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“The Flesh”—Physical Body and “The Flesh”—Sinful Nature

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by NetChaplain, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. NetChaplain

    NetChaplain Active Member
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    Mar 16, 2013
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    The Old Testament uses the word “flesh” to mean only one thing—the physical body, because it was not until Christ that the “flesh”—sinful nature—was addressed with the application of being finally “condemned” (Rom 8:3).

    For example, the phrase in the above reference, “sinful flesh,” does not mean the physical body, this would conflict with “you are not in the flesh” (Rom 8:9), meaning you are no longer living for or after the dominion of the sinful nature, but rather for or after “the Holy Spirit.”

    The concept that the physical body is sinful or evil is a misunderstanding, and reasonably so when considering the often obscurity of Scripture. It is the nature which determines good or evil of a spirit (person), the body just manifests what the spirit is, thus the body is subject to the person, whether it will be used for good or evil.


    “In the likeness of sinful flesh” (Rom 8:3); “Which expresses the reality of His incarnation, of His having a true real human nature; for flesh is not to be taken strictly for a part of the body, nor for the whole body only, but for the whole human nature, soul and body; which though it looked like a sinful nature, yet was not sinful.

    “The likeness of it denotes the outward appearance of Christ in it; who was born of a sinful woman (Rom 3:23); was subject to the infirmities of human nature, which though not sinful, are the effects of sin; was reckoned among transgressors, was traduced as one Himself by men, and treated as such by the justice of God; He having all the sins of His people on him, for which He was answerable.” JG

    “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof” (Rom 6:12). “The ye should obey it” (I believe “it” is in reference, not to the body but to sin). I believe “the lusts thereof” is “the body of sin” (Rom 6:6), which pertains to the sinful nature, thus these are “your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry” (Col 3:5).

    Reference: “Flesh,” Strong’s G4561, sarx, IV. The flesh, denotes mere human nature, the earthly nature of man apart from divine influence, and therefore prone to sin and opposed to God.
  2. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist Well-Known Member
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    Nov 13, 2011
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    That is true in regard to the term "flesh" but it is not true that the Old Testament did not teach the very same thing using the term "soul." In the Old Testament the "flesh" or body was the souls vehicle of expression. As such, it was used at times to refer to the actions of the body and at other times the cause of those actions being the conscious self = soul - within the body.

    For example,

    Le 22:6 The soul which hath touched any such shall be unclean until even, and shall not eat of the holy things, unless he wash his flesh with water.

    In Lev. 22:6 the “soul” can touch unclean material things.

    Le 26:15 And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant:

    2Ki 4:27 And when she came to the man of God to the hill, she caught him by the feet: but Gehazi came near to thrust her away. And the man of God said, Let her alone; for her soul is vexed within her: and the LORD hath hid it from me, and hath not told me.

    Here the “soul” refers to the attitude of the conscious self in control of the body. Again the body is the vehicle of the soul and gives soul expression.

    Furthermore, the new birth is taught in different terminology in the Old Testament (quickeneth, circumcision of the heart) and yet the "soul" of the righteous (born again) was subject to doing righteousness or evil and thus the very same probelm presented in Romans 7:14-25 was true of the Old Testament believer as the New Testament believer.

    The Old Testament believer could "walk in the Spirit" as much as the New testament Believer but the langauge again was different. "Enuch walked with God" and Noah" walked with God" and they walked "by faith" or in conscious submission to the Spirit of God.

    The very same human depravity described in the New Testament is based upon Old Testament teaching of humanity then existent (Psa. 14:2-3 with Romans 3:10-12) just as every aspect of the depraved nature (Rom. 3:13-18) is taken from the Old testament description of human nature.

    Likewise, the redeemed man from Gen to Malichi was saved, and was being saved from the very same problem of the condemnation of sin, indwelling power of sin, although their ultimate salvation from sin or the glorification of their bodies and life in a new heaven and earth was put on hold until we Gentiles were saved (Heb. 11:39-40) so that they do not receive it "without us."

    To imagine as some do that the pre-cross saint was not regenerated, Spirit indwelt, Spirit filled, walking by faith is absurdly rediculous as there is no third kind of man besides those (1) in the flesh versus those (2) in the Spirit and if ANY MAN have not the Spirit indwelling him he is "NONE OF HIS" (Rom. 8:8-9).

    The point of confusion is the coming of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost. He did not come to indwell INDIVIDUAL PERSONS but to indwell a new INSTITUTION composed of CORPORATE PERSONS -"you" as in PLURAL not "you" as in SINGULAR. It is the difference between the SINGULAR temple He now indwellss made up of PLURAL individuals as in 1 Cor. 3:16 versus the SINGULAR temple of the SINGULAR individual as in 1 Cor. 6:19. Two completely different kinds of temples; (1) the Temple of the institutional church at Corinth (1 Cor. 3:16) composed of PLURAL members versus the (2) temple of the indiividual body (1 Cor. 6:19).

    The promise of the Spirit was consistently made to PLURAL WATER BAPTIZED believers as the new institutional temple/house of God/church (Mt. 3:11; Acts 1:5; etc.).

    The "new" covenant was "new" only in regard to its PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION consisting of a new public house of God, new public ordinances, new public qualified ministry (Heb. 9:1) but the SAME "EVERLASTING COVENANT" of redemption (Heb. 13:20) in regard to PERSONAL and INDIVIDUAL salvation.

    The coming of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost had nothing to do with INDIVIDUAL salvation but with a new institution, new commission and a new sphere of redemptive work among the gentile nations.
  3. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Mar 19, 2012
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    didn't paul use the tern Flesh to refer to the sinful state/condition , our sin natures, that are in eminty against God and His ways?