I know Mike Andrews.....I know him really well...and I’m sure you can say the same thing about yourself!
- I know what my passions are.
- I know what my desires are.
- I know what I like and dislike.
- I know what I’m capable of.
- I know what can so easily distract me.
- I know that I am a sinner who needs to be put into submission every day by a holy God.
- I know that in me nothing good dwells!
It makes us depend on self instead of God......Jerome says “A false interpretation of Scripture causes that the gospel of the Lord becomes the gospel of man, or, which is worse, of the devil”. We are to rejoice in the Lord always!! And we watching or looking out for dogs who are evildoers. Now Paul turns to himself! Why Because He knows Paul.......just as I know Mike! Paul gives us 7 reasons why we should never put our faith in the flesh especially when it comes to salvation and eternal life!
1. THE FLESH WILL NEVER ATTAIN SALVATION AND ETERNAL BY RITUALS
Paul was circumcised which was a major issue for the Judaizers “circumcised on the eighth day” (Gen 17:10-11) This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. Paul was a Jew by birth and followed the Jewish rituals from the beginning. Following rituals does not make you a Christian any more than Paul did by following the rules and regulations. Being of the circumcision on the eighth day does not make you a Christian. Coming to church every Sunday does not make you a Christian. Why? Because “In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ,” Col 2:11. He even says it here in the passage of scripture "we are the true worshipper"
2. THE FLESH WILL NEVER ATTAIN SALVATION AND ETERNAL LIFE BY RACE
Paul was born a Jew “of the people of Israel” All true Jews were descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.........Paul’s Jewish heritage was PURE! But race does not matter where you are from, you do not have to be Jewish in order to attain Salvation. You win no favour with God by who you are born into WHERE A Jewish family or Christian family. Remember what Paul wrote in Romans 3:9-12 “What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one."
3. THE FLESH WILL NEVER ATTAIN SALVATION AND ETERNAL LIFE BY RANK
“of the tribe of Benjamin ” Paul came from the line of Benjamin, he came from one of the elite tribes of Israel. One of the most prominent tribes in Israel, the direct line from the last son of Jacob, the second son Rachel......Benjamin. Israel’s first king came from the line of Benjamin (1 Sam 9:21). But see it does not matter who you are born into too! Again being brought up in a Christian home does not make everyone in the house a Christian. Again going back to what Paul the believers in Romans 3:20-23 “For by works of the law no human being will be justified in His sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”
4. THE FLESH WILL NEVER ATTAIN SALVATION AND ETERNAL LIFE THROUGH TRADITION
Paul stayed and remained a Jew following all the tradition of the Hebrew culture according to the Old Testament Law “a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law” But again this does not bring salvation....because no one can fulfill the Law of God.....(Rom 3:20) "For by works of the law no human being will be justified in His sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin."
5. THE FLESH WILL NEVER ATTAIN SALVATION AND ETERNAL LIFE THROUGH RELIGION
“as to the law, a Pharisee” Paul a Pharisee of Pharisee’s a devout man of the Law.....Pharisee’s were known for their legalistic Judaism. “Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, "Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat." He answered them, "And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God commanded, 'Honor your father and your mother,' and, 'Whoever reviles (speak evil of) father or mother must surely die.' But you say, 'If anyone tells his father or his mother, What you would have gained from Me is given to God, he need not honor his father.' So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God. You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: "'This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me” in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'" Matt 15:1-9
6. THE FLESH WILL NEVER ATTAIN SALVATION AND ETERNAL LIFE THROUGH SINCERITY
“as to zeal, a persecutor of the church” Paul’s zealous but misguided love for God caused him to hate and persecute the Church “though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.” 1 Tim 1:13-15
7. THE FLESH WILL NEVER ATTAIN SALVATION AND ETERNAL LIFE BY LEGALISTIC RIGHTEOUSNESS
Paul was a model Jew who lived by the Law and was about to die by the Law until the Holy Spirit showed him his true heart “What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, "You shall not covet." But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. Apart from the law, sin lies dead. I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died. The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me.” Rom 7:7-10. See we need to understand what the flesh does to person!
- It leads to self righteous good intentions
- It leads to a false view of Scripture and His salvation by grace alone through Christ alone
- It leads to me centered worship
- It deceives the mind and consequently damns the soul to eternal punishment