Today’s Daily Light:
This week…we will share an article from the works of John Piper. I will give it to you in bite-size daily doses. I promise that it will make you stronger in your ‘faith’ and in walk. Enjoy the meals this week.
How Dead People Do Battle with Sin
Carved in the bark of every tree in the garden of God are the words, “If it dies it bears much fruit” (John 12:24). Three words are branded into the flesh of every Christian: “YOU … HAVE … DIED” (Colossians 3:3). And the heartfelt confession of every believer is, “I have been crucified with Christ” (Galatians 2:20).
But what does this mean? Who died when I became a Christian? Answer: my “flesh” died. “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified THE FLESH” (Galatians 5:24).
But what does “flesh” mean? Not my skin. Not my body. That can be an instrument of righteousness (Romans 6:13). The “works of the flesh” are things like idolatry and strife, and anger and envy (Galatians 5:20f.) —attitudes, not just immoral acts of the body.
How the Bible Defines “Flesh”
The closest thing to a biblical definition of the flesh is Romans 8:7-8, “The mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, indeed it cannot; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”
So the flesh is the old “me” who used to rebel against God. In the flesh I was hostile and insubordinate. I hated the thought of admitting I was sick with sin. I defied the idea that my greatest need was a Good Physician to make me well. In the flesh I trusted my wisdom not God’s. So nothing I did in the flesh could please God, because “without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6). And the flesh does nothing from faith.
So “the flesh” is the old self-reliant, faithless me. This is what died when God saved me. God clamped the arteries on my old unbelieving heart of stone. And when it died He took it out and gave me a new heart (Ezekiel 36:26).
‘What’s the difference between this new heart that lives and the old one that died? The answer is given in Galatians 2:20. It says, “I have been crucified with Christ. . . and the life I now live, I LIVE BY FAITH in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.” The old heart that died trusted in itself; the new heart banks on Christ every day.
Father…we are all reading this ‘so that’ we can gain a stronger grip on our faith and walk. We all need help with knowing truth, seeing truth, and understanding ‘how-to’ use the tools you have given us that light-up the path of truth so that we can honor you with our lives. Your word says it is YOUR will that we honor you with our lives….soooo…..I ask by faith in YOU and YOUR word that you use this weeks teaching to strengthen our walk ‘so that’ we will be able to do your good, pleasing, and perfect will. Amen
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