Part 4 of 10
God has “Condemned Sin in the Flesh”
We as Christians are in fact spirit beings at our core. As a regenerated spirit-being, we still live in the presence of our own Sin-laden physical body every day we live on earth. “Sin” is like a debilitating and deadly virus in man’s flesh body, separate from our spirit. In Romans 8:3 below, Paul defines his term “the flesh” as “Sinful flesh” and as the inherent “nature of man.” He also precisely locates “Sin” as being “in the flesh” body of the Roman believers to whom he is writing; the flesh body is Sin’s consigned dwelling place.
“God has done what THE LAW COULD NOT DO, [its power] being weakened by THE FLESH [which is the ENTIRE NATURE OF MAN without the Holy Spirit]. (God) Sending His own Son in the LIKENESS of SINFUL FLESH and as an offering for sin, [God] CONDEMNED SIN IN THE FLESH [subdued, overcame, DEPRIVED IT (Sin) OF ITS POWER over all who accept that sacrifice of Christ for (man’s) sin]” (Rom 8:3 (AMP)
Notice in the verse above that “the flesh” is called “SINFUL FLESH,” describing the character and “NATURE OF MAN.” The Sin-nature in man has NOT been removed from the flesh body of Christians as some that I know have supposed, but rather, “Sin” has been sentenced, confined and “CONDEMNED in the flesh,” (Rom 8:3b), awaiting the final disposition of the body.
Note also in Romans 8:3 that Paul tells us the answer to “Sinful flesh” is the “sacrifice of Christ for (man’s acts of) sin.” Thus God has taken away “the Law” (Rom 6:14) that empowered Sin and made an effective way for man of to overcome his “Sinful flesh.”
“Sin” is a personality; it’s the purposeful evil “nature” of the Devil in “the flesh” of all men; E.g. “Sin deceived me” (Rom 7:11). John writes of the Devil as “THE SINNER from the beginning,” that beginning refers to is the Devil’s first estate in heaven (Jude 1:16) the highest Cherubim serving at the throne of God.
“[But] he who commits sin [who practices evildoing] is of THE DEVIL [takes his character from the evil one], for THE DEVIL HAS SINNED (violated the divine law) FROM THE (very) BEGINNING.
The REASON THE SON OF GOD WAS MADE MANIFEST (incarnated) was to UNDO (destroy, loosen, and dissolve) THE WORKS THE DEVIL [has done].” (1 John 3:8 (AMP)
“Sin,” as noted Romans 7:11 is the fallen nature that “deceives” men. The Devil’s nature is expressed as “Sin” in man’s flesh (Rom 7:17b), but now he has been “condemned” and limited to “the flesh” of believers. So “Sin” still remains close at hand to the believer, but “Sin” no longer has power to impose his desire or lust upon believers. Now, the Sin-nature in the flesh can only tempt man’s mind. Thus, Sin’s temptations can still be heard in man’s mind.
Let me now better explain the status of “Sin in the flesh” of believers by this metaphorical story.
The believer can be likened to a crew member on a sailing ship toward eternity under the authority of the “(Jesus) captain of our salvation” (Heb 2:10). For believers, “Sin” within the believer’s flesh body is like an evil sea captain who has been sentenced and “condemned or confined to the ships brig,” but still onboard the ship. Christ is our new “captain.” Thus Sin, like the evil sea captain, remains close at hand to tempt us. We may still hear evil sea captain’s voice barking out orders, but he no longer has power or authority over us. The good news for believers is that we are no longer caught in Sin’s grasp and we are free to live in union with Christ our Captain, to enjoy the riches of our salvation.
Although we are still living in our flesh “body of sin,” we also have Christ’s “Spirit of life” within our human spirit where He and we are “one spirit “(1Cor 6:17). With the Spirit of the eternal God of the universe within us as our new life, we have the power of the indwelling resurrected “Spirit of life in Christ” as our new life, making us able to overcome “Sin,” able to walk circumspectly, and not follow after the worldliness.
Lord knows there is temptation to evil thoughts on every hand, tempting us with “the lusts of the flesh.” The fact is that we are “spirit beings” living in carnal or flesh bodies, so the matter is actually a spiritual one at its core. The “Sin-nature” is in fact of the Sin-spirit that dwells in the flesh body of all men, both the saved and unsaved, so long as we live in these human bodies of flesh.
Paul call this spirit “the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” when he writes to the Ephesian believers. Paul has precisely located the “Sin nature” in the flesh body of man. Though we as believers have a new “nature” (2Pet 1:4), the Sin-spirit is the fallen “nature of the children of wrath” is still at hand.
“And you hath he quickened (made alive), who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to THE PRINCE OF THE POWER OF THE AIR, the (Sin) SPIRIT THAT NOW WORKETH IN the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in THE LUSTS OF OUR FLESH, fulfilling the DESIRES OF THE FLESH AND OF THE MIND; and were BY NATURE THE CHILDREN OF WRATH, even as others.” (Ephesians 2:1-3)
The “prince of the power of the air” is the “spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Eph 2:1-3). This “spirit-prince” is none other than Satan. His Sin-Spirit indwells the flesh body of all mankind, as a sort of virus or sin-infection. That genetic mutation in man, which I call the Sin-nature, has been passed on to all Adam’s progeny; that’s all of us.
Carefully read Paul’s words below that describe “Sin” as a personality, not the “acts of Sin” that we call sins but “Sin” as the fallen nature indwelling man’s flesh. “Sin” is the contrary personality that “lusteth,” “deceives,” and “wars,” operating from within the flesh, against “the Spirit” of Christ within man.
Romans 7:15-23 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. 16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. 17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but SIN THAT DWELLETH IN ME. 18 For I know that IN ME (THAT IS, IN MY FLESH,) DWELLETH NO GOOD THING: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but SIN THAT DWELLETH IN ME.
21 I find then a law (Gk., nomos, a regulating factor), that, when I would (like to) do good, EVIL IS PRESENT WITH ME. 22 For I delight in THE LAW OF GOD after the inward (soul) man: 23 But I see ANOTHER LAW IN MY (body) MEMBERS, WARRING against the law of my mind (the knowledge of good and evil), and bringing me into captivity to the LAW (regulating factor) OF SIN WHICH IS IN MY (body) MEMBERS.
The frustration of trying to keep “the law” (v22 above) and doing “what I hate” (v15) is answered here in Galatians. The answer is based upon the new paradigm of in Romans 8; 1) “no condemnation” (Rom 8:1) and, 2) the power of the indwelling “Spirit of life in Christ” (Rom 8:2) that “hath made me free.”
Galatians 5:16-18 This I say then, WALK IN (UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF) 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 (the good that want to do), 18 But IF YE BE LED OF THE SPIRIT, YE ARE (will not be) NOT UNDER (subject to) THE LAW (which empowers Sin).
The fact is that “Sin,” as the Sin-spirit, is the very nature of the Evil One dwelling within the flesh bodies of all mankind. Believers simultaneously have the “Spirit of Christ” in their spirit (Rom 8:10). Thus believers bear two natures;
- The Sin-nature in their flesh body; and
- Christ’s “Spirit of life” in their spirit.
This will be the case until we “exchange these corruptible (sin-laden bodies) for incorruptible.” (See 2Cor 15:51-54). Believers will exchange will occur at the rapture. Actually, both the saved and unsaved will be resurrected. The lost (unsaved) of all ages will be resurrected in “the 2nd resurrection” (inferred in Rev 20:6) to stand at the final Great White Throne Judgment, bearing there resurrected sinful body, to be judged and then experience “the second death” (Rev 21:8).
While there is still within us that which is begotten of the flesh of Adam, there is also that which is begotten of the Spirit, and just as “the flesh” is totally depraved and “cannot please God,” so the other is absolutely perfect and always pleases Him.
Adam was originally created in the image and likeness of God, but he fell into sin and later “begat a son in his own likeness, after his image” (Gen. 5:3). It could not be otherwise. Fallen Adam could generate and beget only fallen, sinful offspring, whom “the Law” could not change. Now note this below.
“what the LAW could NOT do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God, sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin,” accomplished, “that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Rom. 8:3,4),
As Adam was made in the likeness of God, but fell, so Christ was made in the likeness of sinful flesh, to redeem us from the fall. Christ’s “Spirit of life” comes to us by grace, and through our “faith in the operation of God” (
2:12) that makes us new creation, a “new man... renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him” (Col. 3:10), a “new man, which, after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Eph. 4:24). Referring to this “new man” in Christ, John says: Col
“Whosoever is BORN (monogenes, begotten) OF GOD doth not commit sin, for HIS (GOD’S) SEED (sperma, which is CHRIST) REMAINETH IN HIM: and he cannot sin, because he is born (begotten) of God” (I John 3:9).
All “acts of sin” originate from the Sin-spirit nature within the flesh of all men. Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as BY ONE MAN (ADAM) SIN ENTERED INTO THE WORLD, AND DEATH BY SIN; AND SO DEATH PASSED UPON ALL MEN, for that all have sinned: The good news for all believers is that the Sin nature has been overcome.
Thankfully, God has provided Jesus not only to pay the penalty for our “sins” by His shed blood, redeeming and justifying us. I realize I’ve been repetitive in this, but also Jesus’ death is in FACT our death in order to free us from the power of the Sin nature in the “body of sin” (Rom 6:6-7 below). We must come to know and stand upon the fact that we have been freed from the seeming compulsion to sin because we are dead to Sin (see Rom 6:2, 7, 7:4).
Romans 6:6-7 (AMP) We know that OUR OLD (unrenewed) SELF was NAILED TO THE CROSS WITH HIM (Jesus) IN ORDER THAT [our] BODY [which is the instrument] OF SIN might be made INEFFECTIVE and INACTIVE FOR EVIL (made of no effect), (so) that we might NO LONGER BE THE SLAVES OF SIN.
7 For WHEN A MAN DIES, he is FREED (loosed, delivered) FROM [the power of] SIN.
Romans 7:4 …YE also ARE BECOME DEAD to the law (“law of Sin,” see 8:2b) BY THE (crucified) BODY OF CHRIST…
Where at one time we were “slaves of sin,” against our will, now we are to be willing servants of righteousness by Christ, who lives within us.
Romans 6:17-19 But God be thanked, that ye WERE the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you (by Paul, Rom 10:13).
18 Being then made free from sin (sin’s power), ye became the servants of righteousness.
19 I speak after the manner of men because of the INFIRMITY OF (Sin disease in) YOUR FLESH: for as ye have yielded your (body) members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity (Sin) unto iniquity (sins);
even so now YIELD YOUR (BODY) MEMBERS servants to righteousness unto holiness.