«There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit» (Romans 8: l).
WHAT DOES IT MEAN to walk according to the flesh? The word «flesh» refers to the human body and illustrates the exterior. It can also represent relatives and the community. In a moral sense, it means what is opposed to or against God, centered around what is material and impermanent.
Man considers himself self-sufficient and believes that they can save themselves. For Paul, «flesh» is a power that drives human beings, contrary to the Spirit of God. Walking in the flesh is totally opposed to walking in the Spirit.
That which is «of the flesh» will have no part in eternity with God, but the body, which will be transformed incorruptible and immortal, will.
What does it imply to walk in the Spirit? It is walking with God, just like Enoch did (Gen. 5:22, 24). It is being guided by the Spirit, who leads us to all truth, teaches us all things, glorifies and reveals Christ, and leads us to through the process of salvation (John 16:13).
The Spirit convinces us of sin, allowing us to believe in Jesus; convinces us of righteousness, enabling us to live the Christian life; and convinces us of the judgment, giving us the certainty of salvation and an opportunity to have a new life with «love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control» (John 16:7—9; Gal. 5:22, 23). Also, it etches the law of God in our heart and gives us the assurance of being called the children of God: dependent, obedient, faithful, and missionary-minded (Jer. 31:33; Heb. 8:10; 10:16; John I John 13:1).
The flesh and the Spirit are two natures that wrestle among themselves to dominate and direct our life, like a ship with two motors that propel in opposite directions. The motor to which we give the most fuel will determine our direction.
We are born with the hereditary disease of sin, with an inclination toward evil (Ps. 51 :5; Rom. 7:18). The battle is permanent, and the victory will be as well! We must provide the daily appropriate nutrition and fuel so the carnal nature will die, and we can keep the spiritual nature alive forever.
Feed your spirit instead of your flesh.
How can we do this? Pastor Mark Finley highlights three practical things that can make your devotional life deeper and more relevant.
Read together with prayer, talking interactively with God.
Read and meditate on the last scenes of Christ’s life, both in the Bible and in the writings of the Spirit of Prophecy.
Take a moment to share your personal devotion with someone else, along with an application for daily life.
The gospel offers us the certainty that Christ did not come to condemn sinners but to condemn sin.