Spirit vs Flesh

Ephesians 4 and Colossians 3: Our Christian Walk

I took sections of scripture from Ephesians 4 and Colossians 3, which are mirror books of each other. The goal was to find out exactly how we are to live in this world, and what our walk as a Christ follower should entail. Between the two books in the sections I mentioned are found many instructions given to the believer that show just how our conduct should be in every aspect of life. The idea was to take both the book of Ephesians and Colossians and go through them line by line and form them into one cohesive all-encompassing unit of instruction to follow.

I started with Colossians 3:1-17, and Ephesians 4:17-31 and found a few major points that stood out and tied together. The first has to do with having an enlightened understanding in your heart that we are seated with Christ, and our life is hidden with Him, and we will appear with Him in Glory. With this revelation knowledge of our new life that is created in God’s image of righteousness and holiness in truth we are then instructed to put off the old corrupt nature and its deceitful desires. Both books deep dive immediately into specific instructions as to how to do this. Here are the main things of the flesh we should abandon.

  • Put away lying – speak truth.
  • Put off anger and wrath.
  • Put off unforgiveness and strife.
  • Keep your mouth from saying anything corrupt.
  • Do not steal – work with your hands and make an honest life.

Here are the main things of the Spirit we should put on.

  • Kindness and tender mercies.
  • Humility and meekness.
  • Forgive as Christ forgave us.
  • Love – the bond of perfection.
  • Peace should rule in your heart.
  • Thankfulness – doing all in His Name.

This is a good snapshot of how we are to live our new life. It is straightforward practical instruction on how to live the victorious life that Jesus paid for us. When put into action it is power that transforms us into a brand-new person, one that is righteous and holy. When the Bible speaks of renewing your mind and presenting your body as a living sacrifice in the book of Romans, these scriptures from Colossians and Ephesians are the how to of that. All throughout the New Testament epistles this theme of getting rid of the flesh and putting on the things of the Spirit is shown. I want to go further into what the flesh is and how to overcome it. Because crucifying the flesh is a critical step in being transformed into who we are truly meant to be.

So, what is the flesh? It is a mindset, a pattern of thinking opposite to the Spirit. The flesh cannot believe the Word of God. When Colossians and Ephesians speak of putting off those deeds of the flesh it is referring to changing your thought system to faith. Rather than having a limited vision of just what is within us (flesh), we are to set our minds to the things which are above (Spirit). It is clear we are to look to Jesus perfect, finished work and live in our position as a joint heir of the Kingdom of God. He gave us His Holy Spirit and we have the ability and power to follow the instructions given in these scriptures. We have the love of God in our hearts! We have His peace! We have His joy! His righteousness! His holiness! His healing power! We have everything we need for life and Godliness! The same power that raised Christ from the dead dwells in us and quickens our mortal bodies.

When you get a true revelation knowledge of these things, it becomes so easy to live in victory. The battle has already been won, and we aren’t to struggle in our Christian walk. It is more a matter of just submitting to the Lord and yielding to His Holy Spirit. It isn’t hard to walk in love or forgive, you simply must yield to His love inside of you. The key is keeping our mind renewed to who the Bible says you are and what you have in Him. Keeping our eyes fixed on Him and our mind stayed on Him. The challenge becomes monitoring our thoughts and putting them through a filter of the Word of God. If the thought is not coming from a place of victory, and a place of faith we are to discard it.

All old mentalities that try to creep back in have to be dealt with directly. How is this done? That is where the next part of the scriptures in Ephesians and Colossians come in. We are to put on the new man using our knowledge of the Word of God, which effectively becomes our defense against the flesh and the devil. Then we are to use the Word of God, our sword, to speak out and go on the offense to win the victory. This is shown at the end of the scriptures from Colossians and Ephesians where it says to be filled with the Spirit, speaking to yourself in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs. As you stay in the Spirit the battle is won because the flesh and Spirit are opposed to one another.

In closing, the key points found in Colossians and Ephesians give us a blueprint on how we can successfully walk in victory and power in the Spirit. The flesh must be dealt with by getting rid of the old mentalities that are associated with our fallen nature. How do we do this? By putting on the new man and relying on the power of the Holy Spirit in us. The challenge is keeping a watch on our thoughts and continually keeping our mind renewed to who it is He says we are in His Word. Guarding our words to only speak faith, and power, and victory.