Summary: Today we find it awkward to operate in self sufficiency. That is, making decisions on our own without the Lord controlling our lives.
THE NATURE OF THE FLESH
Part III of Christ in You
Traditional view - Man is both (or either) good and evil; only 2 parts to every man.
Biblical view - all that we are without Christ, and all that we are with Christ
FLESH - all that we are without Christ; it only knows how to function in "self sufficiency"
Text: Genesis 2:9, 16, 17
Knowledge of Good and Evil:
1. Wasn’t the bad tree
2. Gave the knowledge of FLESH
3. Separated man from God
4. Caused man to be independent of
God, and dependent on Satan & FLESH
5. Caused man to learn self sufficiency
6. Made us servants to sin Rom 6:17-19
7. Distorted God’s purpose for man
8. Man was forced to live by the law
9. Man was introduced to death
Tree of Life:
1. Adam and Eve didn’t eat this tree
2. Adama and Eve would have been given eternal life
3. Man has to learn to be dependent on God
4. Man was to serve God; 6:22
5. Man was to live by Grace
6. Man was to have eternal life
(To this day, we still do not understand what is good and what is evil; example, 30 years ago abortion was bad and cigarettes were okay)
Read Genesis 3:22 thru 24
Man was to have been trusted with the Tree of Life. But now without salvation, he could not. Rev 2:7 tells the believers will some day eat of it.
Likewise, today we find it awkward to operate in self sufficiency. That is, making decisions on our own without the Lord controlling our lives.
You see, we want the Life of Christ, while trying to eat from the tree of Good and Evil. In the Garden, God would not allow that to happen. He placed an angel with a sword at the gate of the Garden to protect poor old confused Adam and Eve from getting in without being forgiven of their sins.
For us today we have actually three choices:
self sufficiency with good works
self sufficiency with evil works
It is no longer I that liveth, but Christ that liveth in me. Galations 2:20
We have to determine if we are working in our own self sufficiency or in the sufficiency in Christ. We came into the world learning to be self sufficient, and if we learn how to function well in our own sufficiency we may be fooling ourselves. We may say or think we are "in Christ". It can easily become a buzz word among Christianity.
But are we recognizing our only sufficiency in Him?
We all have been naturally born this way. Striving to measure up to the law of what is right and what is evil. Some of us have learned (over the years) to play this game better than others. It is a spiritual birth defect that we all have and must deal with.
We are not naturally not nice, so we have to try act nice.
We are not naturally not good, so we often try to be good.
Not naturally sweet, but try to be sweet.
Not naturally loving, but try to be loving.
We become Christians and the first thing we learn to do is to act like Christ.
We give it the phrase, "Christ like". But we become well trained actors.
Ingenuine. Not real. Pretenders. All because we ate from the wrong tree.
Varieties of FLESH:
We all differ in what our hangups are. Some of us cannot relate to the alcoholic and what they struggle with. And the alcoholic cannot relate to the one struggling with gossip and backbiting.
Well adjusted FLESH Bad adjusted FLESH
1. Grew up in a good environment
2. Love and attention
3. Doesn’t think they have many faults
4. Some kind of religion
Bad Adjusted FLESH
1. Grew up in a bad enviroment
2. Abuse and Neglect
3. Convinced they have faults
4. Little or no religion
Other types of FLESH:
1. Religious flesh - going through the motions, doing what the religion demands with no freedom in Christ.
2. Manipulative FLESH - strong arming others to do things for them
3. Martyr FLESH -self destructive and abusive; no self worth; tries to mask themselves as just being humble
4. Violent FLESH - Gang members and murderers
5. Deceitful FLESH - habitual liars
The varieties only depend on how we were raised and what we were exposed to.
Common characteristics of FLESH:
1. Desire to control most any situations.
This is not the same as godly leadership, but produces negative results. Some of these people are very obvious with demands. While others are more subtle.
There are no scriptures that tell us to take control. And yet the motivating social gospels tell us to take control of our destinies. Buckle up little camper.