For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die—Rom. 8: 13.
What is it to live after the flesh? We answer, It is to live after, in conformity to, and in gratification of, the inclinations and cravings of the fallen human nature. And it is the easiest thing possible to do this. All we have to do is just listlessly to abandon ourselves to the current of our old nature, and cease to strive against it. As soon as we do this, we begin to float down the stream, and by and by we find the current more and more rapid and resistance more and more difficult.
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The flesh is both the natural and the acquired sinful disposition, as well as the natural and acquired selfish disposition. To live after these would therefore mean to act out the principles of the natural and acquired depravity, as well as those of the natural and acquired selfishness. Such a course will kill the new heart, mind and will; and since the humanity is offered as a sacrifice, it is inevitable that those individuals who backslide, and who continue to live after the flesh, must eventually die and remain dead forever.
Parallel passages: Job 4: 8; Prov. 14: 12; Matt. 26: 41; Rom. 6; 8: 4-12; Gal. 6: 7, 8; Heb. 6: 4-8; 10: 26-31; Jas. 1: 15; 4: 4; 2Pet. 2: 20-22; 1John 5: 16; Jude 11-13; 2Cor. 6: 16; Eph. 4: 22.
Questions: What were this week's experiences in relation to this text? How were they met? What were the helps, hindrances and results?
A DEAD SEA OR A GALILEE?
LIFE adorns the Sea of Galilee:
Its bosom teems with fish; its shores are green;
But to the south there lies the Salty Sea,
So desolate: no fish, no life is seen.
And yet from Jordan's waters both receive.
Then why doth one have life; the other death?
'Tis Nature's law, to take and then to give;
For every breath we take we give a breath.
The Dead Sea drinks far more than Galilee,
But has no outlet in its selfishness;
While Galilee bestows its bounties free—
It issues forth its life mankind to bless.
Am I a Dead Sea, or a Galilee?
More blessed 'tis to give than to receive;
If I confine my thoughts to my and me
I'll not bless others, but myself deceive.
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