There has been some confusion concerning the flesh and the sin nature. Even some very fine writers, whom I respect greatly, seem stuck on this point. The fact is the sin nature or principle resides in my flesh. I know this because I can pass it on to my children. So how is this not in conflict with the teachings of the Christ-life, which frankly are from God and not from man? Allow me to provide some clarification, if I may. Please pay attention to the language and terminology closely. I could say it no better. It is “not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth” (1 Cor. 2:13).
Sin is a spiritual energy that is active in our flesh, enslaving our will and infecting and darkening our heart and mind (soul). Its source is Satan (John 8:44). This is the spirit-nature of fallen man (Eph. 2:1-3).
This activity has been "rendered entirely idle" (destroyed - Strong's #2673) in the born-again. We have died to sin (to this principle in our flesh, the Satan nature). Our relationship with the flesh has been severed (Rom. 6:6; Col. 2:11). This has effected a perfect exchange of natures from flesh to spirit, Adam to Christ, sin to righteousness, and Satan to God (2 Peter 1:4; Acts 26:18; Rom. 8:4-10).
The activity of Satan in the born-again has been relegated to an outer thing. The influence of the sin-nature, “sin in the flesh” (call it what you want), has been “reduced to inactivity” (again Strong's #2673) in regards to the inner life. In every meaningful sense, it is Satan out and Christ in as the spiritual life (nature) energizing the human. Let us not resist the testimony of the Scriptures. They do not leave us in doubt, if we will but listen to the Holy Spirit.
As I have said before, we still have flesh, but we are under no obligation to the flesh. The lust of the flesh is the remembrance of our sinful ways. It is the mind where the residue of sin resides, as a powerless ghost as long as it’s not falsely identified as you. These are the truths that make identification work as God intended (Eph. 4:22-24). So wherein lies the confusion? It is when we do not see the birthing, which renders null and void all human reasoning. I hope I have provided some clarification. Let us not have Christ competing with Satan, or some “human nature,” of which there is no such thing.
Grace and peace to you.
“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life, because of righteousness.” (Rom. 8:9-10)
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