Living by Grace

Dedicated to providing guidance in daily living through the power of God's grace as experienced in our union with Christ.

Battle for the Body


For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.  Galatians 5:17


There will always be a battle in the heart of the believer until he experiences his spiritual crucifixion, burial, and resurrection. The battle is between the flesh—the sin nature—and the Holy Spirit. The main aspect of the battle is who will control the believer’s body. The Spirit and the flesh both seek to be in control.


Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it [believer’s body] in its lusts.  Romans 6:12


Consider the desire of the flesh to be in control. The command to the believer, not to let sin reign in his body, is in a verb tense of continual action. That fact implies that the flesh has an unrelenting desire to control the believer’s body. The command is for the believer to be unrelenting in his attempt to prevent his flesh from controlling his body. This command is obeyed by refusing to live out of one’s know-it-all attitude.


The word “it” in verse 12 refers to the believer’s body. When the sin nature is in control of our bodies, we obey our bodies. According to Romans 6:13, when we give the control of our bodies to our sin nature the result is always unrighteousness.


Now consider God’s desire to be in control of the believer’s body.


… [present] your members as instruments of righteousness to God. Romans 6:13


Obeying the commands concerning sin’s control or God’s control of the body is left to the discretion of the believer. The believer makes the choice of who will control him. When the flesh has control of our bodies, we obey the lusts of our bodies. When God is in control of our bodies, He will do works of righteousness through our bodies.


The issue of who controls the believer’s body is settled when a child of God chooses to experience his union with Christ in his spiritual crucifixion, burial and resurrection.