Spirit and Flesh in Paul’s Letters
In Romans 6, Paul asks a rhetorical question about continuing to sin in order that grace might be multiplied. He answers this question with another: “How can we who died to sin still live in it?” (Rom 6:2). This raises the question of why believers still struggle with sin. Are some believers somehow defective?
Jesus’ death and resurrection not only conquered death once and for all, it enabled believers to have new life as well (Rom 6:4; Col 3:1–3). Paul describes a twofold division between the flesh and the spirit. The flesh refers to God’s originally perfect creation, which is now mortal and in decay as result of sin entering the world through Adam (Rom 5:12). The spirit is the essence of who we are, the part of us that lives on after our physical bodies die. In 2 Corinthians 4:16, Paul contrasts the two, stating that our outer person is being destroyed as our inner one is being renewed.
A few of us don’t understand that there is a battle within us. In any case, a fight it is – and it must be battled and won with reason and resolve. For sure, within us live two natures – before we came to Christ. The flesh living after it’s wants – out for self delight and unequipped for having an association with God. When we are called to Christ the Bible made us understand in Gal 4:6
Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”
So then we have a part of ourselves that is spirit – a part that has a permanent relationship with God.
In any case, when we come to Christ, the body, the flesh, doesn’t leave. Outwardly you don’t appear to be any changed, from the start. So then these two natures need to live respectively until we go to paradise. However, they don’t get along excessively well. The flesh still needs to delight its wants, while the spirit needs to gravitate toward to God.
In Gal. 5:19-21 The bible tells us that the fruit of our flesh is sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, and the like.
That is in light of the fact that all flesh is selfish basically. To hold up under natural item to God we ought to have His Spirit living and working inside us.
Paul goes on in Galatians to say: (Gal 5:22-23). 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
God’s Spirit Defeats Our Flesh
“For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh; for these are opposed to each other to prevent you from doing what you would.”
The primary concern to gain from this scripture is that Christians experience a battle inside. In the event that you said to yourself when I was portraying the flesh, “Well, I have a great deal of that still left in me,” it doesn’t really mean you aren’t a Christian. A Christian isn’t an individual who encounters no terrible wants. A Christian is an individual who is at war with those wants by the intensity of the Spirit.
Struggle in your spirit isn’t all awful. Despite the fact that we long for the day when our flesh will be totally dead and pure and adoring wants will fill our hearts, yet there is something more terrible than the war inside among flesh and Spirit. Thanks to God for the war inside! Quietness in wrongdoing is demise. The Spirit has arrived to do fight with the flesh. So cheer up if your soul feels like a front line now and again. The indication of whether you are inhabited by the Spirit isn’t that you have no terrible wants, yet that you are at war with them!
Be that as it may, when you walk by the Spirit, you won’t let those terrible wants come to development. At the point when you walk by the Spirit, you nip the wants of the flesh in the bud. Godly focused wants swarm out in you. There is triumph over the wants of the flesh — not excessively there won’t be a war, however that the victor of that war will be the Spirit. Truth be told, I think what Paul implies when he says the flesh has been killed, is that the unequivocal fight has been battled and won by the Spirit. The Spirit has caught the capital and crushed the resistance of the flesh. The flesh is in the same class as dead. Its fate is certain. The guerrillas of the flesh won’t set out their arms, and should be retaliated day by day. The best way to do it is by the Spirit, and that is walking by the Spirit, when we do, the flesh is won. People – there is a war going on within you. At the point when we imagine its not there then sin wins without fail – recollect: Paul said that in our flesh dwells no good thing. My old man is always there, always working, always “waging war”, trying to make us a prisoner once again of sin. How awful!
What a pathetic man I am! Who will save me from this body of death?
Our physical bodies will continue to decay until God gives us a new, spiritual body (Rom 8:23; 1 Cor 15:39–42).
When Paul talks about being raised from the dead once we have believed in Jesus (Rom 6:4), he is talking about the spirit rather than the flesh. Second Corinthians 5:17 states, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.” Here, the old and new refers to our spirits. This is where the ongoing problem of sin arises. Although someday our physical body will indeed be raised and transformed (1 Cor 15:50–52), our new spirits must dwell in our fallen bodies (Rom 8:12–14). Previously, our spirits were in bondage to sin, but now our spirits have been set free from this bondage (Rom 6:17–18). Paul is not saying that the body is bad—God created it, so he is not opposed to it—but instead is using “flesh” as a metaphor where sin resides as we await our sinless, resurrected bodies..
Steven E. Runge, “Spirit and Flesh in Paul’s Letters,” in Faithlife Study Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016).