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No, Thank You, Next

He taught me love, patience and pain.

Who is he?

He’s me.

He only loves himself, patiently serves his own interests and ultimately causes a lot of pain.

He’s that part of my being in constant conflict with the Sovereign Lord who made me and formed me. He’s not to be celebrated in any way. In fact, he is to be put to death through the power of the Spirit. Why? Because he is bound and enslaved by sins and desires set out to destroy my soul.

Peter told me what I should do with him:

1 Peter 2:11 (ESV) Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.

James reminds me how much conflict he produces around me:

James 4:1 (ESV) What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?

Paul warns me of his rejection of the Holy Spirit’s leadership:

Galatians 5:17 (ESV) For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.

Ultimately, the prescription for him in Christ is death.

Colossians 3:5 (ESV) Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

Does this sound harsh? Does it sound antithetical to the mantras of our age? It should. The truths of the Spirit are “foolish to those who are perishing” (1 Corinthians 2). But to those who have been changed and transformed by the power of the Gospel, there is no love lost for the lusts of the flesh.

So thank you, false flesh, NEXT.

Who’s next?

The new me, created to be…

Ephesians 4:24 (ESV) and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

And while I aim for it, I confess it’s a struggle along the way.

Romans 7:21 (ESV) So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.

Thankfully, I have a powerful friend in the process:

Philippians 2:13 (ESV) for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His (the Lord’s) good pleasure.

This is what Christian faith is about. It is not simply getting to heaven. It is about seeing heaven come to the Earth that is my body by the power of God’s grace and the Holy Spirit’s influence through the finished work of Jesus Christ.

I’m not interested in celebrating me. I’m interested in seeing him changed. I hope you are too. Because there’s a spirit alive in the church that ignorantly claims we can “come as we are” and stay there. But if we are talking about experiencing the God of all power there’s NO WAY we can “stay as we are” and be happy about it.

Romans 8:13 (ESV) For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.


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