Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
“I know that in me, that is to say, in my flesh, dwells no good thing.”
Paul, in Romans 7:18
“It is the Spirit that gives life; the flesh is completely useless.”
Jesus, in John 6:63
When Paul said that there was nothing good in his flesh, he did not mean that while there was nothing good in his flesh, there might be something good in someone else’s flesh. He was teaching the same truth that Jesus taught; namely, that the flesh, wherever it is and however it shows itself, is absolutely worthless in our journey toward salvation. There is nothing pure and good in the flesh; it is corruptible and completely void of the goodness, the wisdom, and the power of God.
The religion of Christianity is of the flesh, not of God. This is why anything pure and good is not Christian. Christianity’s baptisms are fleshly; it’s ceremonies are fleshly; it’s holy days are fleshly; it’s doctrines and traditions are fleshly. There is not one pure or good thing in Christianity any more than there is one thing pure and good in the flesh. All the religions of man, including Christianity, are of the flesh and not of God, in whom all goodness and purity dwells.
Christianity is as useless to bring us to salvation as the flesh is. Therefore, we say with great confidence toward God that it is as much the will of God for His children to come out of Christianity as it is for them to cease from works of the flesh. In fact, to say “Come out of Christianity” is just another way of saying, “Cease from the flesh.” Both Christianity and the flesh are worthless for the saving of a soul. To be good and to do good are not Christian because there is nothing good in Christianity. The religion of Christianity has never made one person good in God’s sight.
But beyond the fact that the flesh has nothing to do with salvation is the reality that the flesh opposes the Spirit of God every moment (Gal.5:17). By its very nature, the flesh despises the Holy One of Israel. Likewise, Christianity always and vigorously resists and opposes the way of the Spirit, for even when the flesh behaves religiously, it is only doing so to gain some earthly thing it desires; the flesh can never serve God acceptably, “in spirit and in truth”. Those who are followers of the flesh cannot please God, and neither can we, as long as we are followers of Christianity.