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The children of the flesh are convinced of their conversion. This conviction is given by man and not by the Spirit of God. Your fleshly nature counteracts the faith, in spite of their religiosity. These people, when they are in the church, subject to the climate of faith there. But, if they are in an environment that is contrary to the faith, they will absorb the doubts sown there.
Those who are born of the flesh is like the moon, who does not have their own light and lives off of sunlight. So are the children of the flesh; while they are in the church, their faith, apparently, is on the rise. They believe blindly in the Word preached there. However, when they leave that environment of faith, they easily let doubts come into action. In short: They are a person in the church and another outside. How can someone want to win their daily struggles if not in himself the steadfastness of faith?
The struggle of the human being is strictly spiritual and confines itself to the spiritual field of each one, in their interior. If the interior is strong, the victory will reflect in your exterior; but, if the interior is weak, the defeat will also be reflected in your exterior.
The strength of the interior is in the faith established by the Word of God. It is the intelligent faith that speaks in regards to reason, intellect, mind, or spirit. When Paul says that we have the mind of Christ, he is referring precisely to the thoughts of the Lord Jesus. Those born of the Spirit has the thoughts of God.
But the same is not true with the children of the flesh, because, despite believing in God, they cultivate only the faith in the heart, without the use of intelligence, i.e., emotional faith. This type of faith is circumstantial and has no result. This is why most “believers” live at the margin, in total failure.
The fleshly nature plasters inner strength, making the rational faith inoperable. Therefore, the Apostle Paul says: ” For 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 8:13
We can better understand this word in the following way: if we live pleasing our will, we will walk to hell. But if we live fulfilling the will of the Holy Spirit, causing the death of our personal desires, certainly we will be saved.
To mortify the deeds of the body means to avoid actions that run counter to the will of God. While “alive”, the flesh can be stimulated by unclean spirits to do what the person does not wish to be done. But, if you deny yourself, by mortifying the flesh. Consequently, the spiritual forces of evil will be inhibited.
If a person goes on pages of pornography on the internet, for example, it is obvious that they are prostituting with their eyes. On this type of attitude, the Lord Jesus says: “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:28
When you determine to act contrary to your own will and obey the Word of God, the Holy Spirit, the One who give you the new birth, will make those born of the flesh a new creature.
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(*) Text is taken from the book “Messages from the bishop Macedo”