Listen:  

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Although we have no record of the Lord actually saying this, these three things are absolutely detriments to the Christian faith.  Consider the words of the Apostle John about the world in 1 John 2:15-17, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”  In the world’s systems, there is nothing for the believer.  All the things of the world will draw the heart of the believer away from the Lord.  The Lord tells us that we should not love the world.  That doesn’t mean we should not love the people in the world.  We should love everyone enough to be concerned about their need of salvation.  We should be bold enough to tell others about the salvation that is a free gift to all who put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  The Lord Jesus tells us that because of our faith in Him, the world will hate us.  John 15:19 says, “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”  If our heart is caught up with the things of the world, we cannot exhibit the love of God to the world; we cannot enjoy the love of God in our own lives.

In the scriptures, the flesh is most often referred to as that natural sinful part of man that loves to please itself.  Because of this, the flesh and the spirit are in constant conflict with each other.  Galatians 5:16-17 tells us, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.  For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”  According to this, there is only one way to overcome the sinful desires of the flesh: walk in the Spirit.  That means we are to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit as he leads us along in the truths of the scriptures.  Even for the most learned and Godly believer, the lusts of the flesh are real and are a constant threat to us living lives that will honor and please the Lord.  The Apostle Paul said in Romans 7:18, “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.”  We cannot and we will not improve the nature of our flesh.  Paul spoke of the mind of the flesh in Romans 8:7, “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”  The carnal, or fleshy mind stands for all that the Lord is against and stands against all that the Lord is for.  Paul again wrote in Romans 13:14, “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.”  We must put on Christ in a practical sense; we must walk in the Spirit on a daily basis so that we do not give in to the lusts of our flesh.

The devil is truly our enemy.  In 2 Thessalonians 2:4, Satan is referred to as the one, “Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped…”  The Lord Jesus spoke of Satan in John 8:44 when He said, “…He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”  In John 10:10 the Lord tells us that Satan’s purpose is, “…to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.”  With such a strong enemy, what are we to do?  1 John 4:4 comforts us with these words, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”  As a believer on the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit of God abides in you and He is greater than the one that is in the world…Satan.  Through faith in Christ we have overcome Satan.  In the practical sense, we can overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil by walking in the strength of the Lord and in the truths of His Word.  The Lord Jesus said in John 16:33, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”  (89.2)