Living by Grace

Dedicated to providing guidance in daily living through the power of God's grace as experienced in our union with Christ.

We Know What Flesh Can Do

… the works of the flesh … are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like … Galatians 5:19-21a

In addition to Galatians 5:19-21a, other biblical passages inform us of what flesh can do to us. Romans 1:22-3:18 is a lengthy passage on the theme. Others are Colossians 3:5-7 and Ephesians 4:25-31.

Paul’s testimony in Romans 7:7-25 is one of the most convincing statements of what flesh can do to us. In addition to Paul’s testimony are testimonies of our day.

A godly pastor on more than one occasion said to his congregation, “If my life could be shown on a screen right now, I would have to walk out in shame.” A saintly and well-known pastor once said to his congregation, “If you knew some of the darker sides of my life, you probably would not want me to be your pastor.” Other pastors have said, “We all have done things we are ashamed of.” Another spiritual leader wrote in grief, “I think more about my sins than I do about Jesus.”

Likely, the most convincing evidence of all of what flesh can do to us is our own personal experiences.

It is a natural thing that we should have feelings of shame and embarrassment about the foolish, embarrassing and sinful things of our past. Yet, if we understand how to put the flesh out of power, two good things can come from our feelings of shame and embarrassment.

First, we are motivated to continue to keep our flesh out of power by continuing to experience our oneness with Christ.

Also, because we know that all believers have the same sinful nature resulting in feelings of shame and embarrassment, we are motivated to share with them their union with Christ.

As we continue to experience the crucifixion of our flesh, let us never forget that we may be surrounded by believers who do not have the knowledge of how to how to keep their flesh out of power.