(5) For they that are after the flesh – do mind the things of the flesh – but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.(6) For to be carnally minded (or, fleshly minded) is death – but to be Spiritually minded is life and peace.(7) Because the carnal mind (or, the fleshly mind) is enmity against God – for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. (8) So then, they that are in the flesh cannot please God! (9) But ye are not in the flesh – but in the Spirit – if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you! Now, if any man have not the Spirit of Christ – he is none of His!” [Ro.8:5-9]
(16) “This I say then – walk in the Spirit — and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. (17) For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit – and the Spirit against the flesh – and these are contrary the one to the other so that ye cannot do the things that ye would! (18) But if ye be led of the Spirit – ye are not under the law.” [Gal.5:16-18]
(19) “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness (20) idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, (21) envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like – of the which I tell you before, as I also told you in time past – that they which do such things – shall not inherit the Kingdom of God!” [Gal.5:19-21]
Dear ones, the Word of God is a mirror from which we can see the spiritual reality of our own lives. Are we walking “after the flesh”, or “after the Spirit”? Whichever is the reality between the two – the “flesh” or the “Spirit” – will be the foundation of all our thinking and living while we are in this fleshly, fallen-in-sin world. Only by being “spiritually minded” – will we successfully walk right through this worldly waste land and ultimately right into the eternal Kingdom of God! To be “spiritually minded” is to “have the mind of Christ”! [see: 1Co.2:15-16] This should be the earnest prayerful plea of our daily lives right now – that we be granted the grace of God to persevere and continue being led through this world by the Holy Spirit of Christ, our Lord and God.
If we are walking through this world “after the flesh” – then while we are walking physically – we are, nevertheless, spiritually — dead! At the same time, if we are walking through this world “after the Spirit” we are experiencing through God’s grace spiritual “life and peace”. Is.26:3 declares dogmatically: “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace – whose mind is stayed upon thee”. Remember, the fleshly mind “is enmity against God”! There is no peace in being God’s enemy!
Quite simply, the “flesh” pertains to anything and everything that is a part of this sinful and cursed world. This is why 1Jn.2:15-17 says: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world – the love of the Father is not in him. (16) For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father – but is of the world. (17) And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof – but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.” This world is not our home. This world is a battleground that is entirely behind enemy lines! All of us were born into this fallen-in-sin world as fit sinner constituents to populate it – because we are all sinners! This world is the very stage upon which is being lived out all of the works of the flesh of this age of sin and death.
May the Holy Spirit of our God bear witness with our spirit that we are truly His children and heirs of His Kingdom [see: Ro.8:16-17]. Then also, we shall know that we are being led by Him.
For Christ’s Glory Only! -John Carpenter