Thursday, January 11, 2018

Luther: the flesh in Romans

Thursday, January 11, 2018
    Commemoration of Mary Slessor, Missionary in West Africa, 1915
     For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
    —Romans 8:5 (KJV)
    [Of Romans 8:4-13]
    You must not understand flesh here as denoting only unchastity or spirit as denoting only the inner heart. Here St. Paul calls flesh (as does Christ in John 3) everything born of flesh, i.e. the whole human being with body and soul, reason and senses, since everything in him tends toward the flesh. That is why you should know enough to call that person “fleshly” who, without grace, fabricates, teaches and chatters about high spiritual matters. You can learn the same thing from Galatians, chapter 5, where St. Paul calls heresy and hatred works of the flesh. And in Romans, chapter 8, he says that, through the flesh, the law is weakened. He says this, not of unchastity, but of all sins, most of all of unbelief, which is the most spiritual of vices.
    ... Martin Luther (1483-1546), “Preface to the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans”, par. 17 (see the book)
    See also Rom. 8:4-13; John 3:6; 2 Cor. 10:3-5; Gal. 5:19-21
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, grant me a heart that follows the way of the Spirit.
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