Are You at War with Your Flesh?
Why does a Christian who’s born again and the righteousness of God still sin? The answer to that question goes back to the fact that man is a tri-part being. Man is a spirit being, who possesses a soul and lives in a physical body. Now, let me explain the significance of that, as it relates to sin.
When you made Christ the Lord of your life, the real you, your spirit man, got born-again. Your spirit was perfected by the blood of Jesus (Romans 5:5). God now lives in your spirit man. But what happens to your soul, which consists of your mind, your will, and your emotions? Nothing! Unlike your born again spirit, your soul wasn’t created brand new the day you became born again. It has to be renewed with the Word of God. Likewise, your body has to be brought into subjection, because it will follow whoever’s in charge–your spirit or your soul (1 Corinthians 9:27).
So this is where the battle comes in. The devil is not so much your enemy; your flesh is. The flesh (the soulish part of you) is a mindset that goes against God’s Word. The struggle develops when you begin the process of renewing your mind in line with the Word, because the flesh still wants to govern your life. The Bible tells us that the flesh lusts against the spirit (Galatians 5:17). It literally desires what your spirit has. Let me explain.
Your born-again spirit, and the resources of the Holy Spirit, have given you a new nature in Christ. God is your source for everything you need in life. It is a finished work. But your unrenewed flesh still wants to be your source. It still wants to provide for you. Despite your new identity in Christ, your flesh still wants the opportunity to give you an identity as well.
Unlike your spirit, your flesh wishes to provide your identity based on your intellectual attributes, your physical characteristics, and your social status (i.e., how smart you are, how strong you are, and how popular you are). For example, the spirit has an anointing to heal. But the flesh says, “Wait a minute, the world has medicine.” There’s nothing wrong with taking medicine. But at every turn, the flesh uses worldly, fleshy things to try to duplicate what the spirit does through the anointing. But how many of you know that you can’t duplicate God?
Ultimately, the flesh wants to coerce you into sinning against God. But you’re not in the prison of sin anymore, so you don’t have to sin if you don’t want to. If you’re born again, you’re under grace. Now, God’s grace is not an insurance policy to sin; it’s the ability to help you overcome your shortcomings. Through grace, you can receive what the blood of Jesus has accomplished for you and learn how to effectively war against the flesh. You can choose whether you will have confidence in who you are in Christ or who you are in the flesh.
Sin does not have to have the upper hand in your life any longer. You now have the grace of God, which gives you victory over the flesh. The key is to stop trusting in your own self-effort and ability. Set your mind to agree with God’s Word and live according to it. The Word tells us that God has begun a good work in us, and He is committed to our spiritual growth and development until Jesus returns!
“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).
Now, isn’t it liberating to know that as a born-again Believer, you’re no longer enslaved to sin.