Our key Bible passage today is Galatians 5:16: This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
Our lesson today is titled “A New Power, Part 1”
Every Christian has within himself two opposing powers — the flesh and the Spirit. The Holy Spirit wants us to do God’s will, but the flesh wants us to please ourselves. Let us think for a few moments about these two powers.
What is the flesh? Everyone is born with a sinful nature which the Bible calls “the flesh.” This sinful nature is the only nature unsaved people have. The “Spirit” is the Holy Spirit. When we are born again, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in us. So the Christian has within him the flesh and the Spirit.
Some Christians believe that their old nature was destroyed or removed when they were saved, but this is not so. God does not remove the old sinful nature when He saves us; instead, He gives us His Spirit to overcome it. As long as we are in this life, we will have the flesh with us, and it will always oppose the Spirit of God within us. Galatians 5:17 says, “The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” In other words, “The old sinful nature loves to do evil, which is just opposite from what the Holy Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are opposite from what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other.”
In this lesson, we will first consider the enemy within us — the flesh. We want to see where it came from, what happens when it controls our life, and how we can have victory over it.
What is “The Flesh”? The flesh is human nature without God. It is what we are in ourselves apart from God. In the Bible, God says many things about the flesh, and none of them are good! Here are five:
1. The flesh is extremely sinful.
2. The flesh will not obey God.
3. The flesh cannot know God.
4. The flesh cannot please God.
5. The flesh cannot be made good.
Paul said in Romans 7:18, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing…”
In our last lesson series, we learned that one form of the flesh is Self — wanting to have our own way. But there is another part of the flesh which has to do with the sinful lusts and desires of the body. Even after we have taken Self off the throne of our heart and made Christ our King, we are still tempted by the sinful lusts and desires of our body.
Where did the flesh come from? The flesh came from Adam. God intended Adam to be ruled by His Spirit but Adam disobeyed God. As a result, he died spiritually — he was cut off from God’s Spirit. Adam was now ruled by his sinful soul and body which the Bible calls ‘the flesh.’ Because he was the head of the human race, Adam passed his sinful nature on to the whole human race.
Do you know what happened when the flesh gained control of man? His body became a “sin factory”! A factory is a building used for the manufacture of certain products. The Lord Jesus Christ told us what this factory produces. He said, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”
How did God deal with man’s flesh? We have already seen that the flesh is not destroyed or removed when we are saved. The flesh is just as sinful as it was before we were saved. It can never be changed into something good.
In order to save us completely, God had to put the “sin factory” out of business. He not only had to forgive our sins, but He had to deal with the flesh.
What did God do? He crucified us with Christ. Why? So that WE MIGHT NO LONGER BE RULED BY THE FLESH. Romans 6:6 tells us that our old self was crucified with Christ in order that the flesh might be made powerless.
God has condemned sin in the flesh. The flesh is still with us, but it has no right to rule over us. Its power over us is broken. We can sin, but we don’t have to. We can say “No!” to the flesh. The Bible says, “Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.” Romans 6:12 also says, “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.”
God not only condemned the flesh at the cross, but He did something else. He gave us a new power. That new power is the Holy Spirit. Galatians 4:6 says, “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts..” It is this Spirit — the Holy Spirit — who gives us the power to overcome the flesh and do what is right even when we do not feel like it.
If the Lord tarries His coming and we live, we will take a closer look at the Holy Spirit in our next class.
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If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Saviour, John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
The Bible also says in Romans 10:9 and 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved…. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and I want to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! I want to congratulate you on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
Until next time, May the Lord Bless You!
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University School of Divinity. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for over twenty-seven years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com. Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.