"Flesh" is used several ways in the Bible.

John Farley
January 14, 2015

“Flesh” is used several ways in the Bible.

Rom 7:5-6

verses 5 and 6 are the closing statement concerning the Law for believers in Christ.

Verse 5 states the negative.
Verse 6 states the positive.

Verse 5 sets the stage for the rest of chapter 7, from verse 7 through verse 25.

Verse 6 sets the stage for chapter 8 of the book of Romans.

Verse 5 captures the gist of the whole struggle that Paul describes in the latter part of this chapter.

“In the flesh” - the condition and realm of the unsaved, the unbeliever.

Verse 5 – when we were unbelievers
Verse 6 – but now we are believers

Rom 8:8-9

“in the flesh” - This is talking about the UNBELIEVER.

The Spirit indwells every Christian, so every believer is not in the flesh but is in the Spirit.

“in the Spirit” - This is talking about the BELIEVER.

Every human being is either “in the flesh” – an unbeliever,
Or “in the Spirit” - a believer.

“in the flesh” = the opposite of being
“in the Spirit”

“in the flesh” describes a realm of bondage, with things absent….

–absence of life, absence of the Holy Spirit, absence of Christ, …

…under the domination of sin, under the bondage of the Law, under condemnation, under death.

Verse 5 is describing an unsaved man.

“in the flesh” talks about something distinct from the word “flesh” alone.

“flesh”, sarx in the Greek, is used in several different ways in the New Testament.

1. Sometimes the word “flesh” simply means mankind. The whole human race.

Isa 40:5
Rom 1:1-4
Rom 3:19-20
Gal 2:16-17

2. Other places the word “flesh” means the body.

Gal 2:19-21
2Co 4:10-11
2Co 12:7
Phi 1:21-22

3. “flesh” is used to mean the manifestation of sin in our members.

Eph 2:3
Rom 8:6-8

The flesh is the manifestation of sin in the as yet unredeemed body.

Rom 7:18-20

Our bodies are not the root of sin, but do not yet share, as do our spirits, the redemption that is in Christ.

Our souls are being renewed by the indwelling Holy Spirit.

But the flesh, sin entrenched in the body, is unchangeably evil, and will wage its war until Christ comes.

Rom 13:14
Gal 5:13

Only the Holy Spirit has power over “the flesh”.

Gal 5:16-24

We must not confuse the flesh with the heart.

The flesh is unchangeably evil, but the heart can be changed for the better!

Psa 51:10
Mat 5:8

Nothing good dwells in our flesh, but plenty of good things can dwell in our heart.

Rom 5:5
2Co 1:21-22
Eph 3:14-19

© Lighthouse Bible Church of South Florida, Inc. / John Farley • lbible.org • All rights reserved.