“I die daily” What did the Apostle Paul mean?

I believe Paul was referring to his flesh when he said ‘I die daily’. The flesh wants what it wants and it naturally wants to live a life of sin. Paul meant he had to fight the flesh daily and allow it to die if you want the Spirit to dominate in your life. 1 Cor 15:31 “I assure you, believers, by the pride which I have in you in [your union with] Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily [I face death and die to self].”

This is also true in Galatians 5:16-17. “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.” As a Christian, we are to be led by the Holy Spirit. But that doesn’t mean our fight with the flesh ceases. Actually, quite the opposite. As we mature in our faith, we die daily to the flesh even more so than when we first started our Christian walk.

Scripture teaches us that the road to eternity is straight and narrow and difficult to walk.  Matt 7:14 “But small is the gate and narrow and difficult to travel is the path that leads the way to [everlasting] life, and there are few who find it” Notice the word ‘few’ in this verse. Scripture is clear that the reason few find the road to everlasting life is because as Paul stated in 1 Cor 15:31, we need to die to self. If we die to self, we die to the flesh and if we die to the flesh we die to sin. Romans 8:13 “For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”

Photo by Hugo Fergusson on Unsplash

As believers, we are faced with temptations. But we have a secret weapon, the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit dwells within us, He guides us into all truth as we recognise when He’s leading us. We need to allow the Holy Spirit to guide us as believers. Remember John 4:4 “Little children (believers, dear ones), you are of God and you belong to Him and have [already] overcome them [the agents of the antichrist]; because He who is in you is greater than he (Satan) who is in the world [of sinful mankind].”

The temptation to fall into sin can at times be greater due to the enemy working harder against us. So we must endure, like a good soldier (2 Tim 2:3-5).  We must endure hardship and resist the temptation of the flesh or it will pollute us  (2 Cor 7:1).

Jesus gave some Godly advice when He was talking to His disciples about resisting the flesh. Mark 14:38  Keep [actively] watching and praying so that you do not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”

When we are driven and led by the Holy Spirit, we can spiritually discern. As we grow in Christ, our Spirit man takes over ( 1 Cor 2:14-15).  We still have to fight the flesh, however, if we don’t yield to the flesh, we learn to walk in the Spirit ( Gal 5:25; 1 Cor 3:1). Being a Christian is a difficult yet very meaningful and Spirit-filled walk. Each day we learn something new and learn to fight another day. Our weapons are the word of God, Prayer and worship. Our protection from a morally wayward world.

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