‘sinful’ from Mary, which seems to have been what Edward Irving believed, and he certainly didn’t mean that.

You will know too that both there distortions of Christ’s nature really come from the Greek philosophical notion that the body in inherently evil. The phrase ‘soma sema’ – ‘the body is a tomb’ was their way of saying that only when we are free of our body are we free. Consequently the philosophers in Athens, in Acts 17, were not at all attracted by the possibility of yet ‘another’ body as a result of resurrection. The Bible speaks of the unique God-man as being Holy. The Greeks could never have written [b] … therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. (Luk 1:35b KJV)[/b] For them nothing ‘born of woman’ could ever have been ‘holy’.

Paul’s careful statement then seems to be connecting and disconnecting at the same time. By natural birth, Christ was absolutely one with humanity, but not with what humanity had become; I believe that final identification took place in His Calvary baptism. The immediate thought is ‘was He Adam-like?’ Adam, of course, was innocent rather than holy but otherwise I think Christ was very much Adam-like. When ‘Life’ died in Adam it took 930 years for his body that had been instinct with that ‘Life’ to die. I am absolutely sure that if Christ had not ‘breathed out His spirit’ He could not have died. It is interesting too that His dead body did not ‘see corruption’; a process that sets in very quickly.

So we have different kinds of ‘human-ness’. Adam’s; before and after the Fall, Christ’s; gloriously unchanged throughout, ours; before and after regeneration, and a whole variety of possible relationships between the inner and the outer man.

This is becoming longer than I had thought so I will cut to the chase on one point in particular. In your (Robert) teaching series you say…
Quote:
Those who have been born of water only are fleshly (carnal); but those who have been born of the Holy Spirit are spiritual.

I am not sure whether it is appropriate to refer to the unregenerate as ‘carnal’. I think when ‘carnal’ is used as a derogatory statement it tends to be used of people who have a choice in the matter; otherwise why would it be said at all. I think ‘carnal’ may be the way of describing the man who has the possibility of being ‘spiritual’ but is behaving from the perspective of his, as yet unchanged human-ness. I am treading very carefully here but I do welcome the attention of the blood-hounds! The unregenerate man could never be held responsible for not being spiritual. He has no ‘spiritual’ vantage point from which to view the scene.

Let me test this before I give space for replies. [b] And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, as unto babes in Christ. I fed you with milk, not with meat; for ye were not yet able to bear it: nay, not even now are ye able; for ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you jealousy and strife, are ye not carnal, and do ye not walk after the manner of men? (1Co 3:1-3 ASV)[/b] (I’ve switched to the ASV here because it is a bit more pedantic that the KJV but still used the familiar terms). I think we have a definition of ‘carnal’ here; people who have the ability to walk as spiritual men, but who are ‘carnal, walking after the manner of men’. This last phrase is ‘kata anthrOpov’ – ‘according to man’. I seem to hear Paul words almost as a protest; ‘you are still behaving like mankind behaves’. Unthinkable, behaving as though nothing had happened to you to make your condition different to the rest of mankind.

Paul, I notice, doesn’t say they are not ‘spiritual’, but they are certainly behaving as if they were not. I have long protested when I hear people say ‘he’s not very spiritual’. My protest is that I do not believe there are degrees of ‘spiritual’; it is either/or. The Corinthians were ‘spiritual’ but they were behaving in a manner that denied that truth. A man, born of the spirit, who lives as though his only perspective on life was from his older human is behaving inconsistently with his new nature; he is behaving as though nothing had changed. (you will remember, I hope, that I do not equate regeneration with decision for Christ)

His behaviour is unchanged; he is ‘yet carnal’.


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Ron Bailey

 2005/1/8 13:51Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
Those who have been born of water only are fleshly (carnal); but those who have been born of the Holy Spirit are spiritual.



Hi Bro. Ron,

I knew this statement would come into question, but I don't really know how to word it any better and still cover all the bases. In wording it I hope it would defend against certain UPC or baptismal regeneration doctrines and yet still convey the basic point. Many would not understand the difference anyway, but in case there were any questions.;-)


Quote:
I think ‘carnal’ may be the way of describing the man who has the possibility of being ‘spiritual’ but is behaving from the perspective of his, as yet unchanged human-ness. I am treading very carefully here but I do welcome the attention of the blood-hounds! The unregenerate man could never be held responsible for not being spiritual. He has no ‘spiritual’ vantage point from which to view the scene.



I agree it would be impossible for anyone to be 'spiritual' in the sense that they were able to emulate the fruit of the Spirit. Yet, we are not held responsible for not being spiritual, we are held responsible for resisting the Holy Ghost (sorry if I sound like a broken record on that). Our only means of being spiritual in a Biblical sense is through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. I cannot immitate that indwelling presense. Keeping the 'letter' of the commandment does not make one spiritual; yielding to the Holy Ghost unto sanctification of the Spirit makes one spiritual. In this sense I am now equating spirituality directly with holiness. To be spiritual is to be holy. Holiness, in my understanding, can only come about from a right response to the revelation of God's will by the Holy Ghost.


Quote:
And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, as unto babes in Christ. I fed you with milk, not with meat; for ye were not yet able to bear it: nay, not even now are ye able; for ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you jealousy and strife, are ye not carnal, and do ye not walk after the manner of men? (1Co 3:1-3 ASV)



I see this 'carnality' as a progression that comes about as a result of ones refusal to exercise their senses to discern good and evil. When we do not exercise our senses we allow all manor of things into our heart. This could get real tricky here, but ultimately failure to control our senses leads to sin entering into our chamber of images. What happens? The Holy Spirit takes on the role of Jesus Christ and when we go to pray or seek the Lord He will bring the issue to the forefront to be dealt with. In other words, the Holy Ghost is saying- "I want this out of my Temple!" If we yield to the Spirit and turn from that sin- the Spirit of God will remain and we will remain Spiritual. If we say "no" or simply pray off the conviction (as we say it here in Missouri) the Holy Spirit will begin in some way to take His flight. This leaves the person to themself and hence they become 'carnal' or 'fleshly.'

Quote:
My protest is that I do not believe there are degrees of ‘spiritual’; it is either/or. The Corinthians were ‘spiritual’ but they were behaving in a manner that denied that truth. A man, born of the spirit, who lives as though his only perspective on life was from his older human is behaving inconsistently with his new nature; he is behaving as though nothing had changed. (you will remember, I hope, that I do not equate regeneration with decision for Christ)



I'm sure we both agree also that there is no such thing as a carnal Christian. You can't be 50% saved or any of that. You can't be dead to sin and alive to sin at the same time. (BTW, this is weird because I am actually arguing against some of my teachings on the flesh.) Therefor I must conclude that carnality comes as the result of the Holy Spirit not being present in a persons life whether they are regenerate or not. Be ye filled with the Spirit is the command. If you disobey this command you have no alternative but to be carnal.

Now, we can be carnal in the sense of fleshly sins or we can be carnal in the sense of trying to live a legalistic Christian life under Law. Both of them are living in 'the flesh' (I'm getting loose with my terms here so bare with me). Whether they be Pharisee or carnally sinful it is all "of the flesh." Galatians weaves this concept well. I think it can be summed up by this passage having begun in the Spirit are ye now made perfect by the flesh.?" (Galatians 3:3)

Maybe I'm just big on the Holy Ghost. :-)

Does this jibe with your thoughts?

God Bless,

-Robert


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Robert Wurtz II

 2005/1/8 19:44Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
His behaviour is unchanged; he is ‘yet carnal’.



Hi Bro Ron,

I have carefully read through the posting you wrote several times to make sure I understand your point. Is it safe to say that 'carnal' is when the regenerate act unregenerate? My first question then becomes, what is the depth of that behavior? Is it simply that they are not exibiting the fruit of the Spirit in terms of basic behavior ( they are unloving, mean, divisive, etc.) or would that mean they are actually committing gross sins of the flesh (fornication, uncleanness, etc.)?

God Bless,

-Robert


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Robert Wurtz II

 2005/1/10 8:18Profile
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 Re:

Hi Robert

Quote:
I agree it would be impossible for anyone to be 'spiritual' in the sense that they were able to emulate the fruit of the Spirit. Yet, we are not held responsible for not being spiritual, we are held responsible for resisting the Holy Ghost (sorry if I sound like a broken record on that). Our only means of being spiritual in a Biblical sense is through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. I cannot immitate that indwelling presense. Keeping the 'letter' of the commandment does not make one spiritual; yielding to the Holy Ghost unto sanctification of the Spirit makes one spiritual. In this sense I am now equating spirituality directly with holiness. To be spiritual is to be holy. Holiness, in my understanding, can only come about from a right response to the revelation of God's will by the Holy Ghost.



OK, I want to examine this paragraph. The conclusion is that ‘to be spiritual is to be holy’. There is a sense in which ‘holiness’ is a both a state and a process. The NT believers (and in my mind I often distinguish between these and contemporary believers) were ‘called saints’; The Holy Ones. The Corinthian ‘saints’ (holy ones) had
1. been personally ‘given grace’ by Jesus Christ. 1 Cor 1:4
2. they ‘were enriched, by him, in all utterance and knowledge’. 1 Cor 1:5
3. they had experienced the ‘confirmation’ of ‘the testimony of Christ’ 1 Cor 1:6
4. they were not ‘behind’ in any ‘charismata’
5. they were waiting for ‘the revelation of Our Lord Jesus Christ’ we can add to this some comments from 2 Corinthians [b] Now he that establisheth us with you in Christ, and anointed us, is God; who also sealed us, and gave us the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. (2Co 1:21-22 ASV)[/b]6. they were ‘anointed’
7. they were ‘sealed’
8. they had the ‘earnest of the Spirit’ in their hearts.
This, I believe, is basic New Testament Christianity. This is my understanding of ‘The Normal Christian Beginning.’ I am not claiming that this all happened in a three minute counselling session following an evangelistic address, but I do believe that this is New Testament Christianity.

Paul is unlikely to have mistaken their true condition. He had lived among them for 18 months; (Acts 18:1-18) and may well have returned for a short while some time later (Acts 20:3). He had ‘laid a foundation here’ to the degree that he included it in his ‘apostolic CV’;[b] If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord. (1Co 9:2 KJV)[/b] There can have been few churches in the history of the gospel that could have had a better foundation.

On the muck heap of Corinthian life there bloomed this pure flower of God’s planting. What a testimony it must have been. They surely did not ‘become holy’; they were ‘made holy’. They were ‘born’ spiritual; they were ‘born’ holy. The history of the Corinthian church is not the history of a church which as not yet ‘attained to holiness’ but the history of a church where something has gone tragically wrong.

Writing to the ‘saints’ at Rome Paul says [b] But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. (Rom 8:9 KJV)[/b] This speaks of a clear transplanting from one sphere of authority to another. The presence of the Spirit is the ‘mark which says “His”’ (back on our Wedgwood theme!) “His’ means no longer under another lord. [b] Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. (1Co 12:3 KJV)[/b] The presence of the indwelling Holy Spirit makes the confession ‘Jesus is Lord’ a reality. The Greek is poignant… no man can says ‘Jesus, Lord’ but by the Holy Spirit.

Only the ‘spiritual’ man can be ‘spiritual’, but a ‘spiritual’ man is not inevitably ‘spiritual’. It remains possible for him to live in the sphere of the flesh’s authority and drawings, even though his ‘natural’ home is the spiritual. When a man, whose ‘natural’ home is the rule of the spirit, chooses to live under the direction of the ‘flesh’, he no longer ‘spiritual’ in his behaviour but ‘carnal’.

Something happened in the church in Corinthian which had brought the whole assembly into a behaviour which was not ‘natural’ to the saint. The spiritual people of God were behaving like ordinary human beings. Their growth has become stunted; they are not what they were. They are living their lives from a wrong perspective. Their behaviour is grotesque.

I wonder how long it took for the conditions we read in 1 Corinthians to have developed. These epistles are just snapshots, and usually snapshots of the case at its worst. The history of the church in Corinth, as we find it in the epistles, may only be the history of a few months. How could this have happened?

I think the evidence is clear. [b] I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? (1Co 3:2-3 KJV)[/b] Something has happened which has disrupted what should have been a natural progression from milk to meat. Paul’s evidence for describing them as ‘carnal’ are described as a) envying
b) strife
c) divisions At the heart of each of these conditions is an uncrucified ‘I’.It confirms Paul’s original diagnosis of the Corinthian condition; [b]each one you says [u][i]I[/i][/u]…[/b]. In both instances the pronoun ‘I’ is used in its emphatic form.


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Ron Bailey

 2005/1/10 9:00Profile
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 Re:

Hi Bro. Ron,

Quote:
It remains possible for him to live in the sphere of the flesh’s authority and drawings, even though his ‘natural’ home is the spiritual. When a man, whose ‘natural’ home is the rule of the spirit, chooses to live under the direction of the ‘flesh’, he no longer ‘spiritual’ in his behaviour but ‘carnal’.



When we talk about 'the flesh' in this context are we saying that the flesh is simply our humaness apart from the rule of the Holy Spirit or is there something more sinnister at work? This is where I struggle to understand a bit. Does a person who goes after carnal desires do it because he/she has a inner desire to do it- or is the desire simply a goodnatural human desire that is being fulfilled in a bad way? I am moving more towards the latter in my understanding of the flesh, yet, I have observed folk who drifted from God to the place to where it seemed that they actually craved sin again.

Any thoughts on that?

God Bless,

-Robert


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Robert Wurtz II

 2005/1/10 10:08Profile
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 Re:

Hi Ron, this is slightly off topic but I wonder if you could tell me what Paul means when he says:

Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh [sarx], and in the Lord? (Philemon 16 KJV)


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Mark Nash

 2005/1/26 8:32Profile
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 Re:

Hi Nasher
[b]For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest [u]receive him for ever[/u]; Not now [u]as a[/u] servant, but above a servant, a [u]brother beloved[/u], specially to me, but how much more unto thee, [u]both in the flesh, and in the Lord?[/u] (Phm 1:15-16 KJV)[/b]

If you follow the argument through the underlined words... this is death knell for slavery. It might have been possible to interpret this as spiritually as a brother, but practically as a slave. "I love you brother but..." back to the kitchen. To receive him as a flesh and blood brother, and as a spiritual brother removes all doubt from what Paul is saying. This is true brotherhood in every way that Philemon could interpret the word... a human and a spritual brother!


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Ron Bailey

 2005/1/26 9:48Profile
RobertW
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 Re:

Hi Bro. Ron,

Do you have any additional teachings on the topic of Sin? I listened to your teaching on the "Truth in Jesus" and it has me thinking about how Sin seems to operate by its own 'law.' Paul talked about the law of sin being in our members. Could it be that the 'law of Sin' came into the human race with the spirit of disobedience and at salvation the spirit of disobedience is ejected, but the 'law of sin' in some sense still remains? The 'law' of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made us free from the law of sin and death and we now walk in the Spirit as we are full of the Spirit; but in times when we do not heed the command to be filled with the Spirit could would find ourselves again wrestling with a sort of 'residual' law of sin? To me it seems that perhaps as sinners there are two sets of laws in the heart:

1) The law of God
2) The law of Sin

In that, we were created with the law of God written on our hearts, but the law of sin 'entered'.

Hope that makes sense. :-?

God Bless,

-Robert


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Robert Wurtz II

 2005/1/26 10:36Profile





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