Hi Xian, sorry I've taken so long to reply
Now before I answer, please be aware that it is so easy to come across as a know it all, as rude, as provoking etc on the internet. Please be assured that I have written this entire post with a lot of thought and prayer and in a spirit of absolute love. Trust it helps!
That is a much better representation than I've hever had before. And it gave me a new angle to look into. Which is just what I needed, another year's diversion in this study of mine, sigh....
You'll never stop learning, lucky it's so fun!
You parroted many things I've heard before, but you explained the end a bit different. I THINK (I'm not accusing but sharing where the arguments you presented strike a cord with me.) that I may have a different understanding of the flesh than you. In English the word flesh is used often. It comes most often from one of two words, sarx and soma. Paul has a consistent use of sarx as the sinful nature. Every time it's intrepreted as sinful nature it came from the word sarx.
There are only two uses of the word flesh in the NT that were derived from soma, and they are 1 Cor 8:13 and Rom 14:21 and both times it is used in the sense of butchered meat for food so I think it is safe to exclude soma from this discussion.
Sarx (flesh)is consistently used in the NT by Paul and other authors to indicate both our sinful nature and our literal body (ie Heb 12:9, Col 2:1-5, Eph 6:5, Eph 5:3 etc). John 1:14 is a really good example of it being used to indicate a physical body as it says "And the Word was made flesh (sarx) and dwelt among us"
. Romans 7:5 clearly indicates it can also be used about something other than the body, as it says "When we were in the flesh (sarx)" however Paul is writing this as he is "in the flesh (sarx)" meaning his literal body. Hope you understand my play on words there
Hence, my understanding of 'flesh' is probably the same as yours. I think it is used in the bible to indicate our literal, physical bodies and also (largely in Romans) to indicate something of our sinful desires.
btw, I realise I am probably repeating back to you things you already understand, but I find if I write down my logical flow of thoughts it ensures we are on the same page.
anyway, they result is people tie sin to our bodies, and that isn't what Paul was saying as best I can tell.
Personally I haven't come to this conclusion. 1 John 2:16 may indicate the thought that sin can be tied to our bodies as it says "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh (sarx), and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life....."
as does Rom 8:10 which states "And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness"
. In fact I think the Romans verse offers very
strong support of the view presented in my earlier post and also highlights the strong probability of a person being both dead and alive at the same time.
This is how it impacts our exchange. We are born in this body, with the temptation resulting from the Eden debacle. This body is succeptible to temptation. The Spirit of God isn't. When you give the all apple trees make apples I agree. All of us alive have sinned. But no where does it say after you are born again you still sin. Many make that claim. You present it differently but I THINK there is the same problem.
I think the claim can be made that after we are born again we still sin if we follow the logic stated in my above paragraph about Romans 8:10. This verse is clearly about a born again person as it states "if Christ be in you...."
. Yet this born again person has a body that is dead because of sin, so sin and the life of Christ are in the same vessel.
Romans 6:11-13 has the same thought "....reckon (the conclusion) ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefor reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead..."
Here Paul is telling his audience (the Romans) that the conclusion they must reach is that they are dead to sin and alive unto God through Christ. Yet at the same time he is warning them not to let sin reign in their mortal (physical) body. This indicates the possibility of both spiritual life and sin existing in the one person.
Lastly, I think Romans 7:24-25 also indicates that sin is tied to our literal physical bodies as it states "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"
. You would agree with me that if Paul was writing spiritual advice to the Romans, he would be doing so because he had the answers. Yet he is stating that he himself
serves the law of sin with his flesh but at the same time he is serving the law of God. This sounds like a juxtaposition but I think can be remedied if we see that we have a perfect Spirit born within us that is not affected by sin.