Like oil and water is the flesh of man and the Spirit of God. The flesh is corrupted by sin, both by Adam’s original choice and by the choice of every single human being since Adam to rebel against God and do things our own way. This corruption is all encompassing and permeates the entire physical plane (all of God’s created works) as well as man’s spirit, which died the day that Sin came in to the world.
Spiritually dead and physically corrupted, living in a fallen world where creation itself bares the curse and scars of Sin. This is the condition of every human being on planet earth and would be the whole story and the complete picture if it weren’t for God’s plan to save us from Sin and to redeem us unto Himself through His Son Jesus Christ.
Salvation by faith in Jesus Christ allows God to put His Spirit in to each one of us. We exchange our former spiritual death with new spiritual life by the Holy Spirit coming to abide in us. Which brings us back to our original statement about oil and water and the flesh versus the Spirit.
God made our bodies. The Psalmist, King David said “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.” (Psalm 139:14) We are each crafted by God’s divine hand and God loves us each as a whole person, flesh, spirit and soul. But the flesh now resides in a state of corruption. It is beset by sickness, pain, aging, weakness, failing strength and ultimately, death. None of these things were originally in God’s plan but have all been brought about by Sin.
God’s ultimate solution to this is to one day give us new bodies that are perfect and free from Sin’s influence. Those bodies will never know pain or sorrow or sickness or death. They will be wonderful and marvelous. But before that can happen we must choose Jesus on this side of eternity. We must put our faith in the only One who can save our souls and remake our bodies. But I am getting ahead of myself.
Until that day when the Lord calls us home to receive our reward or comes back again, how do we allow God’s Spirit in us to flourish while still living with this corrupted, imperfect flesh? Because we know what the flesh wants. It wants to glorify self (selfishness) and to devise evil that will ultimately reap destruction on ourselves and everyone we influence.
The good news is, we have a choice and God has given us the power to choose good over evil. One of the many benefits of salvation and the Holy Spirit residing in us is that we no longer have to walk in darkness and practice evil. Those old ways and habits can be put to death, if we choose God’s way instead of our own way. Spending time in God’s Word in prayer and meditation, making it a point to gather together with other believers for fellowship and corporate worship and seeking His way instead of our old, selfish ways will slowly transform us in to mature and complete children of God that bear little to no resemblance to our former selves.
God’s gift to us is the clean, pure water of His Spirit poured into and onto our old lives and old selves. In comparison, our natural selves are like the foulest and blackest oil and without drastic measures, the two can’t and won’t ever mix. But praise be to God for His indescribable gift of salvation that changed our fates!
We can live the life of the redeemed here on this Earth. God has given us the power to do so through His Holy Spirit within us. We must practice faith and feed the Spirit while giving no occasion to the flesh and God will handle the rest.
I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin. Romans 7:21-25 (NASB)