Summary: Message 14 in our series exploring the foundational elements of a healthy walk. This message continues a discussion of the need to deny the flesh
“Death: the path to life”
A continuous battle rages against us.
The battle thunders on the level of the soul.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 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. Galatians 5:16-17
Satan fights to capture the mind, will and emotions of man and thus determine the behavior of man.
God works to renew the mind which brings about transformation of the soul and the behavior.
I. Continually cultivate a dynamic relationship with Him.
II. Persistently pursue, develop and maintain meaningful community within the body of Christ.
III. Resolutely resist the world the flesh and the devil
In order to come out on the winning side of this battle for your soul, you must learn to fight.
Continually focus on your relationship with Christ.
Persistently pursue meaningful community with the body of Christ.
Also, you must resolutely renounce and resist all evil of the world the flesh and the devil.
A. Renew and purify Your heart
B. Refuse conformity with the World
The Bible clearly instructs us as to our relationship with the world
You will not succeed in your battle with the flesh until you have clearly established your relationship with the world system that energizes and influences the flesh.
1 – Don’t love it or be friends with it, but turn your eyes upon Jesus
2 – Don’t listen to its enticement, but encourage one another daily
3 – Don’t be captivated by it or its stuff, but die to it.
4 -- Do not be partners with it, but live in it separate as salt and light.
5 – Expose its evil with truth
6 – Overcome its evil with good.
For a moment think about how much of the culture and world in which we live and thige things of this world distract us from the purity and simplicity of devotion to Christ.
Cannot engage in eternal things because:
Not enough time.
Not enough money.
Yet consider how much of our time and money goes to the temporal things and activities of this world system.
The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity.
Worry about ability to control people and circumstances.
Pursuit of things.
Pursuit of pleasure.
All of these things render the seed of the living word ineffective in the maturity process.
No fruit, no maturity, no growth, no spiritual growth.
We will never be the effective servant until we learn to deal with this continuous battle with the world the flesh and the devil.
Paul reminded young pastor Timothy about the distractions of the world system.
Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier. 2 Tim. 2:3-4
Are we so entangled in the affairs of everyday life that we have ceased to be useful soldiers in God’s army.
Today we identify the second of three major enemies and hopefully, in a tangible way, explore the instructions provided by God in the Bible for its defeat.
C. Renounce the flesh
The basic instruction concerning the world is to refuse conformity to it and focus on Christ.
The basic instruction regarding the flesh is to renounce it and walk by the power of the spirit.
1. Biblical use of the word flesh (sarx)
Just as the term used for the world had a variety of applications according to context, so The term generally translated “flesh” in most translations and too often erroneously translated “sin nature” in the NIV, is the Greek word “sarx” was used to refer to several different things.
Reference to mankind in general, humanity
And all FLESH SHALL SEE THE SALVATION OF God.' " Luke 3:6
'And it shall be in the last days,' God says,
'That I will pour forth of My Spirit upon all MANKIND; And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see visions, And your old men shall dream dreams; Acts 2:17
Reference to ones personhood
and said, 'FOR THIS CAUSE A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER, AND SHALL CLEAVE TO HIS WIFE; AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH'? "Consequently they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate." Matthew 19:5-6
"I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread also which I shall give for the life of the world is My flesh." John 6:51