We learn a great deal about the flesh from Romans 8:1-13:
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
9But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. 12Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. Romans 8:1 – 13 (NKJV)
Here are some facts from this passage:
The believer is not “in the flesh” – vs 9
The flesh opposes the Spirit – vs 7
The believer can live according to the way of the flesh – vss 12-13
There are some things we should understand about the flesh. First, the flesh is not the same as the “old nature” or “sin nature”. Some have linked the flesh to the sin nature and have caused confusion that has led to discouragement. The old nature (if we have to use that word) is the equivalent of the “old man” of Romans 6:6. The old man is that which bound us to Adam but has now been crucified with Christ. The old man has died, is dead, and will not live again. Believers were “in Adam” and now are “in Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:22) Galatians 2:20 says clearly that the life in us, as believers, is the life of Christ. The old man, that which we once were, no longer lives. But the flesh hangs on . . .