16. 1st John 2: 6…walk even as He walked (NKJV) (Unless otherwise indicated
December 14, 2019
John wrote that we should “walk even as He (Christ) walked”. Some Believers balk at the idea of such a thing, even to the point of blasphemy. Unfortunately, these Christians are misinformed. So don’t shoot the messenger, I am not your Pastor. Here is the problem with the carnal mind, “7 the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” In other words, a carnally-minded Christian cannot fathom walking as Christ walked (Rom. 8: 7-8). That mind will not subject itself to being a doer of the Word of God (James 1: 22). Let’s get back to the power of the carnal mind for a moment. The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 8: 1 “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be CARNALLY minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the CARNAL mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.”
Note, this is the same Greek word Paul used when he placed the flesh in juxtaposition to the word spirit, and the word ‘carnal’ is the same Greek word used for ‘flesh’. The word flesh in both cases is ‘sarx’. Jesus said sarx gives birth to sarx, but pneuma (Spirit) gives birth to pneuma (spirit). I realize you have probably heard this a thousand times; whenever you see the flesh in opposition to the Spirit, in most Bibles the word Spirit is upper case. Nevertheless, in the original Greek text, there were no upper case letters. The translators of the scripture used the upper case S at their discretion. We have men who are so educated that they cannot or choose not to see the forest for the trees. Our human spirit has been Born Again and hopefully been filled (baptized) with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit’s work is to raise our human spirit up to its rightful place. When Jesus said, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit”, He was the first to give us insight into the spiritual need of mankind under the New Covenant. Flesh begets flesh, while Spirit begets spirit. Besides, the two stand against one another. The Holy Spirit works from the inside out, not from the outside in. Our spirit must be empowered by the Spirit of God to overcome the deeds of the flesh:
Romans 8: 10 “And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. 12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 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. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”
Why and what body is dead? Well, we know that as long as we are still breathing, our physical bodies are very much alive. The word ‘mortal’ in verse 11 is the Greek word ‘thnētos’, which means-liable to death, mortal (not immortal just yet, still kicking and breathing). We experience physical death when our spirits and souls leave these earthly tents. When the incorporeal parts of ourselves (spirit and soul) find these bodies uninhabitable, they will separate from these mortal bodies moving beyond the speed of light (186,000-MLS. per sec. If they should depart any slower, the human eye might catch a glimpse of what happens at that moment of death. None of us, besides God, and those possessing spiritual bodies has special insight into the realm of the spirit. This happens only when the Spirit of God gives us visions into that realm, e.g. John on the Isle of Patmos. I wouldn’t put very much stock in anyone claiming, “I see dead people” unless he was Haley Joel Osment.
The following is from W. E. Vine’s Expository Dictionary:
(Strong’s #4561 — Noun Feminine — sarx — sarx )
has a wider range of meaning in the NT than in the OT. Its uses in the NT may be analyzed as follows. I suggest you grab your Bible and be like Bereans (Acts 17: 11), search the scriptures for yourselves and see if these things are true:
“(a) “the substance of the body,” whether of beasts or of men, 1st Corinthians 15:39; (b) “the human body,” 2nd Corinthians 10:3; Galatians 2:20; Philippians 1:22; (c) by synecdoche, of “mankind,” in the totality of all that is essential to manhood, i.e., spirit, soul, and body, Matthew 24:22 ; John 1:13 ; Romans 3:20; (d) by synecdoche, of “the holy humanity” of the Lord Jesus, in the totality of all that is essential to manhood, i.e., spirit, soul, and body, John 1:14 ; 1st Timothy 3:16 ; 1st John 4:2 ; 2nd John 1:7 ; in Hebrews 5:7 , “the days of His flesh,” i.e., His past life on earth in distinction from His present life in resurrection; (e) by synecdoche, for “the complete person,” John 6:51-57 ; 2nd Corinthians 7:5 ; James 5:3; (f) “the weaker element in human nature,” Matthew 26:41; Romans 6:19; 8:3; (g) “the unregenerate state of men,” Romans 7:5; 8:8,9; (h) “the seat of sin in man” (but this is not the same thing as in the body), 2nd Peter 2:18 ; 1 John 2:16; (i) “the lower and temporary element in the Christian,” Galatians 3:3 ; 6:8 , and in religious ordinances, Hebrews 9:10; (j) “the natural attainments of men,” 1st Corinthians 1:26; 2nd Corinthians 10:2,3; (k) “circumstances,” 1 Corinthians 7:28; the externals of life, 2nd Corinthians 7:1; Ephesians 6:5; Hebrews 9:13; (l) by metonymy, “the outward and seeming,” as contrasted with the spirit, the inward and real, John 6:63; 2nd Corinthians 5:16; (m) “natural relationship, consanguine,” 1st Corinthians 10:18; Galatians 4:23, or marital, Matthew 19:5.” * [* From Notes on Galatians, by Hogg and Vine, pp. 111,112.]
In Matthew 26:41; Romans 8:4,13; 1st Corinthians 5:5; Galatians 6:8 (not the Holy Spirit, here), “flesh” is contrasted with spirit; in Romans 2:28,29, with heart and spirit; in Romans 7:25, with the mind; cp. Colossians 2:1,5. It is coupled with the mind in Ephesians 2:3, and with the spirit in 2nd Corinthians 7:1.
Note: In Colossians 2:18 the noun sarx is used in the phrase “(by his) fleshly mind,” lit., “by the mind of his flesh” [see (h) above], whereas the mind ought to be dominated by the Spirit.
(Strong’s #2907 — Noun Neuter — kreas — kreh’-as)
denotes “flesh” in the sense of meat. It is used in the plural in Romans 14:21; 1st Corinthians 8:13 . To be continued…