Understanding what the scripture says about the flesh vs the Spirit will help us to truly overcome the flesh which the Bible likens to the grass that will one day wither and die.
And after overcoming the flesh, we will then be able to walk in the spirit.
Until man comes to the knowledge that he is made up of two elements; the dust of the ground and the breath of life as recorded in Genesis 2:7.
He will forever remain blind to the fact that there is a conflict going on within him. Because, these two elements do not agree nor like each other, and as such are always at war.
What The Scripture Says About The Flesh Vs The Spirit.
What the scripture says about the flesh vs the spirit is that the flesh always lusts against the Spirit and the Spirit also lusts against the flesh and both of them are in conflict with one another so that in the end the human being is unable to carry out their main intentions.
For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. Galatians 5:7
In Romans 7:15-24, Paul the apostle, who made the above discovery, clearly shows that the conflict between the flesh and spirit happens in the human mind.
For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate; that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.
Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good.
For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? (Romans 7:15-24) .
As we can discover in the above scriptures, the conflict between the flesh and Spirit presents man with a choice; or the option of submitting to one of the elements at any given point in time. We call this free will.
What is the difference between flesh and the Spirit?
The difference between the flesh and the Spirit is that the flesh is visible while the Spirit is invisible. Human beings can see the essence of their flesh by looking in the mirror but they cannot see their Spirit which the Bible likens to air that was blown into their lungs.
Thus the flesh has more advantages than the spirit because it possesses the physical aspect which humans can always behold at any given time.
As a matter of fact, the flesh and all that surrounds it are destined to pass away one day. And as birds of the same feathers we know, they must always flock together.
That is why, even though we all know what is good; which is what we are supposed to do, we will always find ourselves doing the bad things we do not want to do and afterward hate ourselves.
The worst thing the flesh will do is deceive man into thinking that he doesn’t even have a spirit. That he is carnal by nature and once he dies, it will be the same as when he never came into existence.
So with this idea, the flesh urges man to do whatever is necessary; now that he has the opportunity – in case tomorrow never comes.
He will show man places he should club, alcoholics he should drink, cigarettes and marijuana he should smoke, cocaine he should sniff, things he should loot and steal, boys and girls he should have sex with, people he should hate and perhaps kill, etc. And will try by all means to blind him to the dangers associated with these habits.
The flesh is even wicked to the point that, even after one has discovered himself i.e. comes to this knowledge of the truth; he will try to torture the individual with all kinds of false imaginations, doubts, fears, miseries: sickness, weaknesses, misfortunes, etc. so that he could yield to its lusts.
Works of the flesh and fruits of the spirit.
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outburst of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (Galatians 5:19-23).
Beloved, the biggest obstruction we have as human beings is the flesh. Because it knows that he is corruptible i.e. he must inevitably return to its source – the dust of the ground – sooner or later.
And so he envies the Spirit because, he knows that, the Spirit has a chance to live forever – if only the Spirit can subdue him – the flesh – while they both engage in this timeless, limited war.
So all the flesh longs for is to make the Spirit share the same fate that inevitably awaits him i.e. everlasting death.
But the Spirit must keep the understanding that, the flesh will become unconscious i.e. totally unaware of what will happen after his death, while he will face everlasting torture in a lake burning with fire and brimstone.
So he must, by all means, subdue the flesh by never allowing him to satisfy whatever lusts he has while they co-habit.
The flesh and spirit will separate.
And we must always keep a constant reminder of the fact that one day; both elements must surely depart from each other:
Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the Spirit will return to God who gave it. (Ecclesiastes 12:7)
And when they do, it is the Spirit that will receive the final reward and not the flesh; but the reward will be according to what he did while in the flesh.
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5: 10).
May God, even the Father of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, enable our Spirit to win this inescapable war with our flesh, so we can receive that crown that awaits us when the war is over. Amen.