God created us with three parts: spirit, soul, and body. Our spirit was redeemed through the new birth. Our soul is still in the process of redemption or sanctification. This separation is one way to understand ourselves. However, we cannot split ourselves this way because we are one whole being. Once we separate ourselves as parts we will become split persons; therein lies the disconnect. The trinity is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit yet they are one. We like to dissect and understand ourselves and how we operate but in this process of dissection comes our problems. We can only understand ourselves when we see ourselves as one, not as parts of one.
Part of the problem of separating our spirit from our flesh is to disconnect the two. Our flesh is prone to sin through temptations. The temptation is not the sin. Giving in to temptation is sin. One of the ways our early fathers dealt with the problem of the flesh was to disconnect it from the spirit. This led to the Victorian attitude of casting the flesh to damnation. The flesh can never be changed so give in to its desires.
This attitude means that we can sin in the flesh but our spirit is pure through redemption. This disconnect has seen many fall into sin and not feel any remorse. Our mind splits off this part of our self and in some cases is even unconscious of its existence called dissociation. This is a dangerous state of mind. This kind of operation may explain why we see some moral failures in our Christian leaders.
Romans 7 illustrates Paul’s dilemma clearly. I do what I don’t want to do. The solution is in Romans 8. We need to be filled with the Holy Spirit to be overcomers. There is no other way to defeat our flesh. Our flesh is prone to temptation and attacks from the devil. None of us are immune from attacks. Pride in its different faces will keep us prone to attacks. In the Spirit, we have a safe place to rest. In the Spirit, we are whole. Our flesh is submitted to the Spirit and God provides an escape for every temptation. His blood will cover us from satanic attacks. Our mind fixes on Him. This is our only hope till the day we die and go to be with Jesus.