Diagnosing The Flesh

magnifying glassOne of the primary tasks in Exchanged Life Counseling is to take the client’s panoramic life history in order to clarify their unique version of the flesh. This helps them deny their natural source of life, and appropriate Christ as Life (Luke 9:23; Col. 3:4).

Reginald Wallace identified the devil as our infernal enemy (1 Per. 5:8,9), the world system as our external enemy (1 John 2:15), and the flesh as our internal enemy (Gal. 5:16,17).

When a prominent devotional writer was asked about “the flesh” he replied that Theology had still not defined it. That comment was made about 20 years ago. We seek to serve the Body of Christ by contributing to this definition process.

What is “the flesh”? The flesh remains in the believer’s mortal body after salvation (Rom. 7:18). It makes him vulnerable to a carnal (fleshly) condition in his personality (1 Cor. 3:3) if/when he walks according to the flesh instead of the Spirit (Rom. 8:3-5;13:14). Here is a recent paper on defining the flesh: Flesh – Body of Sin  (See also under Doctrinal Matters menu.) And here are a couple of relevant Grace Notes:

Well-Adjusted Flesh

Maladjusted Flesh

As in all matters, balance and clarity are needed. “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16).


Saint or Sinner?

saintsAm I ‘only a sinner saved by grace’? As Exchanged Life disciplers, we are alert to this sentiment that relates directly to the issue of identity. I addressed this topic in a Grace Note article … hopefully in a way that’s persuasive without being combative. – JBW

Are you “only a sinner” saved by grace?

As an evangelical Christian, this is probably a statement you’re familiar with. It sounds right, but is it?

I regularly hear that this sentiment is all to common in conservative church circles. Why is that?

1. The good old hymn declares, “I’m only a sinner saved by grace!” We sing it with glee and gratitude.

2. Salvation is by grace alone through true faith that flows from a repentant heart. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Eph. 2:8,9).

3. Liberal Christianity needs to discover that the gospel is more than trying to follow the example and ethics of Jesus. “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior” (Titus 3:5,6).

4. Even as children of God, we still fall short and sometimes sin: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8;see James 3:2).

Then why are we scrutinizing this popular sentiment? Because it is not true. In Christ, your identity is “saint,” not “sinner” (Eph. 1:15,18)! If you love truth, hang in there and consider the rest of this brief Bible study.  Continue reading…