Make No Provision for the Flesh

Text: Romans 13:13-14

When Paul told these brethren to “make no provision for the flesh,” there was a specific context. Paul warned against the lusts of the flesh (cf. James 1:14-15). To make no provision for the flesh is to not provide what is necessary for sin to enter and remain in our lives. How can we do this?

Give No Thought to Sin

  • This does not mean that sinful things will never enter our minds – we cannot prevent that
  • But we need to keep our minds from dwelling on sin
  • We must keep our minds focused on spiritual things (Colossians 3:2) – dwell on good things (Philippians 4:8)

Speak No Word of Sin

  • After describing several sins that would bring about “the wrath of God” (Ephesians 5:6), Paul said we should not even speak of such things (Ephesians 5:12)
  • This does not mean that we make no mention at all of sin – sin needs to be exposed (Ephesians 5:11)
  • We are not to speak of sin in a way that suggests tolerance or approval (includes joking – Ephesians 5:4) – this leads one to forget how terrible sin is (Romans 6:23; Isaiah 59:2)

Provide No Opportunity to Sin

  • Eliminate pressure to sin by avoiding evil companions (1 Corinthians 15:33; Proverbs 1:10,15)
  • Avoid situations in which you may be especially vulnerable to temptation (Proverbs 5:8; 7:6-8,22) – put away everything that causes you to stumble (Matthew 5:29-30)
  • Limit the times in which we have convenient opportunities to sin

Have No Desire to Sin

  • Lusts are illicit desires – lusts lead to sin, sin leads to death (James 1:14-15); to choke out sin we must change our desires
  • Get priorities in order (Matthew 6:33)
  • Remember what is truly valuable – truth (Proverbs 23:23); Christ’s sacrifice (1 Peter 1:18-19); the hope of heaven (1 Peter 1:4); desire those things, rather than what is passing away (1 John 2:17)

Conclusion

  • As long as we are living in the flesh, we will have the ability to sin – but we must work diligently to overcome sin in our lives
  • We go a long way toward this by cutting off every road possible that leads to sin
  • The devil is like a roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8) – do not give him an opportunity (Ephesians 4:27); do not make his task any easier (1 Peter 5:9; Romans 13:14)

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