JUDGING THE FLESH
Pastor Anita Clark
Grace Chapel, Carbondale, Kansas
“That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” John 3:6
Each of us were born of the flesh, but to enter into the things of God we must be born with a new birth by the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 2:1-3 says, “And you hath He quickened who were dead in trespasses and sin, Wherein in the time past we walked according to the prince of the power of the air (Satan), the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience. 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.”
Galatians 5:16-17, 19-23 shows Apostle Paul’s teaching about the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit or new life in us. II Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (or New Creation) old things are passed away, behold, all things become new.” By this and many other Scriptures we understand that we have two natures. There is a battle that goes on within us. We desire to walk with God in full victory, but the fleshly nature is still present, which rises up in us and tries to take the supremacy.
In Romans 7:15-24, Paul describes the dilemma between the flesh and the Spirit in the believer’s life. He exclaims, “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” Then he exclaims, “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord…” The Lord is the only one Who can deliver us from the fleshly desires which will keep us in bondage and defeat.
“For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.” I Corinthians 11:31-32. What does it mean to “judge the flesh?” The word “judge” means in the original Greek “to discriminate or discern.” We judge our flesh when we discern whether our attitudes or actions are motivated by the old nature (flesh) or by our new nature (Christ’s life within us), which we have received through the New Birth.
A good explanation of judging the flesh is this: When ever the search light of God’s Word reveals that we have an action or attitude that is not Godly, we must agree with Him that it is carnal and deserves judgment. Then we must ask God to remove the thing from our life, instead of excusing it and saying, “Oh, that’s just my flesh,” (or any of the other excuses we may use). We must agree with God that it is carnal and deserves judgment Then we must ask God to remove the thing from our life, not making excuse for the fault or saying, “Everyone does that.” We must agree with the judgment of the Word to gain victory. This is putting into practice what the scripture teaches in Romans 6:11, “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ the Lord.” This is not an easy thing, but the Lord will give the strength to do it for this is the way of victory over sin.
So many times the flesh is not recognized in so called “good” things. Anything done our of the will of God is sin. It is more easily discerned in manifestations of gross sin which everyone can see. If we judge the flesh in whatever form it rears its ugly head, we will not be judged of the Lord. If we do not judge it, then the scripture states that the Lord loves His own and chastens and corrects His people. “Now, thanks be unto God, which always causes us to triumph in Christ…” II Corinthians 2:14. Let us agree with God and recognize the flesh and judge correctly with the Lord and His Word.