Some thoughts about righteousness and the flesh
When Adam sinned he began operating in the sphere of flesh. Until Adam sinned he operated in the sphere of the Spirit of God.
He ceased being a spiritual man and became a flesh man and of course as Adam is, we are. We deal with the flesh because of Adam's downfall. When he died we died with him. When the last Adam died, we died with him also. Just as all were taken in at Adam's death, we are taken in with Christ at His death. Since we died with Him we are also raised to walk in newness of life with Him. This is a glorious truth that should make us rejoice.
But for my whole Christian life I've had to deal with the flesh even though Christ provided victory over it when He overcame death.
Romans deals with the flesh. Twenty-two times flesh is mentioned in Romans. Romans also deals with Righteousness. It's mentioned 33 times in Romans.
Righteousness is produced when we overcome flesh. If we are in the flesh we are not righteousness.
Romans 4 Righteousness is imputed to and through Abraham.
Romans 5 Righteousness is imparted to us through Jesus Christ
Romans 6 Righteousness is perceived when we are raised up from baptism (death) into new life
Romans 7. Righteousness is perfected when we overcome self and make Jesus Christ Lord of our lives.
Romans 8 Righteousness is fulfilled by us who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit.
Chapter 7 goes over the battle we have with our flesh. The Spirit of God tells us to do righteous acts. Self, controlled by flesh says no, do what you want to do.
Romans 8:5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
Romans 8:6 For to be carnally minded [is] death; but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace.
An English teacher told me we get our word carnival from the word carnal. The idea is doing what makes us happy with no restraints whatsoever, as we would at a carnival with the rides, shows and food.
Romans 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
Adam discovered Romans 8:8 to be true before it was written
Thank God for verse 9, 10 and 11.
Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
Romans 8:10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
There are so many promises guaranteed to us if we will allow the Spirit of God to do His work of producing righteousness in us.
So many want to claim the promises of the last 10 verses of this chapter without knowing the reality of verses 12, 13, 14.
Romans 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
Romans 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
God never leads unless we obey. God always leads us into Righteousness. Perfected righteousness is nothing more than us being conformed into the image of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Being a believer and living in this body of flesh guarantees conflict.
God's will for us is to be like the last Adam, Jesus Christ. Before Adam sinned he was a type of Jesus Christ. Christ's work is to transform us back into the unfallen state Adam was in before sinning.
Being changed into the Image of Christ is a miraculous feat.
Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Transformation is a miraculous process. The Greek word is metamorphoo. It is the process that takes place when a worm will spin a cocoon around itself and go through the change of becoming a butterfly.
Science can't explain metamorphous. It's scientific impossible to change from a worm to a butterfly but yet it happens.
When the power of God produces Jesus Christ in us, it's a miracle. It can't be explained nor fathomed by someone who has no spiritual understanding.
The vehicle that is responsible for our transformation is our mind. God has to renew our minds. Renew means to make it think in a new way.
Paul said in Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
As we yield ourselves to the power of Christ in us, His power changes our minds so that we think on things of the Lord.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
As the power of God changes our minds we overcome the desires of the flesh and then we produce righteous living.
There are no shortcuts.
Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
One more thought from Hebrews.
Hebrews 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which [be] the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
Hebrews 5:13 For every one that useth milk [is] unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
Hebrews 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, [even] those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
As long as believers are on milk they are unskilled in the word of righteousness.
If we want all of Christ we have to understand righteousness living and allow righteousness to be produced in us by the power of God. The mature person is one who has over come flesh. They're walking in newness of life in Jesus Christ.
Revelations 21:7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.