The Bible mentions the flesh throughout the Old and New Testaments. But although Christians are clear about what sin is, many haven’t heard much about their flesh. Unfortunately, Satan’s obscuring of the truth about the flesh over the years has allowed him to damage many of God’s people.
What is the flesh, and why is it so bad? Is it still bad now that we’re saved? Does our flesh get better the longer we’re Christians, or the more spiritual we become? Let’s take a look at what the Bible says about the flesh.
“Our salvation lies in looking away to the Lord Jesus and in seeing that the Blood of the Lamb has met the whole situation created by our sins and has answered it. That is the sure foundation on which we stand. Never should we try to answer Satan with our good conduct but always with the Blood. Yes, we are sinful, but, praise God! The Blood cleanses us from every sin.”
From The Normal Christian Life, by Watchman Nee (mass-distribution ed., p. 20). Bibles for America gives this book away for free. You can order your free copy on our order page.
Romans 12:2—“And do not be fashioned according to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of the mind that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and well pleasing and perfect.”
Note 4 on renewing of the mind says: “After presenting our body, we need to have our mind renewed. The renewing of the mind, which results from setting the mind on the spirit (8:6), is the base for the transformation of our soul. Our mind is the leading part of our soul, and as it is renewed, our will and emotion automatically follow to be renewed also. To be renewed means that a new element is wrought into our being. This produces an inward metabolic transformation, making us suitable for the building up of the Body of Christ, which is the practice of the church life. All the virtues and the overcoming in chs. 12—16 also are the results of this transformation.”
Cross-reference “d” on renewing of the mind directs us to two related verses:
We hope you enjoy this BfA staff member’s testimony about discovering her human spirit and how it affected her.
The blog post “A Life-Changing Discovery: My Spirit” really touched me because what it talked about is exactly what I have experienced. Since I began to see in the Bible that I have a human spirit, and then to actually experience the Lord who lives there, my life has never been the same.
“Christianity does not require that we ask whether something is right or wrong, good or evil. On the contrary, whenever we do anything, there is a life within us which rises up to speak with us. When we feel right inwardly, when we feel the life inside of us moving, when we are strong within and sense the anointing, we know that we have life.”
From Basic Elements of the Christian Life, vol. 3 by Witness Lee and Watchman Nee (mass-distribution ed., p. 10). Bibles for America gives this book away for free. You can order your free copy here. You can also download a free PDF version here.
Matthew 26:64—“Jesus said to him, You have said rightly. Nevertheless I say to you, From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
Note 1 on Son of Man says: “The high priest asked the Lord if He was the Son of God, but He answered with ‘the Son of Man.’ In His temptation He had answered the devil in the same way (4:4 and note 2). The Lord was the Son of Man on the earth before His crucifixion, has been the Son of Man in the heavens at the right hand of God since His resurrection (Acts 7:56), and will be the Son of Man even at His coming back on the clouds. To accomplish God’s purpose and to establish the kingdom of the heavens, the Lord had to be a man. Without man, God’s purpose could not be carried out on earth, nor could the kingdom of the heavens be constituted on earth.”
Cross-reference “b” on Son of Man directs us to two related verses:
You’ve managed to pick up the nasty cold that’s going around. Sniffling, headachy, stuffed up, and feverish, you feel awful. Seeking relief, you drag yourself to the store to pick up one of those multi-symptom relief medications. After taking the first dose, you start to feel better.
Nobody likes to be sick physically. But have you ever felt spiritually “sick”? You want to express Christ to people, but you find you’re not able to. You try to be patient with someone, but eventually you blow up. You’re “ailing” from a shortage of patience, or of kindness, or humility.
You ask the Lord to give you more love, more kindness, or you ask Him to help you be patient. Have you ever wished you had a multi-symptom dose of something for the many problems in your Christian life?
Well the Bible has good news: you do!
“How did God create man? He created man in His own image. God wanted a man like Himself. It is very evident then that man’s position in God’s creation is entirely unique, for among all of God’s creatures man alone was created in God’s image. The man that God’s heart was set upon was completely different from all other created beings; he was a man in His own image.”
From The Glorious Church, by Watchman Nee (mass-distribution ed., p. 6). Bibles for America gives this book away for free. You can order your free copy here. You can also download a free PDF version here.
Romans 1:4—“Who was designated the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness out of the resurrection of the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Note 2 on Son of God says: “This book tells us that God’s full salvation is to make sinners (3:23), even His enemies (5:10), the sons of God (8:14). Through resurrection God designated Christ, who became flesh to be the seed of David, as His Son, that His Son, who is the mingling of divinity and humanity, might be the base and pattern for His making sinners His many sons. It is in the resurrection of His Son, i.e., in the resurrected Son, that God is producing many sons (1 Pet. 1:3) as the many brothers of the Firstborn (8:29), who was resurrected from the dead, and as the members of His Firstborn to constitute the Body of His Firstborn (12:5), which is His fullness (Eph. 1:23), His corporate expression.”
Cross-reference “a” on Son of God directs us to a related verse:
You’re not alone if you’ve asked yourself this question. Many of us didn’t know what came next after we received the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior.
We surely greatly appreciate the tremendous steps God took to redeem us and to impart His eternal life into us so that we could be born again. But believing in Jesus Christ is just the beginning of our Christian life. So much more lies ahead! Let’s look at some things that follow our first believing in the Lord.