A Clay Jar

Encouraging, comforting, and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory. (1 Thess. 2:12 NIV)

What Does it Mean to be in the Flesh?

Romans 8:8

Published on:

Last Updated on:

Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

Romans 8:8 NET

We divide people in many ways today–gender, color, ethnicity or nationality, education, social status, political leanings, or sexuality. But Paul talks here about another, more significant divide. Are you in Christ, following the lead of the Holy Spirit? Or are you in the flesh, following your own desires?

For those who are in Christ, living according to the Spirit, there is no condemnation (Rom. 8:1). They have put to death the misdeeds of the flesh and are now children of God (Rom. 8:13:14).

But those who are in the flesh cannot please God. They are hostile to God, and their future is death (Rom. 8:6-7).

In the Flesh

So, what does it mean to be “in the flesh?” This is humanity’s natural state. To be in the flesh is to have a human perspective on life and the world around us (Rom. 8:5). It is living to satisfy one’s own desires. When you are in the flesh, you are on the throne of your life.

A life lived in the flesh is not necessarily a bad life. One who is in the flesh might live a morally upright life, be generous to those in need, and work to make the world a better place. They might call themselves Christians, be regular in church attendance, and support the church with their money and time. But if the Spirit does not lead them, they are in the flesh.

Led by the Spirit

A person led by the Spirit may outwardly look very similar to the one described in the previous paragraph. But there is one significant difference. Who is in charge?

If I am in charge, doing what seems best to me, then I am in the flesh. And it makes no difference how good my life might be. I cannot please God.

But if Jesus is Lord, not just in word, but in truth, I will listen to the Spirit and follow where he leads. And my life will be pleasing to God.

Related Posts

Equipping for Works of Service – Ephesians 4:11-12

God has placed leaders within the church, not to do the work of the church, but to equip the rest of us for doing the work of the church.

Dead to Sin, but Alive in Christ – Romans 6:11

As a believer, I join Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection. My life should reflect that, being dead to sin and alive in Christ.

Those Who Minister in Obscurity – Psalm 134:1-2

Has God called you to serve, or minister, behind the scenes in obscurity? Then rejoice that he is using you, and lift your hands in praise.

Living As a Temporary Resident of Earth – Genesis 23:3-4

Abraham lived as a temporary resident in Canaan. And he serves as a model for believers today, living as temporary residents of the earth.

Additional Related Posts

If you have found value in this post, please consider sharing it with your friends.

Subscribe to A Clay Jar

If you have found value in this post, please consider subscribing to A Clay Jar so that you don't miss any other posts. 

Ed Jarrett

Just an old clay jar that God continues to see fit to use in his kingdom's work. I am retired, married with 2 children, and 4 grandchildren. I have followed Jesus for many years. And I love to share what He has given me from His word.

A Note to Readers

The views expressed here are solely mine and do not necessarily reflect those of any other person, group, or organization. While I believe they reflect the teachings of the Bible, I am a fallible human and subject to misunderstanding. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions about this post in the comments section below. I am always interested in your feedback.

Leave a Comment