Thursday, June 4, 2015

Dressed Up Flesh

“Walking after the flesh doesn’t necessarily mean running around getting drunk and doing bad stuff. For the moral person, the flesh takes on the subtler guise of good works, duty, and self-improvement. These good things are harmful to the extent that they encourage us to rely on the flesh - our resources, understanding, and ability - instead of trusting in Jesus.” 
Paul Ellis, Escape To Reality

“When we think of the term flesh, we tend to envision bad-looking traits being produced in one’s life - gossip, lusting, and other ugly manifestations of sin. Although the Bible cites these as deeds of the flesh, there’s a flip side. Sure, the flesh is delighted to coerce us toward obvious evil, but the flesh is equally satisfied to initiate religious or moral living admired by others!
“Don’t believe for a minute that the flesh is limited in its scope to producing ugly behavior. The flesh will build any kind of identity, as long as it gains love, attention, and acceptance from someone. As you read Paul’s question directed to the Galatians, see if you can identify the ‘type’ of flesh at work in their lives: ‘Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?’ (Gal 3:3)
“The flesh wasn’t trying to produce evil-looking behavior in the Galatians. Instead, these Christians were employing fleshly effort as a means of perfecting themselves (growing) in Christ!”  
Andrew Farley, The Naked Gospel

“The Bible calls the false self ‘flesh.’ But flesh carries a negative connotation that can mislead us as to its real meaning. ...The flesh does produce those things, but the flesh can produce plenty of things that look perfectly acceptable on the outside, such as self-reliance, dependability, self-discipline, and so on. The flesh, or the false self, is simply the body and soul operating apart from the Holy Spirit.”
Dan Stone, The Rest of the Gospel