Can The Flesh Overcome Evil With Good?

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Hi D____,

Thank you for taking the time to write.
I’m must say I am at a complete loss at how you can read this web site at all and then feel that I am teaching that “flesh can save flesh”. I could not help but notice that you did not quote any thing I had written to that effect.
You ask me:

Do you not believe these words are inspired of God?

Rom 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.
Rom 12:21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Will you ask Paul the same question?
You continue:

Those verses as well as the verses I will quote below are not “[ my] teaching”, they are the inspired word of God. Why do you think they are “promoting fear” when they are all depending on “God work[ ing] in you… before ordained… good works”. Why would God doing “before ordained… good works which [ we] were created unto” promote fear? Do you really believe Paul’s doctrine which is inspired of the holy spirit promotes fear?

Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9 Not of [ our] works, lest any man should boast.
Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

I want you to comment on just a few verses of scripture so I can understand where you are coming from. We both know that you cannot show me where I have ever said ‘flesh can save flesh’. I simply quote the scriptures which say that we are to “work out our own salvation, for [ Greek – ‘gar’, because] it is God that works in us, just as Eph 2 shows us. Here’s another scripture which teaches us the same thing.

Php 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

That is the apostle Paul writing under the inspiration of the holy spirit using the Greek word ‘energeo’ which the King James correctly translates as ‘worketh’, since the root of that Greek word is ‘ergon’ meaning ‘work’.
I do not teach that flesh can overcome flesh, but I do teach that grace chastens us to forsake ungodliness and worldly lusts and to live godly lives in this present world. I do teach that when we do “forsake ungodliness, that we do so because “it is God which works in [ us] to forsake ungodliness, and to live godly lives in this present age”.

Tit 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
Tit 2:12 Teaching [ Greek – paideuo, chastening] us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
Heb 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth [ Greek, paideuo], and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. Heb 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

You would never in a hundred years deny those verses of scripture, would you? I feel certain you would say Amen! to what the apostle tells us in Titus and in Hebrews. Please correct me if I am wrong.
So, since I consistently credit all things to “God which works in [ us] both to will and to do of His good pleasure”, and since I consistently deny that the old man within any of us can even sin on his own, much less do good works on his own, I am simply at a loss to know why you would say that.

Rom 7:17 Now then it is no more I that do it [ sin], but sin that dwelleth in me.
Rom 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.
Rom 7:19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
Rom 7:20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
Rom 7:21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
Rom 7:22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
Rom 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
Rom 7:25 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.

What do we do “through Jesus Christ our Lord”? Why we “work out our own salvation [ by] forsaking ungodliness and worldly lusts”.
Do you think that is salvation by works of the flesh? Where in any of that did I or Paul say these works we do to work out our own salvation were works of the flesh? Of course, as you will have to confess, neither I nor the apostle Paul ever once said that. I simply agreed with the apostle that grace chastens us to forsake ungodliness and worldly lust and to live godly lives in this present age, and I agreed with Him that the way I work out my own salvation is by God working in me both to will and to do of His good pleasure.
So I will wait for you to quote one single word on the entire iswasandwillbe. com web site where I say anything close to ‘flesh can save flesh’.
If you will be so kind as to give my your own commentary on these verses of scripture I would very much appreciate it:

Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
1Ti 2:10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
1Ti 5:10 Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.
1Ti 5:25 Likewise also the good works of some are manifest beforehand; and they that are otherwise cannot be hid.
1Ti 6:18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
Tit 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.
Tit 2:7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,
Tit 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
Tit 3:8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.
Tit 3:14 And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.

That is all you will find on iswasandwillbe. com. Just simple quotes straight out of the scriptures telling us to “work out our own salvation, be careful to maintain good works, be zealous of good works, show yourself a pattern of good works, overcome evil with good”, etc. All the while acknowledging that it is God who is really working in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure, be it good or evil.
If I am not being falsely accused of salvation by works, then I am being falsely accused of encouraging sin by simply quoting the scriptures in both cases. But that places me in a good spiritual spot in which I rejoice:

Mat 5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

What I teach is only what I quote right out of the scriptures.
So I await your commentary on those verses which are all written by the apostle Paul.
Your brother who wants only to “know God and Jesus Christ who He has sent”:

Joh 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

Mike

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