Lesson 2 - Spirit or the Flesh?


Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Whenever we are tempted to do our own thing or have a god of our own understanding, we are in sin. There is an inevitable wage that must be paid upon death. God states that we can pay it yourself, or He offers to pay it for us by offering His one and only Son in the place of our sins. We must confront the idea and accept the fact that we have sinned against the LORD by trying to control our own destiny and offer up to Him our works.

Isaiah 55:8-9 "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

God and the law demand that we be holy, loving, and perfect, without exception. Perfection is the only way God can fellowship with us; this is His nature and character. It is not because He is uptight and cranky. Sin cannot be found before Him. We cannot be God’s counselor or advisor. He doesn’t need our help, and we certainly don’t fit in the seat of His throne. (Isaiah 40:13; Romans 11:34)

Romans 3:10, 23 As it is written: "There is none righteous, no, not one…,” …for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,…

These scriptures show that all of mankind is in sin and that there are no exceptions. Our denial causes us to rationalize that somehow God could overlook smaller sins but such is not the case. Our denial causes us to measure God’s holiness according to our standards, which always change according to the whims of our emotions or circumstances. God, on the other hand, never changes (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8).

James 2:10
For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.

James points out that if we break the law in just one point, we are guilty of breaking it all.

Also, take note that our good works can never add up to the point of outweighing or tipping the scale so that they balance out the weight of our sins. In fact, God states in Isaiah this important point about our good works. Isaiah 64:6, “But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; we all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”

Denial causes us to think that in our maturity or old age we now are able somehow to keep the whole law. The older we get, the more we put the weight of our confidence on our good works. We forget that while growing up we broke the law all the time. Now as older people we have just grown more refined in our denial and sin. In fact, we were conceived in sin, and from the womb, we were rebellious, stubborn, and demanded our own way. (Psalms 51:5, 58:3; Isaiah 48:8; Jeremiah 13:23)

To prove this point, think about this for a moment and ask ourselves this question. Did we ever go to school to learn to lie, cheat, steal, envy, hate, covet, swear, or learn to love ourselves? Is there such a school where we send our infants and children to learn these fine skills? When do we graduate? Can we earn a degree in these? Are we all guilty of these sins? The answer is obvious, isn’t it?