Do you remember when Peter walked on the water? Who was he focused on for the few moments he walked above the circumstances? Jesus. So, we learn that when we focus on Jesus, we become like Jesus and walk above our circumstances in His peace and power. This is how we defeat sin and the lusts of the flesh too. We focus on Jesus and we are transformed. The battle is a spiritual battle. We will never have victory operating in the flesh.
As believers, we have a choice to walk in the flesh or in the Spirit. First off, it is crucial to understand that you cannot overcome the flesh by the flesh. It is insane and futile to think that the flesh will help us overcome the rule of the flesh in our lives.
If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!” (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence. Col 2:20-23 NAS
When we accept Jesus, we are born-again of the Spirit. God who is Spirit, sees us in the Spirit in Christ. He sees us as righteous, sanctified, holy and perfect as the blood of Christ can make us. As he is (Jesus), so are we in this world. Our born-again Spirit is from God and is perfect and does not house a fallen sin nature inherited from Adam. It has no desire to sin. On the other hand, in our fallen flesh still resides the sin nature we inherited from Adam – Rom 5:19. God sees sin condemned in the flesh and our flesh as crucified and dead on the cross with Jesus – Rom 6:6, as we are called to do. God, who is outside of time, sees this as done right done. Whatever God says is done in us, is done, period.
So, each Christian has a still fallen flesh housing a perfected Spirit. Our Spirit has been circumcised and set apart from our flesh by God – Col 2:11 and sealed by the Holy Spirit – Eph 4:30. Our born-again Spirit cannot be contaminated by our dead flesh, but in this life, we face a struggle that Paul talks about intimately in Romans 7:14-25. The question is, what will we have rule our life, our dead flesh or our born-again Spirit? We have already learned from our beginning verse that trying to force our flesh to comply and obey by the flesh is futile. Here is another verse where Paul reminds us we cannot win this battle in the flesh by the flesh. Paul tells us we do not war according to the flesh. We do not do things the way the flesh thinks they should be done.
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. 2 Cor 10:3 NAS
This is a Spiritual battle, not an outward battle based on things we can see with our eyes or fix with our flesh. We fight this battle by faith in the Son of God who loves us.
“For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God. “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. Gal 2:19-20 NAS
So, how do we let our Spirit rule in our lives so we can walk in peace, patience, self-control and the other fruits of the Spirit instead of our dead flesh that often leads us into anger, offense, worry, fear, bitterness, jealousy and alike? What does it mean to walk in the Spirit and how do we do it?
If we walk in the Spirit, our Spirit will rule our life and the fruits of the Spirit will naturally replace the futility we live in with the flesh. Here are two steps to walking in the Spirit.
1) for we walk by faith, not by sight— 2 Cor 5:7 NAS
We walk in the Spirit by agreeing fully with God about what has been finished in us. Walking in the Spirit is walking by faith, not by sight. First, we establish ourselves in God’s truth that we are righteous in Christ alone. Our Spirit will never be more right with God. Jesus blood has perfected us. Before we come to Christ, we look at God’s written law as if in a mirror to see where we fall short, to see our need for a savior. After we come to Christ, to walk in the Spirit and no longer in the flesh, we no longer see the law in the mirror. We see Jesus in that mirror and all of his perfection. As He is, so are we in this world and His perfection is our Spirits perfection. We no longer regard Jesus in the flesh, and we no longer regard ourselves or others as being in the flesh. Jesus flesh was crucified and died on the cross, so did ours. We regard our flesh as crucified, dead and circumcised (cut off and separated) from our perfected Spirit the moment we trusted Jesus. We see Jesus, ourselves and other believers in the perfection of the Spirit. We constantly remind ourselves of Jesus finished work and of our righteousness in Him. We constantly remind ourselves that we are righteous, sanctified, holy and perfected by the blood of Jesus right now. We remind ourselves that God is Spirit and sees us in the Spirit and not in our dead flesh.
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. 2 Cor 3:17-18 NAS
As we gaze daily into that mirror beholding the glory of the Lord, we are transformed into His image in this world as our Spirit rules our life in the here and now. Beholding His glory leads our perfected Spirit to rise above and rule over our still fallen flesh in this life. Our flesh and its ways gradually fade into the background, and the fruits of the Spirit are produced naturally for all to see.
2) Who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 2 Cor 3:6 NAS
We no longer walk by the letter of the law as the flesh does. We walk by the Spirit of the law, LOVE – Rom 13:8-10, Gal 5:14, the only thing that can truly fulfill Gods desire for writing the letter is to walk by the Spirit of the law and not the letter. We are qualified and called to minister by the Spirit and not the letter.
If we embrace fully and see things as God see them, we will be walking in the Spirit and have a great victory over our flesh and in this life.
Romans 8:1-16 NAS
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh—for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. Rom 8:1-16 NAS
If you want to walk in the Spirit, you must focus on the New Covenant alone, that Jesus died to bring us. The book of Hebrews, along with many New Covenant Bible studies I and others have written will renew your mind and transform your life.
Lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. Eph 4:22b-24 NAS
If you follow this plan, you need to know that the enemy will do everything he can to draw you into the flesh. If you see yourself in anger, fear, offense, worry and alike, know that you are straying into the flesh. These are symptoms of the flesh. My suggestion is to focus daily with intent on what is listed above and practice acceptance of people, places, things and situations. Reject fear, worry, anger, bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness and alike. You no longer have time for these. Pray always for God's blessing for everyone, especially those that trouble your heart or make you angry. Refuse to let your heart be troubled, trust in God. Forgive everyone and pray for them to be blessed.
Everything I have stated in this study is further backed up by numerous other studies I have written supported by a vast amount of scriptures. Review my studies for titles that address any questions or objections you may be having. God wants you to have freedom and victory in this life right now. He loves you and if your faith is in Jesus the best you know how, you are saved for eternity, period. Stop doubting and just believe. The only one who wants you to doubt God’s promise in John 3:16 is the enemy.
Now, learn how to walk in victory here and then pass it on to others. Far too many Christians walk in defeat in this life. God is for us and not against us.
Many more New Covenant Bible Studies HERE. Jesus poured out His blood for the New Covenant of grace and truth, replacing the Old Covenant law of Moses. Believers are exclusively under the New Covenant, the last will and testament of Jesus that began after the cross.
And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood. Luke 22:20