(The Information & Edification Series – Batch 2)

As human beings, we love to talk about ourselves in a positive light and to think of ourselves in high and honourable terms. However, I put nothing past this wicked flesh of mine. I have no confidence in this flesh because I have realized, even from my own experiences, that in it lieth no good thing.

I must therefore keep praying that I do not betray the Lord Jesus Christ in my conduct and do not deny his name or my allegiance with him. I cannot take it for granted that I never will, as with the right set of circumstances, who knows what this wicked flesh within is capable of?

I must remain watchful and never stop praying that I be kept from temptation. For, as Jesus commented of his disciples in Matthew 26:40-41, while my spirit is willing, I know that my flesh is weak. It is not my friend, although it resides within. I must therefore always be alert and on my guard, pressing into and relying on God’s strength, to be delivered from the body of this death.

As a human being, never assume that you know yourself fully and the full extent of what you and your flesh are capable of and what you will or will not do in a given situation.

In the Bible, Peter, a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ, thought he knew himself completely and told the Lord Jesus that he would NEVER be offended because of him and would NEVER deny him, even if it meant that he had to die with him.


In Matthew 26:31, Jesus told his disciples: “…All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.”

Peter immediately retorted: “…Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I NEVER be offended.”

In response, Jesus, knowing Peter’s heart fully and more about Peter than Peter even knew about himself, told him that that very night and before the cock crowed, he would deny him, not one, not two but THREE times (Matthew 26:34).

Peter was convinced the Lord was wrong. For, he could never envision himself getting to a point where he would do what Jesus said, even if it meant he had to die for the name of Jesus. He therefore maintained: “…Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee.” (v.35)

This trend of thinking was also the same for the rest of the disciples. The Bible states that “…Likewise also said all the disciples.” (v. 35)

Just as Jesus prophesied though because he is all-knowing and he knows the sinful heart of man, that is exactly what Peter did when the pressure came and he was faced with preserving his own self versus standing with Jesus.

The Bible states in verse 56, that, when a great number of people gathered with weapons to take Jesus, that “…all the disciples forsook him and fled.” Peter followed behind him from a distance unto the high priest’s palace but when he was confronted as having had allegiance with Jesus, he denied knowing him, not once, not twice but three times and in the space of one night! (Matthew 26:69-75).

When Peter realized what he had done and that Jesus had been right, he cried bitterly in repentance because he was sorry for what he had done. Verses 74-75 reads:

  • “Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.”

Peter learned something about himself that night, that he had not known before. He already knew that he was a sinful man (Luke 5:8). Yet, in that soul-humbling moment, he realized that the sinful flesh within him was capable of more evil than he ever thought possible. He could not vouch for it. He could not say with confidence and pride, I will NEVER do this or I will NEVER do that because there was a sin nature within him and there was no telling what it was capable of, if not restrained.

Peter also learned in that moment, that he did not know himself fully or as much as he thought but Jesus knew the full dimensions of what was in his heart, even the folly in his flesh that Peter may have thought he did not have. All it took was the right set of circumstances, to bring out what was there.

It is because of the wickedness of our flesh (each one of us), as sinful human beings, that we need a Saviour. It is because of the wickedness of our flesh that Paul, in mentioning his own internal struggle said:

  • “For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I KNOW THAT IN ME (THAT IS, IN MY FLESH,) DWELLETH NO GOOD THING: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
  • Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! WHO SHALL DELIVER ME FROM THE BODY OF THIS DEATH? I thank God THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” (Romans 7:14-25 KJV)
  • “For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, AND HAVE NO CONFIDENCE IN THE FLESH.” (Philippians 3:3 KJV)

It is because we can put nothing past our flesh that we must cling to Jesus. He is the only one that can save us from ourselves and keep us from falling into temptation and evil. No wonder he advised his disciples who were mere human beings and therefore possessing a sinful nature within, to pray: “…And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen” (Matthew 6:13).

(Written on 01st October, 2020)


About a week or so ago, I heard a Preacher on a Christian radio station, talking about sin and how deceptive it can be. In keeping with all that I’ve written in the above Article, he stated, that as Christians, we should never think that we are okay, that we have arrived and that the sin nature within us has been completely extinguished, as it is STILL there. When we become complacent, this gives our flesh, the world and the devil room to operate, as we stop being watchful, on our guard, alert and prayerful. We stop relying on the Lord to keep us afloat and begin in our pride, to think that we are self-sufficient.

Yet, the Word of God reminds us that “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18).

Thinking that we are self-sufficient, that we are good spiritually and that correction, conviction and rebuke from the Word of God is for another brother or sister but not for us because we have attained perfection or are close and God is beaming down at us while frowning at them is nothing but pride and pride deludes. For, it makes us think that we don’t really need to cling to Christ as desperately as other believers need to do, as we are not as wicked, sinful or struggling as them or we don’t have a past that is as sordid as theirs. In short, even if we don’t realize it, we become self-sufficient and self-sufficiency is nothing but a set-up for sin to rear its ugly head and overtake us.

To avoid complacency which could cause sin to rise up within because we are not being watchful and alert, the Preacher gave some lovely quotes that people have made (including him). To remind us that the sin nature has not been extinguished but is still lurking within, although dormant, he stated of sin that:

  • “It is like the embers from a fire that has been put out but they are there, just waiting to rise up again and so should therefore never be underestimated.” (paraphrased)
  • “It is an unwelcome destructive tenant that refuses to leave.”
  • We are to reckon ourselves to be dead to sin. However, this does not mean that our sin nature is dead. It is still there. “It is not to be counted dead but crucified.”
  • Like Paul did with his own struggle, we should “own it and disown it”. The Preacher likened this to a person who has an alcohol problem. He cannot overcome it until he first admits the truth. To stop the addiction and to get on to the path of recovery, he has to first admit that he has a drinking problem. This is what Paul was doing in Romans with his struggle and then focusing on the solution which was Jesus Christ, the only one that could help him overcome.

After listening to the Preacher’s Sermon, I wrote, as a Note to my own self:

As a Christian, clothed by Christ’s righteousness by grace through faith (justification), now, reckon yourself to be dead to sin by pressing in with all your might, into that which pertains to righteousness (sanctification). Give sin no opportunity to flare up and do not ever underestimate its power to do so. Reckon yourself to be dead to sin by giving it no room to breathe, whatsoever. Suffocate the life out of it. You may not be able to remove the sin nature within you by making it dead but you can render yourself to be dead to sin by at least putting it into a comatose state.

(Addendum written on 11th March, 2022)

Dear Reader, if you found the above Article to be interesting, informative, beneficial or edifying, you may also be interested in reading the following:

  • Note 209 – ‘The Spirit Is Willing But The Flesh Is Weak’

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