Bible Study Outlines – Our Sinful Flesh

[Editors Note: The author of the daily devotions did not create devotions for the 5th Sunday after Epiphany week, for the next seven days we will providing a selection of Bible Study Outlines for your daily reading and edification. We will resume with the daily devotions on Sunday 2/12]

 Bible Study Outlines


I. What is to be understood by the word “flesh”?

A. In this connection flesh does not refer to the body of a person (all flesh is as grass), but to the whole nature of a person which has been corrupted by original sin. John 3:6; Romans 7:20,23; Romans 8:7; 1 Corinthians 2:14

B. To the flesh are ascribed:

  1. Lusts and passions. Galatians 5:16,24
  2. Works. Galatians 5:19-21


II. The flesh still adheres to the Christian.

A. By faith in Christ a Christian is a “new man” (Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10), but in this life the Christian retains his sinful nature (Ephesians 4:22; 2 Corinthians 4:16; Romans 7:18).

B. There is a constant struggle going on within a Christian between his new nature and his old nature. Galatians 5:17; Romans 7:18-25

C. There is no such thing as perfect sanctification in this life for the Christian. Romans 7:18-19; 1 John 1:8; Hebrews 12:1. Think also of the sins and imperfections of Abraham (Genesis 12); Hezekiah (2 Kings 20; Elijah (1 Kings 19); Peter (Matthew 19; Galatians 2); Paul (Romans 7); Sarah (Genesis 18); David (2 Samuel 11).

D. Show that imperfection dare not serve as an excuse to serve the flesh. Ephesians 5:5-7


III. Our sinful flesh—

A. does not understand spiritual things. I Corinthians 2:14

B. is an enemy of God. Romans 8:7

C. does not want to do good, but seeks to avoid it by excuses. Genesis 6:5; Romans 10:21

D. does not want to bear the cross, but seeks only “good times”. Luke 12:19

E. wars unceasingly against the “new man” in the Christian. 1 Peter 2:11


IV. What shall we do with our sinful flesh?

A. In this life we Christians cannot escape from our sinful flesh. It does no good to lead a life of seclusion. (Monastery, etc.) John 17:15; Romans 7:18

B. We should subdue and suppress the flesh. Galatians 5:24; Romans 8:13; Matt. 18:8-9

  1. This does not mean self-mutilation and self-torture, but rather that under no circumstances the flesh be given its way. Think of the Apostle Paul! 1 Corinthians 9:27; Galatians 2:20
  2. We should avoid all opportunity to sin. I Corinthians 6:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:22
  3. Be careful lest we place undue emphasis upon the body. 1 Timothy 4:8; Matthew 6:25; Matthew 10:28


V. The Christian’s battle against his flesh—

A. does not only consist in refraining from grievous outward sins, but also in striving after pure thoughts, desires and words. Psalm 51:10

B. is difficult. Romans 7:19-24

C. is a slow process. Philippians 3:15


VI. The only means which helps us to be victorious over our sinful flesh is the Gospel of our blessed Savior. Romans 12: 1; 1 John 4:11,19; Philippians 4:13


VII. Other weapons of which we Christians can make use in our battle against our flesh are:

A. diligent prayer. Matthew 26:41

B. earnest reflection upon our frail life and brief time in this world. Psalm 39:4-5

C. the certainty of the coming Judgement. 2 Peter 3

D. moderation in eating, drinking, etc. Ephesians 5:18; Philippians 4:5


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