The Flesh

The second enemy we must defeat is our own flesh. Our five natural senses keep us connected with the world. They are necessary for us to live in our natural, temporal bodies.

Paul teaches us the difference between the two Adams spoken of in the Bible. The first Adam was created from the dust of the ground as recorded in Genesis 2:7. When God breathed into the man’s nostrils man became a living soul. The last Adam, which is Christ, by the resurrection, became a life-giving spirit. Paul wrote:

And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 1 Corinthians 15:45 NKJV

Again, Paul states: However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. 1 Corinthians 15:46 NKJV

It is critical that we discern between self and the Holy Spirit. That is, discern between our natural weaknesses and the Holy Spirit’s overcoming strength. The writer of Hebrews states:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Hebrews 12:1–3 NIV

If we trust in our own ability, we will soon discover our inability to live the Christian life that God intended us to live by the power of the Holy Spirit. This is one reason why some believers become disappointed and disillusioned. The writer of Hebrews clearly states:

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 NKJV

The Adamic nature is earthly, selfish, contrary, temporary, and orientated toward consumption and self-gratification. Christ’s nature is heavenly, unselfish, cooperative, eternal, and orientated to giving through God’s agape love. Jesus knew the distinction. He discerned man’s problem without judging or rejecting him. Charles Simpson stated in The Covenant and the Kingdom, “He came to save us from ourselves. While He could see through us, He nevertheless came to see us through.”

The book of Romans teaches us the stark difference between man’s sinful nature and the Law of the Spirit of Life that comes from Jesus’ resurrection life through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Romans 8 is Paul’s thesis on Life in the Spirit. It is only through the life which the Holy Spirit gives that we can overcome the kingdom of darkness. It is a life of humility and authority by knowing who we are in Christ and what He has mandated for us to do.