Spirit vs Flesh

The Apostle Paul was an astonishing human being! His first years of life he was a ‘rip-tear,’ unruly type guy not knowing that one day he would be one of the most famous Gospel writers of all times. One day on the road to Damascus, he was taken down by our ‘big brother.’ Jesus spoke to him (subject: his former days, of a disobedient nature). The words went like this: “Why do you kick against the pricks?” (meaning, “Why do you kick at my ‘staff’ when I try to guide you?”—the staffs had a pin point tip on them, used for guidance). He used those few words just after Paul woke up after being touched by Jesus and the Holy Spirit. In the Bible it tells how the ‘scales’ were falling from his ‘cloudy’ eyes, so he would understand things that Jesus wanted to teach him. (Those same scales are still falling from the eyes of those stubborn ones who need a savior today. Their eyes are opened to the truth of God’s plan, for all mankind.)

Paul went on to say in Romans, chapter 7 (read verses 1 through 6): 7What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Howbeit, I had not known sin, except through the law: for I had not known coveting, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet: 8 but sin, finding occasion, wrought in me through the commandment all manner of coveting: for apart from the law sin [is] dead. 9And I was alive apart from the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died; 10and the commandment, which [was] unto life, this I found [to be] unto death: 11for sin, finding occasion, through the commandment beguiled me, and through it slew me. 12So that the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and righteous, and good. 13Did then that which is good become death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might be shown to be sin, by working death to me through that which is good;—that through the commandment sin might become exceeding sinful. 14For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15For that which I do I know not: for not what I would, that do I practise; but what I hate, that I do. 16But if what I would not, that I do, I consent unto the law that it is good. 17So now it is no more I that do it, but sin which dwelleth in me. 18For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me, but to do that which is good [is] not. 19For the good which I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I practise. 20But if what I would not, that I do, it is no more I that do it, but sin which dwelleth in me. 21I find then the law, that, to me who would do good, evil is present. 22For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23but I see a different law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity under the law of sin which is in my members. 24Wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me out of the body of this death? 25I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then I of myself with the mind, indeed, serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. (From the American Standard Version of the Bible.)

By Robert D. Anderson

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