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The War Between Spirit & Flesh

Updated: Sep 8, 2021

Armando Gutierrez

For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. (Galatians 5:17)

The opposition between the spirit and the flesh and vice versa is a conflict of wills rooted in conflicting desires. And these only emerge in those of us who have been born again of the Spirit. Our new birth is a marvelous multi-faceted miraculous reality that transcends time, matter and space because we now live in two invisible spiritual, geographical realms or realities simultaneously. First, we died, and our life is now hidden with God in Christ Jesus, our Lord. And second, because Christ Jesus, our Lord, is now in us. (Cp. Col. 1:27 and 3:3)

On the day we call Good Friday, as our Lord hung on the cross, the entire human race (all who had lived before Jesus, those who were alive while He was crucified, and those of us who had not been born) was grafted into the Messiah physical body. The giving of His body is how He paid for the sins of the world and how He who knew no sin became sin. So, this is how we got to be in Christ Jesus. Then because of His resurrection, ascension, and seating, the moment we believed in His name or received Him as our Lord and Savior, we were born again, and He came into us by the Holy Spirit. And that's how Christ Jesus came to be in us! He is now seated in the heaven of the heavens, at God the Father's right hand, and we are seated with Him. But at the same time, He is also on earth building His ecclesia in us and through us. Therefore, for the rest of the time, we are to live on this earth; we are to know and experience Him as our very life; He in us and us in Him.

Most Christians, I know, only know that their sins were laid on Jesus; very few seem to know, let alone understand, the New Testament revelation of the human race being grafted into the body of Jesus on the cross of Calvary. In His perfect plan and purpose, this spiritual grafting is how God takes you and me out of the Adamic family, which propagates flesh giving birth to flesh and puts us into Himself, the Messianic Hebrew family head who is a life-giving Spirit.

Our spiritual rebirth entails being born of God and being adopted by God. But how can both be true? It seems that it's either one or the other. So, which is it? Am I born of God and have His divine spiritual DNA as His child? Or am I simply adopted into His family through the price Christ Jesus' sacrifice accomplished? And the answer is yes, to both questions. It's not a matter of one or the other but both-and. The same perplexing and conflicting dynamic surfaces when the apostle Paul tells the Corinthian believers that "we have the mind of Christ." But then turns around and tells the Roman believers "be transformed by the renewal of your mind." If it's true that we have the mind of Christ Jesus, why would the mind of Christ Jesus need to be renewed? Because both of Paul's declarations are true. To understand these paradoxes, they need the context of our trinitarian constitutional recreation in Christ Jesus, as spirit, soul, and body.

We were created in the trinitarian image and likeness of the God who has revealed Himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. But our first parent's rebellion produced the spiritual death of the human race. The image