deeds of the flesh
Deeds of the Flesh
These are deeds done often in a very selfish and unloving manner to please our own desires, and are done without any consideration to what it might cost others in any way whatsoever. Of course these actions and deeds may be fun and enjoyable at first but then conviction and guilt often set in afterwards. This conviction lets one know that they have done wrongly in gratifying the desires of their flesh, and then they must decide whether to repent or not of their deed. I know that when I stumble like this, I almost always do repent when the Holy Spirit convicts me and/or I am corrected by others of the misdeed
This proverb though it talks about something else is accurate also with this topic of gratifying the flesh
(Proverbs 20:17) Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be full of gravel.
So too can gratifying the cravings and desires of one’s flesh can be sweet and pleasing to the person as he/she does the deed, and as such it can be very hard to shake off, but vert often guilt and conviction come afterward, representing the mouth of gravel. This scripture also makes a similar point
(Revelation 10:9) So I went to the angel and told him to give me the little scroll. And he said to me, "Take and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey."
(Revelation 10:10) And I took the little scroll from the hand of the angel and ate it. It was sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it my stomach was made bitter.
The deed can seem sweet in the mouth as it is done, and as such enjoyable but afterward your belly is indeed bitter often with guilt and shame over one’s deed. Then all I can do is repent of the misdeed, and pray that the guilt will leave, which it usually does. Nobody at all is perfect either for all do wrong and please our flesh and its selfish desires. Look at what it says in Romans 3
(Romans 3:9) What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin,
(Romans 3:10) as it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one;
(Romans 3:11) no one understands; no one seeks for God.
(Romans 3:12) All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one."
(Romans 3:13) "Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive." "The venom of asps is under their lips."
(Romans 3:14) "Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness."
(Romans 3:23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Indeed as it indicates here in Genesis 6 the deeds of the flesh largely were the cause for the wiping out by the flood of the pre-flood generations who were living at the time, save Noah and his family, who found grace and mercy in God’s eyes.
(Genesis 6:5) The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
(Genesis 6:6) And the LORD was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.
(Genesis 6:7) So the LORD said, "I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them."
(Genesis 6:8) But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.
(Genesis 6:9) These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.
(Genesis 6:10) And Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
(Genesis 6:11) Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight, and the earth was filled with violence.
(Genesis 6:12) And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.
(Genesis 6:13) And God said to Noah, "I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
The evil deeds of the flesh also without doubt figured in being a prime reason for many other judgments God inflicted on man in the old testament and even up to now. I am going to explore however what the new testament says on the deeds of the flesh and what to do about it.
Here is a good work in Mark 14
(Mark 14:38) Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."
This word is in first Corinthians saying that no tempatation will be to great to endure and that God will give a way of escape so that it is bearable.
(1 Corinthians 10:13) No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
James says thatc
temptation comes from the flesh and not from God
(James 1:13) Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God," for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.
(James 1:14) But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.
(James 1:15) Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
(James 1:16) Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers.
In Romans chapter 7 here are these two verses
(Romans 7:5) For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death.
(Rom 7:6) But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.
And also these verses later on
(Romans 7:14) For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin.
(Romans 7:15) For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.
(Romans 7:16) Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good.
(Romans 7:17) So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
(Romans 7:18) For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.
(Romans 7:19) For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.
(Romans 7:20) Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
(Romans 7:21) So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.
(Romans 7:22) For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being,
(Romans 7:23) but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.
(Romans 7:24) Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
(Romans 7:25) Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
Here is a good discussion in Romans 8 about living in flesh and in the spirit
(Romans 8:3) For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,
(Romans 8:4) in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
(Romans 8:5) 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 set their minds on the things of the Spirit.
(Romans 8:6) For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
(Romans 8:7) For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot.
(Romans 8:8) Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
(Romans 8:9) You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
(Romans 8:10) But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
(Romans 8:11) If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
(Romans 8:12) So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.
(Romans 8:13) 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.
(Romans 8:14) For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
In 1 Corinthians it states we are but infants in Christ if we follow our flesh (especially too much) for being fleshly is a strong indication of immaturity.
(1 Corinthians 3:1) But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ.
(1 Corinthians 3:2) I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready,
(1 Corinthians 3:3) for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?
Here too is a powerful discussion in Galatians chapter 5 about the deeds of the flesh and their consequences (as well as the deeds of the spirit)
(Galatians 5:16) But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
(Galatians 5:17) For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
(Galatians 5:18) But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
(Galatians 5:19) Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,
(Galatians 5:20) idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions,
(Galatians 5:21) envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
(Galatians 5:22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
(Galatians 5:23) gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
(Galatians 5:24) And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
(Galatians 5:25) If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
(Galatians 5:26) Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
Ephesians gives good advice about what to do about dealing with fleshly desires
(Ephesians 5:3) But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints.
(Ephesians 5:4) Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.
(Ephesians 5:5) For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
(Ephesians 5:6) Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
Even more so Colossians 3, this is what we all need to do to overcome the deeds of the flesh; there is some very good advice here:
(Colossians 3:1) If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
(Colossians 3:2) Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
(Colossians 3:3) For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
(Colossians 3:4) When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
(Colossians 3:5) Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
(Colossians 3:6) On account of these the wrath of God is coming.
(Colossians 3:7) In these you too once walked, when you were living in them.
(Colossians 3:8) But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.
(Colossians 3:9) Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices
(Colossians 3:10) and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.
(Colossians 3:11) Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.
(Colossians 3:12) Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,
(Colossians 3:13) bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
(Colossians 3:14) And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
(Colossians 3:15) And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
(Colossians 3:16) Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
(Colossians 3:17) And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Romans 6 is an excellent chapter on sin and fleshly works
(Romans 6:1) What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?
(Romans 6:2) By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?
(Romans 6:3) Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
(Romans 6:4) We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
(Romans 6:5) For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.
(Romans 6:6) We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.
(Romans 6:7) For one who has died has been set free from sin.
(Romans 6:8) Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.
(Romans 6:9) We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.
(Romans 6:10) For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God.
(Romans 6:11) So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
(Romans 6:12) Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.
(Romans 6:13) Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.
(Romans 6:14) For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
(Romans 6:15) What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!
(Romans 6:16) Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?
(Romans 6:17) But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed,
(Romans 6:18) and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.
(Romans 6:19) I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.
(Romans 6:20) For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.
(Romans 6:21) But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.
(Romans 6:22) But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.
(Romans 6:23) For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
If we do catch others partaking of the deeds of the flesh we should rebuke and correct them for their deeds in love, because it says this in James:
(James 5:19) My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back,
(James 5:20) let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
And Luke encourages correction of others forgiving them when they repent of their wrongdoing:
(Luke 17:1) And he said to his disciples, "Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come!
(Luke 17:2) It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin.
(Luke 17:3) Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him,
(Luke 17:4) and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, 'I repent,' you must forgive him."
Yes, it is important to forgive the others their trespasses too, even if they do many times in one day as is possible.
Also this is said in Matthew 18 says a similar message gives other good advice.
(Matthew 18:15) "If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.
(Matthew 18:16) But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.
(Matthew 18:17) If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
(Matthew 18:18) Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
(Matthew 18:19) Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.
(Mat 18:20) For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them."
Yes, it is very possible we need to seek others prayer help to die to these desires especially when they are really strong. The verses above in Matthew say that, and this verse in James speaks to the power of praying for one another and confessing to one another.
(James 5:16) Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
I am putting in a prayer to help you overcome the deeds of the flesh, so please prayu this with me.
Dear Heavenly Father, I realize that I have been trying to live the Christian life in the flesh by my will and my power. I have tried to train my flesh, but have failed. I now realize that I can't train the flesh; therefore: I purpose...
- to make no provision for the flesh,
- to bring the flesh under subjection,
- to take off the old man and put on the new,
- to deny the flesh,
- to mortify the members of the flesh,
- to reckon the flesh crucified,
- and to live an exchanged life.
Today, I choose by the grace of God to forsake my life and to follow Jesus. Amen.
If as a result of reading this you decide a tug on your heart to commit your ways to Jesus, or to return to Him as a result of backsliding due to the fact that you have done too many deeds of the flesh and have fallen away, please pray this prayer with me, to commit and or recommit your life to Jesus, who loves you more than any person can
Dear God in heaven, I come to you in the name of Jesus. I acknowledge to You that I am a sinner, and I am sorry for my sins and the life that I have lived; I need your forgiveness. I believe that your only begotten Son Jesus Christ shed His precious blood on the cross at Calvary and died for my sins, and I am now willing to turn from my sin. You said in Your Holy Word, Romans 10:9 that if we confess the Lord our God and believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead, we shall be saved. Right now I confess Jesus as the Lord of my soul. With my heart, I believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. This very moment I accept Jesus Christ as my own personal Savior and according to His Word, right now I am saved. Thank you Jesus for your unlimited grace which has saved me from my sins. I thank you Jesus that your grace never leads to license, but rather it always leads to repentance. Therefore Lord Jesus transform my life so that I may bring glory and honor to you alone and not to myself. Thank you Jesus for dying for me and giving me eternal life.
Also remember the words that Jesus Himself spoke in John 8 about setting people free from all chains of sin, the flesh and so on.
(John 8:31) So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples,
(John 8:32) and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
(John 8:33) They answered him, "We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, 'You will become free'?"
(John 8:34) Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.
(John 8:35) The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever.
(John 8:36) So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
God bless you and yours.