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Daily Bread - January 8, 2019 (The Third Day - Genesis 1:9-13)
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Tuesday, 08 January 2019 20:16
Romans 8:1 - There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ
Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Part 2 - Properly Understanding "Flesh"

The flesh may be understood as walking after the human ability, which
cannot fulfill the promises of God. However, it is made clear through what
Paul says in Romans 8:5-9 that he is primarily referring to the nature of
sin which is opposed to God and at enmity with Him.
Now, it is certain that in the context of Romans 8:1, Paul could be
referring to both. Jesus told Nicodemus the ruler of the Jews that those
who had been born of the flesh were flesh (earthly or natural). In this
case, flesh can refer both to the purely human realm (humanity) or to the
fallen nature. Yet, when Jesus referred to his humanity, or self identity,
and said He could do nothing ("I can of my own self do nothing" -John 5:19,
30) he was definitely not referring to something sinful within him.
Likewise, it is with both the case of Paul, who could know nothing of his
own self, and the believer, who is commanded to deny the self (John 5:19; 1
Corinthians 4:4; Matthew 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23). In all these cases,
the reference to the human realm has nothing to do with the nature of sin.

Jesus took on the nature of sinful flesh in order to become the sin
offering for all of mankind. Jesus suffered in the flesh, and we are
commanded to arm ourselves with the same mind (Philippians 2:6-11; 1 Peter
4:1-2; 1 John 2:6). So as Jesus was subject to temptation and suffered
being tempted but did not yield, we are to do the same (Romans 6:10-14;
Hebrews 2:18, 5:8). The last part of Romans 8:3 addresses the ability of
Christ Jesus to condemn sin in the flesh, which is a state of being in the
flesh or earthly existence. In like manner, we are to condemn fleshly lust
in the flesh.

There are several examples of Paul using flesh to refer to human ability.
In Galatians chapter four, Abraham attempted to fulfill the promise of God
through his own human ability (Galatians 4:23, 29). We know how Abraham did
not stagger at the promises of God, but he at one point thought he would be
able to fulfill God's promises through his own ability, and therefore took
his concubine Hagar to wife (Romans 4:20; Genesis 16:3). This same human
ability is addressed in Romans 8:3 as the reason for the Law being weak.
The Law was powerless to impart the life or the Spirit of God, and
therefore it was dependent upon man's human ability (flesh) and discipline
to fulfill the righteousness of God (Galatians 3:21).

Let God and His Word be your vision!
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