About Our Worship July 15, 2012
“So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 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.” -Romans 8:12, 13
Today Pastor Mick continues his sermon series on the enemies of the Christian: the WORLD, the FLESH, and the DEVIL. Last week Mick dealt with the first of those three enemies – the World. We saw that by the world we mean a system of rebellion and pride that seeks to displace God and His rule. If we give into to the world in this sense, we give in to our shortsighted desire for gratification now, and demonstrate that we are not waiting for God’s eternal promises.
This week, as Pastor Mick preaches on Galatians 5:16-24, he focuses on our second great enemy – the FLESH. Flesh, as used in this passage, is our human nature without God. It is that part of man which encourages him to pursue his own ends, to be self-sufficient, and to be independent of God. It is the self-centered and self-gratifying desires of our physical bodies.
In the book of Galatians God has identified for us the products of the flesh. This is explained in Galatians 5:19-21. This list of the works of the flesh (idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, etc.) ends with the words, “and things like these,” meaning that we can add many similar things to this list.
Man in the flesh (The natural man without God) cannot please God nor can he have eternal life with God (Romans 8:8). If we remain in the flesh we will bring forth fruit unto death (Romans 7:5; 8:12, 13). If we try to stand against the flesh, we will fail. The only way to deal with the flesh is to crucify it and walk in the Spirit. To crucify the flesh means that we have to make peace with God. Then we have crucified the flesh in Christ (Galatians 5:24; Romans 6:6). Paul tells us that our old man, our old natural man, was crucified with Christ.
Of course, Jesus Christ is the solution for all the Christian’s enemies. It is only through Christ that we can have peace with God, stand against Satan, and crucify the flesh. Peace with God makes us a winner in this spiritual warfare. We cannot change our fleshly nature, but when we make peace with God we are given a new nature, a divine nature, and are to reckon our old flesh as crucified in Christ on the cross.
Our closing hymn today is John H. Stammis’ Trust and Obey. Life lived in our flesh is a restless, disruptive existence, and we must give ourselves wholeheartedly to what is beyond ourselves. We must implicitly trust in God’s great love and wisdom. His leading should be every Christian’s goal. May we experience, then, the glory and abiding presence of Christ as we determine to trust Him more completely, and obey His leading more fully in all we do. May we carry the message of Stammis’ great Hymn:
“Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus – but to trust and obey.”