Lesson 9:
In the Flesh
Bible reading
Please pray over these verses. 

Romans 7:11, 14, 18, 20, 24
11 For sin, seizing the opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me.
14 For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am fleshy, sold under sin.
18 For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but to work out the good is not.
20 But if what I do not will, this I do, it is no longer I that work it out but sin that dwells in me.
24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from the body of this death?


Paul realised that because of sin in the flesh, he was unable to please God. The law fully exposes sin and shows man his utterly hopeless, fallen condition before God.

Bible study reading
Please prayerfully read through the following portions of ministry related to this lesson.

Romans 7 reveals the bondage in the flesh under the law by the indwelling sin unto death and wretchedness. In the flesh you are sinful because in the flesh you have been sold under sin (v. 14). In the flesh sin is your master, sin is your director, sin is your boss. Because you are in the flesh, there is no way to get out of sin. This sin masters you, governs you, enslaves you, and eventually kills you (vv. 11, 17, 20). Your weakness is fully exposed in the flesh. You become a wretched man, and this issues in death (v. 24). (Elders’ Training Book 6: The Crucial Points of the Truth in Paul’s Epistles, ch. 2, section 3)

Sin, using the law, firstly deceives us and then kills us. Since the acts of deceiving and killing are certainly the behaviour of a person, we must consider sin as the personification of Satan. (Life-study of Romans, msg. 13, section 1)

Satan outside of you is not sin. When Satan gets into you, that is sin. Satan in you is sin. We have to realize where Satan is in our being. He is in our flesh. (The Flesh and the Spirit, ch. 1, section 3)

We need to realize that the flesh is a hopeless case and that it is here for our good. It is here helping us and forcing us all the time, moment by moment, to turn to the spirit, to trust in the Lord, and to no longer have any confidence in our flesh (Phil. 3:3). (The Flesh and the Spirit, ch. 1, section 6)


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Going deeper
Please read or listen to these materials for an in-depth study of this lesson.

Further reading:
Life-study of Romans, msg. 50
The Flesh and the Spirit, ch. 1

Radio broadcast links:
Broadcast 14, The Bondage of the Law in Our Flesh (2)
Broadcast 51, The Flesh and the Spirit

Footnotes from Recovery Version of the New Testament:
Romans 7:11, footnote 1
Romans 7:18, footnote 2
Romans 7:24, footnote 1

Questions for personal or corporate study:
References in brackets indicate readings or broadcasts that may be helpful in answering the questions.
  • Use the verses and footnotes in the Recovery Version to explain this deeper definition of sin that is presented in Romans 7. (Romans 7:11, footnote 1; 7:18, footnote 2; 7:24, footnote 1, Recovery Version)
  • Discuss God’s purpose in allowing the flesh to remain with us. (The Flesh and the Spirit, ch. 1)
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Works Cited

Lee, Witness. Elders’ Training, Book 6: The Crucial Points of the Truth in Paul’s Epistles. Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1985.

---. The Flesh and the Spirit. Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1994.

---. Life-study of Romans. Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1989.

All verses and excerpts © 2021 Living Stream Ministry.
Used by permission. Reproduction is prohibited. 
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