Our flesh is made up of our body and soul. On the contrary, our soul is made up of our mind, emotions, and will. The spirit is separate from the soul. We are a triune being made up of spirit, soul, and body (see 1Thess 5:23). When we are born again, our spirit is what is regenerated and comes alive through believing in the finished work of Christ on the Cross. Jesus’ death on the cross redeemed us from the law of sin and death. As a result, we now have eternal life in Him. This is what Jesus promised those who receive Him as Lord and Saviour and confess that He is risen from the dead (see Romans 10:9).
Our body and soul are not redeemed through the Cross. In addition, our soul is being sanctified through us bearing our cross. What does it mean to bear our cross? It is to deny oneself of all selfish desires. We say no to these desires and choose to serve others rather than self. The Bible states that in the world there is the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (see1 John 2:15). These are what cause us to sin.
When we are tempted to give in to our selfish desires originating from our eyes or our pride, resulting in jealousy, envy, and rebellion, then we come under the control of our flesh. However, there is one solution. The only solution is to reckon ourselves dead to these lusts. This is to deny our self and crucify our flesh. This is to take up our cross, thus identifying with Christ’s death on the Cross. We were crucified with Him (see Gal 2:20) and thus He helps us to overcome. This is the process of sanctification where we become like Jesus.
This whole process appears like hard work. However, Jesus has given us a way to do this. He has given us His Holy Spirit to help us. His Holy Spirit resides in our spirit and enables us to overcome the desires of our flesh. All we need to do is surrender our will to Him. Our will determines who is in charge. God has given us free will. As a result, this means that He has given us the choice to follow Jesus or reject Him. The more we surrender to Him, the more we become like Him. Jesus said to His Father, Not my will but Thine be done. We must have the same attitude each time we are tempted. Death to the flesh is the only way to live an abundant life. Be filled in the Spirit and overflow and be an overcomer.