Learning to Mortify our Flesh by John Barnett

Learning to Mortify our Flesh
John Barnett
Colossians 3




Do you remember when God wrote David's epitaph He said one thing very clearly—David served the Lord. Turn there with me again to Acts 13:36.

Acts 13:36 "For when David had served God's purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his fathers and his body decayed. NIV

As we saw when we studied this passage, serving God's purpose is all that really matters in eternity; life on earth comes down to one question—who we are going to serve?

Serving God is what we were called to do, and a servant is what we are called to be. Salvation starts the process as we are transferred from Satan's dominion and into God's. We receive a new heart (software for our operating system) and are empowered to serve the Lord.

But the challenge is that this new operating system, our new life in Christ, is carried on through our old vehicle (or hardware). This body of ours is supposed to carry out the wishes of God—but often doesn't want to. Our mind entertains doubts and questions. We listen to our flesh that pours out a constant stream of fears, cautions, anxieties, and rebellions. Often we are paralyzed by indecision and uncertainties of what exactly it is we are to do. That is everyday life on planet earth this side of Heaven.

God's Word clearly warns us that we do not conquer our flesh by physical means—human resolve, self-effort, religious activity, or sheer will power.

The flesh is only conquered by the power of the cross worked out in our life by the Holy Spirit. There is a war always brewing between our flesh and the Spirit of God within us. One of the clearest descriptions of that warfare is in Galatians 5, turn there next with me please.

Galatians 5:17 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. NKJV

Flesh can't defeat flesh. Resolves, promises, fighting an ...


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