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RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

We have an interesting clue concerning 'the flesh' and 'the Spirit' in Galatians,

But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. (Galatians 4:29)

This passage calls our attention to an important Old Testament story and it is that of Abraham and Sarah. God had given Abraham a promise that he would have a son. Abraham and Sarah had gone down into Egypt and picked up Hagar. When the promise seemed to be delayed, Sarah suggested to Abraham that he take Hagar and have a child through her. So long as Abraham continued to wait for the true promise he was moving in faith, but at the moment he hearkened to a different revelation than what he was told by God, he brought forth a child 'of the flesh'. Ishmael was born 'after the flesh' and Isaac was born 'after the Spirit'.

We have then an important passage in an obscure minor prophet;

For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith. (Hab. 2:3-4).

Notice that God's promises are for 'an appointed time' and though they appear to tarry, we must wait for them. Notice how the writer to the Hebrews arranges these thoughts, For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. (Hebrews 10:37-38) This is a quote taken from Hab. 2:3-4)

God gave Abraham revelation of His will and it was up to Abraham to continue in that revelation. He did not. He obeyed a different revelation that was coming from his wife and ultimately from the enemy. Abraham had to decide whose revelation he was going to move in. Here we have our definition of 'the flesh' as Abraham (through Hagar) gave birth to the Ishmaelites.

Contextually this passage is in Paul's mind when he writes Galatians 5. The works of the flesh are the direct consequence of a person refusing to wait on God's provision. Hagar was 'provision' picked up in Egypt that is a type of this evil world. A passage comes to mind: But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. (Romans 13:14) This is what it is to walk in 'the flesh'.

What happened? He leaned to his own understanding and attempted to fulfill a promise God had already set up to be fulfilled at an appointed time. Likewise, God has given human beings many natural desires. They are God-given and we must fulfill them- not in Egypt, but according to the boundaries and provision He gives. If the provision seems to tarry, we must wait for it. Why? Becasue the Just shall live by faith. To take matters into our own hands will be to seek fulfillment 'in the flesh' (adultery, fornication, uncleanness, etc.). Blessings.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2012/11/6 14:49Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
By that, you are saying Jesus had no warfare with His flesh. Do you mean to be saying that?



I hope to take this up a bit by coupling these comments with my last post. When we use the term 'flesh' it is the Greek word sarx and comes down in 2 primary forms; fallen and unfallen. A human being with a sin nature is tempted from 'within'. They are in Adam and under his head. So this person has effectively the flesh+sin or a sinful human nature. Jesus had only the flesh and did not have a sin nature. He was tempted (tested) from 'without'. This is important to keep clear.

Adam had no sinful nature in the beginning. Jesus, the last Adam, had no sinful nature either. They both had a human body with all of its natural desires (food, rest, leadership, procreation, etc.). They were human. When Adam fell in the Garden, Sin entered the human race and corrupted man's once good nature. Jesus told the leaders, "You are of your father the Devil and the lusts of your father you will do." People don't need the Devil to tempt them from without, he can influence them from within. They didn't need to be taught how to lie and cheat and steal. Ephesians 2 explains this in brief.

Jesus was tempted from 'without'. When He was in the wilderness He faced the Devil. Why? Because He had no inward compulsion to rebel against His Father. Notice how this plays out. Jesus knew His fast was for a set time. He knew He was the Son of God and was capable of doing just about anything He wanted to. Satan tried to tempt Him to take matters into His own hands and use the powers available to Him rather than wait on God. He refused to do anything 'in the flesh'; that is to say, He refused to move in any other revelation than every Word that is proceeding from the mouth of God. Did He have a natural desire to eat? Absolutely. Just like Abraham had a desire to have a son. The difference is that Jesus waited on the Father and Abraham hearkened to Sarah.

Same with Adam. God had already determined to make man in His image and likeness. When God seemed to tarry, Satan came along and tempted Adam to take matters into His own hands. This is why we are told to 'wait upon the Lord'. Adam sought to fulfill God's plans in a forbidden way and plunged the human race into total ruin. All of these issues tie together. God has a plan and means of fulfilling His plan. He knows our natural needs and has a means of fulfilling them. Satan comes along and attempts to lure us to fulfill a good desire in a sinful way. Simply put, Satan want's human beings living by every word that proceeds from his mouth rather than God's mouth. Blessings.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2012/11/6 15:11Profile
murrcolr
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Joined: 2007/4/25
Posts: 1529
Scotland, UK

 Re:

Quote: Absolute lie against the word of God. Because people have such wrong definition of Flesh they come against the scripture. The presence of Flesh is not sinful, the obedience to flesh is sinful. Jesus had the flesh but did not obey it.

Hold on, hold on remember what you said.

Quote: Yes Flesh referred by Paul in new covenant does not represent the physical body.

And I am not speaking about a physical body either.

I felt Coref questions were loaded so I wrote a post to clear it up.

Quote: Now you’re going down a different route your speaking about Jesus warfare with his own flesh meaning to me his physical body, muscle and bones and skin.




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Colin Murray

 2012/11/6 15:14Profile
Croref
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Joined: 2008/3/18
Posts: 334


 Re:

Reply To This Post |

Quote:

By that, you are saying Jesus had no warfare with His flesh. Do you mean to be saying that?




Quote:
Adam sought to fulfill God's plans in a forbidden way and plunged the human race into total ruin.



Gotta have more than that, Robert. What is more, it doesn't have to be the case for why he transgressed.

 2012/11/6 15:53Profile
murrcolr
Member



Joined: 2007/4/25
Posts: 1529
Scotland, UK

 Re:

Quote: I hope to take this up a bit by coupling these comments with my last post. When we use the term 'flesh' it is the Greek word sarx and comes down in 2 primary forms; fallen and unfallen. A human being with a sin nature is tempted from 'within'. They are in Adam and under his head. So this person has effectively the flesh+sin or a sinful human nature. Jesus had only the flesh and did not have a sin nature. He was tempted (tested) from 'without'. This is important to keep clear.

Thanks for clearing it up…

But when you say flesh we can end up coming up thinking about the physical body, legs, arms, muscles and bones. The body legs, arms, muscles and bones can get tired, it can get hungry but it can’t be envious.

For example it can commit adultery but only because it’s being obedient to what your will wants to do. Likewise your body can sit down and read the bible but only because you will wants to..

So the body, legs, arms, muscles and bones to me are neutral.

While the core of man or the soul of man his will, mind and emotions are the driving force behind the choices we make and not the body.

Does that make sense?


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Colin Murray

 2012/11/6 15:59Profile
Sree
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Joined: 2011/8/20
Posts: 1714


 Re: RoberW

I appreciate your post. I had a similar view as yours about the flesh nature of Jesus, that he did not have the inner temptation that I am going through. When I presented this view in my Church for discussion no one agreed with it. I tried to prove them using the temptations of Jesus in wilderness. Though it sounds logical, it is still against scripture (according to them). I then took it to Zac Poonen himself and I got an answer from another elder who answered on behalf of Zac saying Jesus was tempted like me both from inside and outside. I still don't know why Brother Zac did not answer me.

Here are my questions on this theory of yours, what happens if a man is born again? Is he still tempted from inside? I believe I am born again and I still have this inner temptation. Bible says Jesus was tempted in ALL things like his brother (born again believers). ALL should include both inside and outside.

Here is my final take on this:-
Bible also says that Jesus came in the LIKENESS of Human flesh. It does not say that he came in Human flesh. That is why if you look into my previous posts I always use this word likeness of human flesh. Which means there is a difference, obviously because he was not born of the seed of Adam. But it is not left for me to analyze and figure out what kind of likeness it was. This is a mistry and Bible keeps it so. If Paul or Jesus himself wanted to explain it, they would have explained it plainly. There is a reason for not explaining it and we should respect it and not look too deep into it and coming up with logical conclusions.


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Sreeram

 2012/11/6 16:08Profile
murrcolr
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Joined: 2007/4/25
Posts: 1529
Scotland, UK

 Re:

Quote: Here are my questions on this theory of yours, what happens if a man is born again? Is he still tempted from inside? I believe I am born again and I still have this inner temptation. Bible says Jesus was tempted in ALL things like his brother (born again believers). ALL should include both inside and outside.

Okay why I am trying to get a better understanding of the flesh is for this very reason. After a time of fasting and prayer God made me aware that in the very deepest part of my being Sin remains. In a nut shell without going into it too much is that there Self and there’s Sin…

You see I get confused when Christian’s claim to be dead to sin because as you say we still have the “inner temptation” if we are truly dead to sin that inner temptation would no longer be there and therefore not hinder us…


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Colin Murray

 2012/11/6 16:59Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Hi murrcolr,

Quote:
But when you say flesh we can end up coming up thinking about the physical body, legs, arms, muscles and bones. The body legs, arms, muscles and bones can get tired, it can get hungry but it can’t be envious.

For example it can commit adultery but only because it’s being obedient to what your will wants to do. Likewise your body can sit down and read the bible but only because you will wants to..

So the body, legs, arms, muscles and bones to me are neutral.

While the core of man or the soul of man his will, mind and emotions are the driving force behind the choices we make and not the body.

Does that make sense?



I'm trying to think as biblically in answering the question as possible, so I want to be careful not to impose any modern psychological ideas to the mix. When I think about the flesh for a believer that is truly 'In Christ', I think of a person dealing with their 'humanness' in a fallen world. This is one aspect of the subject.

I see second aspect in that there is a distinction between a spiritual body and a natural body.

It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. (1 Cor. 15:44)

This passage is difficult to translate, but I think Paul is pointing our attention to the fact that a day is coming when our bodies will be transformed so that they no longer have some of the natural desires and characteristics necessary for God's purposes on earth. The new body will be suited for Heaven, where there is neither marriage nor giving in marriage, etc.

So I don't see the body as sinful flesh as do the dualists. I see the body as natural. If a person feeds their natural desires too much they will become unnatural lusts and then a whole series of sinful possibilities come into play. Keep this in mind as we move to the next point.

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. (James 1:14-15)

The greater the lust the more vulnerable the person. Since the body is neutral it cannot discriminate between what is good and evil when it comes to fulfilling desires. What sets the one apart from the other is our knowledge of God's will. He has set up boundaries so that we know what is acceptable and perfect. If we tresspass into forbiddden areas then we commit sin. This was true in the Garden. Every tree was good for food, but one tree was off limits.

The temptation was simple, For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. (Genesis 3:5) Here gods is the Hebrew word Elohiym and is often translated as God. God had given Adam and Eve a desire for knowledge just as He given them one for food, procreation, rulership, etc. The desire for knowledge is a powerful driving force in human beings even today. The Internet itself is proof of this. The question is, what knowledge do we desire? Even sinners have inquiring minds that want to know. Satan tempted Eve with forbidden knowledge and experience. Some have called it 'illicit experience'. The desire for knowledge is good and natural, but when we are tempted with illicit knowledge and experience we have to draw the line.

Eve did not do that and disobeyed the commandment. Yet we have an interesting statement made by Paul; Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. (Romans 5:12) Notice that God held Adam responsible, one MAN (anthropos). Why? Because Eve's sin was due to beguilement so she was in the transgression, but Adam sinned with eyes-wide-open.

This leads us to our next desire that Satan exploited; the desire for companionship. It is a good and natural desire, but Adam was faced with choosing either God or the woman and chose the woman. It is my view that he knew she could never come up to an unfallen state, but he could take of the tree and join her in her fallen condition. It is all speculation at this point, I think, but how often have we seen a person turn from Christ for a relationship (companionship)? I have see countless young people and even widows meet a man or a woman that was in sin and they waxed wanton against Christ. I think this is what Adam probably did. The fear of loss and lonliness may well have been in view. God said it was not good for man to be alone. Again, if he would have waited on God - God may well have given him a replacement. But he hearkened to the voice of his wife instead of what God plainly said. That deaded sense of loss is a powerful one. Nobody wants to lose something they love dearly. Sense of loss has driven many people to do unreasonable things.

He couldn't blame his 'will' or some other psychological phenomena, it was Adam. He blamed the wife and she blamed the Serpent, but Adam is where the buck stopped. God told him to his face and he disobeyed God. At this point reasons are immaterial. Excuses are indefensible. Blessings.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2012/11/6 17:24Profile
RobertW
Member



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Hi CroRef,

Quote:
Gotta have more than that, Robert. What is more, it doesn't have to be the case for why he transgressed.



I think it would be more accurate for me to have said it was Eve's primary motivator. But as with any temptation, there is often secondary motivators that make the temptation all the more alluring. This is why a lot of times when we ask a person 'why' they did something they answer, "I don't know, it was just sin." I think the enemy plays on man's desires like a piano player and sometimes his temptations strike a chord (multiple keys as it were) to pull it off. But we have to keep God's command before our eyes and believe Him in faith (Ephesians 6:16). Blessings.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2012/11/6 18:26Profile
Croref
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Joined: 2008/3/18
Posts: 334


 Re:

by RobertW on 2012/11/6 15:26:59

Hi CroRef,

Quote:
Gotta have more than that, Robert. What is more, it doesn't have to be the case for why he transgressed.



I think it would be more accurate for me to have said it was Eve's primary motivator. But as with any temptation, there is often secondary motivators that make the temptation all the more alluring. This is why a lot of times when we ask a person 'why' they did something they answer, "I don't know, it was just sin." I think the enemy plays on man's desires like a piano player and sometimes his temptations strike a chord (multiple keys as it were) to pull it off. But we have to keep God's command before our eyes and believe Him in faith (Ephesians 6:16). Blessings.


G'mornin' my Brother!

How 'bout considering Adam and Jesus were both subjected to vanity. Why did one fail the test while the other passed it?

 2012/11/7 2:53Profile





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