The Function of Flesh

There is deep fleshly functionality to our sin. Our sin nature’s behavior “works” in that it provides for us a denial of God. According to Romans 1, “unrighteous behavior suppresses the Truth” (of God: His character, and His ways). It functions to justify our being faithless (self-protective, self-reliant, and self-exaltive). Therefore, shaming, demanding, insisting, cajoling, or focusing on someone’s behavior in an attempt to get them (or us) to “stop it” is not only ineffective, it is essentially another gospel.

It’s a heavy burden and hard yoke (which is antithetical to the Gospel. It is decidedly NOT Good News). If we’re committed to self-protection because deep down we believe God is not there, good, or sovereign (which is the heart of sin), more law doesn’t cut it (it will actually increase the sinful behavior). It takes faith (that God is “worth it”) to supersede our flesh. “As you have received Christ Jesus as Lord so walk in Him,” and “walk in the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” For that we desperately need grace…which God supplies in abundance in all manner of ways. To think we can just “stop it” is like trying to kill a tree by picking the leaves off; that’s called pruning and actually just helps the tree grow better.

Realizing our helplessness and hopelessness over sin is where we need to start as “God gives grace to the humble.”

Published by

Jim Pocta

Psychotherapist/Biblical Counselor in Dallas. I’m a follower of Jesus, husband to Linda, father to three wonderful sons, father-in-law to three incredible daughters-in-law, grandfather to three amazing grandsons and granddaughter, and an elder at New St. Peter’s Presbyterian Church.

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