Flesh in the New Testament
FLESH IN THE NEW TESTAMENT. There are three basic ways in which the word σάρξ, G4922, is used in the . At the one extreme are those places where no negative moral judgment is implied and the word flesh bears no connotation of evil at all. At the other extreme are those places where a negative moral judgment is made and σάρξ, G4922, becomes descriptive of man’s baser nature or is defined as being simply sinful. Bridging the two extremes is a set of uses where σάρξ, G4922, is not sinful per se, but tends in that direction.
Flesh As Non-Sinful.
There are three subdivisions here and in none is sinfulness implied.
Because our essential being is corporeal, the term σάρξ, G4922, may be used to set humanity apart from beings who are not physical, but spiritual, whether it be God (
Third, there is the symbolic use of the word σάρξ, G4922, made by Jesus in
Flesh As Weak.
In none of this is there necessarily sin, but the weakness of the flesh is that it cannot, in its present state, fight off temptations and lusts and therefore is the place where sin may make its malevolent entrance into human lives.
Flesh As Sinful.
What is the connection between the conception of flesh as an earthly substance and flesh as debased? The link seems to be sin. Flesh is not sinful per se, as made by God, but now, as fallen, the flesh is sinful because all men are de facto sinners. It is through the flesh that sin makes its most dramatic entrance (lust), and hence flesh and sin may become almost synonymous terms; but it must be remembered that the mind may generate desires that are sinful too (