- Victory Over the Flesh
- Victory Over the Flesh () | Love Worth Finding Ministries
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Paul is using this illustration to contrast the different between faith and works, between living in out of the flesh verses living out of the Spirit of God. I believe the Apostle Paul understood this and lived a victorious Christian life. Christ lived through him in every way imaginable that is why he said in Philippians, "For me to live is Christ Paul did not struggle with sin because Paul lived by the Spirit of God. Again, Paul is using this to illustrate what life is like when we live by our own means. We will struggle constantly. We will desire to do what is right but will not be able to do it.
Paul is setting the stage for chapter 8 by showing us how futile it is to live a life of works. When we do, we will fail. Understanding this is huge! This is the difference between living a victorious Christian live and living a life of failure and disappointment. Today, I pray that in the same way you accepted Christ, by faith, you will continue to walk in him. I pray that you remove any efforts or works to please him and find out what pleases him by fellowshipping with him! In this, you will find freedom and experience victory!
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- Victory Over the Flesh.
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The Christian who walks in victory over lust of the flesh is the one who does not feed it through the eye and ears. He does not feed himself pornography, watch TV commercials, or pay much attention to ads that use sex to sell products. The one who walks in victory over the sin full nature is the one who does not feed it. He overcomes improper language because he does feed that sin by what he watches or read. The Christian who lives in victory over bitterness, worldliness, and the pride of life is one who does not feed those sins by what he allows to influence his life. Ed Wood shared this story he heard about an Indian who had come to Christ.
Victory Over the Flesh
When asked about his new found faith he described it as having two dogs living inside him. One is like an old dog. He is mean, vicious, unmanageable, and down right un-trainable. The second is like a new dog that is obedient, longs to serve Christ, and gives attention to the Lord. He described the two dogs as always fighting to get his attention and wanting to have control over his entire life. In dealing with the sinful nature, Christians have to become like a man who owns an old dog that is un-trainable, refuses to obey, always finds trouble when turned loose, bites children and causes a path of destruction wherever he goes.
Finally the law shows up on his porch with a court order informing this man that he must fulfill his duty and restrain the dog for the protection of himself and the safety of the community. Thus, the man restrains the dog with something that is stronger than himself. He puts the dog on a chain.
The restraining order is to mortify the flesh and become dead to that sinful nature. Every moment of the day we are feeding. What we feed on will grow in our minds and hearts. That is what is going to flow out of our lives. Just as our bodies reflect what and how much we eat, our lives will reflect what we feed the mind, spirit and soul. The Apostle Paul writes about the empowering agent that enables the child of God to live that victorious life.
The child of God who walks in victory is the one who realizes his sin it is not because of defeat, but because of disobedience. The flesh can never be reformed or improved. The only hope for escape from the law of the flesh is its total execution and replacement by a new life in the Lord Jesus Christ. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. Ro But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. Ro And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you.
The Christian who walks in victory over the sinful nature is the child of God who understands the truth that the Holy Spirit who raised Christ from the dead is living in them. The victorious Christian agrees with God on what sin is. He desires in his heart to put the flesh to death, then he allows the Holy Spirit to do His cleansing work. Only by obedience to the Lord and through the empowering of the Holy Spirit can the child of God live that abundant life promised by Jesus Christ.
When the child of God tries to beat the flesh on his own he is defeated because of the sin of disobedience.
Victory Over the Flesh () | Love Worth Finding Ministries
He still wants to be in charge of his own life. Victory comes through surrender and supernatural empowerment which are received by faith. The Christian does not need to beat sin. It has already been defeated upon the Cross. He needs only to enjoy the pleasures that come with the duty of living by the power of the Holy Spirit, surrendered to His cleansing and leading.
Ps See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. There is no really good illustration on how the Holy Spirit helps the child of God overcome the sinful nature.
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It is a supernatural work that can not be fully explained. All we do know for sure is that confession brings forgiveness and purification. The purifying work of the Holy Spirit is like the mother who was getting her four year old boy ready for church.
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She gave him a bath and got him all dressed up. She set him in front of the TV while she got herself ready and told him to keep his eyes focused on the TV. The little boy became distracted by something outside and he went out to investigate it. In the process he fell down in the mud and wiped off his hands on the front of his pants. He scratches his nose and brushed the hair out of his eyes. In just a few seconds he found himself covered in mud from the top of his head to his toes.
Thinking nothing of his condition the dirty little boy went back and sat in front of the TV. Needless to say, mom was hurt and disappointed over the condition of her little boy. She informed him of his dirty condition and chastised him for his self-centeredness and for acting on his own accord. After his apology, mother forgave him and then got him cleaned up for church. It is the same with the child of God. Even though his previous sins were washed cleaned by the blood of Christ, his sinful nature has a tendency to distract him from what he is supposed to be doing. Thus, he finds himself soiled once again.
The Holy Spirit convicts him, God chastises him, Jesus Christ forgives him and sends the Holy Spirit to clean him up so he can be effective in the true church. The victorious Christian does not give excuses for his soiled condition. He agrees that his flesh distracted him, took his eyes off what he was supposed to be feeding himself, and in his disobedience he became dirty because of the indulgence of the flesh, the filth of the world and the lie of the devil. Like the mother who sat the cleaned up little boy down to fill his eyes with something good until she returned to take him to church, the Word of God has truths that Christians are to be feeding themselves until Jesus returns for the church.
Two, recognize the need to be filled with the Holy Spirit so you live a life that reflects being led of the Holy Ghost. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Against such things there is no law. Those who are victorious over the flesh are willing to examine their lives to see if they are living according to true faith in Jesus Christ and if they have accepted the truth found in the Word of God. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?
Are you a natural person whose spirit is dead? Do your bodily senses and your natural desires control you?
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Are you a worldly Christian who has allowed Christ to enter your life but is still being mastered by the desires of the flesh? Or are you a spiritual Christian who has been crucified with Christ and is being controlled by the Holy Spirit? The child of God has three trucks pushing on him every day of his life. He does not have to wait until he is about to be in the biggest wreck anyone has ever seen before he puts his foot on the brakes. The Biblical way of mortifying the flesh is a sure way of avoiding the heart break that comes from the acts of the sinful nature.