Make No Provision for the Flesh

The only way we can be like Jesus is if we behold him.

2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord.

By looking and letting our minds eye absorb Jesus Christ, we would be changed from glory to glory. We can’t look at Jesus unless we walk with Him. Does Jesus stand still? The rich young ruler had an opportunity presented before him.

Matthew 19:16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?

What did Jesus say to him?

Matthew 19:17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? [there is] none good but one, [that is], God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

In the response, Jesus says no one is good except God. Then the good thing that he needs to do to have eternal life is keep the commandments.

Matthew 19:18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,

19:19 Honour thy father and [thy] mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

19:20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?

19:21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go [and] sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come [and] follow me.

Do you want to be perfect? Sell everything you’ve got and follow Jesus. This means everything needs to be surrendered to him. In discipleship, if we love anything more than Him, we are not worthy of Him, to be His disciple. He’s saying the same thing to the rich young ruler. Everything has to be subservient to Him and follow Him. Do you want to be perfect? Then we need to follow Him. We need to look where He is going.

Matthew 19:22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

19:23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.

19:24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

19:25 When his disciples heard [it], they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?

19:26 But Jesus beheld [them], and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

This is a rich passage of scripture. The young man was wanting to do something good to get to Heaven. No one is good except God. Do we have to be good to go to heaven? Yes, but no one is good but God. That is a high standard. With men it is impossible but with God all things are possible.

Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

1:27 So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, [it was] very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

When God created man he was very good; perfect. When the young ruler said, what good thing can I do? Jesus said, be like God. He thought he had done this from his youth up but he hadn’t. By beholding you become changed.

Psalms 34:12 What man [is he that] desireth life, [and] loveth [many] days, that he may see good?

34:13 Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.

34:14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.

If you desire life, do good. How many Christians think they do good? Doing good is tied up with the lips, departing from evil, seeking peace and doing it. Jesus name is the Prince of Peace. Pursue it. Chase after it. Jesus is saying, come and follow Me. If you’re not good, you can’t be in front of the good God. What does God really want?

Micah 6:6 Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, [and] bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old?

6:7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, [or] with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn [for] my transgression, the fruit of my body [for] the sin of my soul?

6:8 He hath showed thee, O man, what [is] good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

That’s the answer to the rich young ruler. What good thing can I do to inherit eternal life? Human nature is always looking to do something other than what is required. What is required? Do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God. This is what Jesus answered to the rich young ruler. But the rich young ruler didn’t want to hear that. These three things are the three elements for perfection. If any of those are lacking it’s not perfect. Those three things are good. If you don’t have all three, it’s not good like God is. To walk with God requires humility.

Matthew 22:35 Then one of them, [which was] a lawyer, asked [him a question], tempting him, and saying,

22:36 Master, which [is] the great commandment in the law?

22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

22:38 This is the first and great commandment.

22:39 And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

The rich young ruler didn’t keep the commandments like he thought he did. Everything hangs on those two principles but people use that to get rid of the law. Hangs means rely upon, not get rid of.

Galatians 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, [even] in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

How much do you love yourself? The amount that you love yourself and love your neighbour the same.

Galatians 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, [even] in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

5:15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.

5:16 [This] I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

The flesh of the rich young ruler was the thing that prevented him from doing the thing that he wanted to do. The flesh is always going to get in the way of fulfilling the law of love.

Galatians 5:18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

5:20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

5:21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

You can’t love and hate; have peace and strife, a desire to equal or excel others or insight rebellion. They that do such things cannot inherit the kingdom of God.

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

5:24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

5:26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Here is the full contrast between the flesh and the spirit. If we are Christs we have crucified the flesh which is all these things. They are crucified with the affections and the lusts. Jesus took these to the cross. That is what He destroyed.

Romans 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

8:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

No one is good but God. Humanity isn’t good. The law cannot be kept in the flesh because the flesh does all those things we read of in Galatians 5:19-21. The flesh is carnal and is enmity with God. All the sins were laid in Jesus body and he condemned them in the flesh. If you are Christs you have condemned those things in the flesh and you can follow Him. How can you go to Calvary if you don’t give up those things? Behold Him and see how everything was subservient to God’s ways.

Romans 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

13:9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if [there be] any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

13:10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love [is] the fulfilling of the law.

13:11 And that, knowing the time, that now [it is] high time to awake out of sleep: for now [is] our salvation nearer than when we believed.

13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

13:13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.

13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to [fulfil] the lusts [thereof].

Why? Because our salvation is nearer than we believe. The standards themselves don’t save us. The standards prevent the principles in our flesh from coming out. They also relate to how we love our neighbour. Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ. That is perfection. In Him is perfect justice, perfect mercy and perfect relationship with God. As we walk with Jesus and observe how He dealt with humanity and how He related with the Father, that is what we need to imitate. That is fulfilling the law. That is perfection. That requires the casting off of everything.

Amen.

Posted on February 4, 2011, in Prayer Meeting Sermonettes, Sermons For Sabbath. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Leslie Emmanuel Mulemena

    Yielding to the lusts of the flesh is detrimental to our salvation. The very fact that love eludes our nature qualifies us for destruction. Most will go to giving up their own lives to attain what is love in the eyes of man and still not reach the level of peace spoken in the love of God. So we cry, ‘it is then impossible to enter therein.’ when Jesus says ‘ all things are possible with God’ He brings in the aspect of Divinity in our struggle to attain the perfect love of God. Jesus says, ‘it is to your advantage that I ascend to the Father, because I will send the Comforter, the Holy Spirit..’ He will be in you. To walk in the Spirit is to be obedient to the Word of God. In obedience the traits of His character are born in us not by our works but by the Holy Spirit in us.

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