There Is Absolutely Nothing Good About the Flesh
Dr. Allen M. Barber 

When I first discovered Watchman Nee's books, particularly, The Spiritual Man, which I have read countless times (it never gets old which proves it is a revelation of God), I was not only wowed by such great spiritual knowledge, but came to understand the dividing of soul and spirit - a must if Christians are to live in the Spirit and become an overcomer. Little do Christians understand their flesh, especially the natural man. The soulish Christian lives in his soul 24/7 and thinks much of what he does is spiritual when it fact it is of the flesh and carnal. 

The Lord Jesus said the flesh profits nothing (John 6:63). The Greek meaning of "nothing" is NOTHING!  Whether it be the sin of the flesh or the righteousness of the flesh, it is futile. That which is born of the flesh, whatever it may be, is flesh and can never be anything but FLESH. Like the animal kingdom, homo sapiens is and always will be flesh (the flesh in the Bible is humankind's soul, body and human spirit, which are all part of the fallen sinful nature, that is why we must undergo a spiritual rebirth experience in order to enter the kingdom of God). No unregenerated soul will ever take part in the kingdom of God no matter how religious he or she may be on this earth. Millions of religious people will end up in the Lake of Fire having never truly been born again of the Holy Spirit. 

Whatever is flesh, whether in the pulpit, among the laity, in prayers, in consecration, in reading the Bible, singing hymns (the majority of modern day Praise and so-called worship is pure flesh), or in doing good, none of these, asserts the Lord can avail. God declares the flesh totally unprofitable. It cannot fulfill the righteousness of God and is therefore self-righteousness (we see a lot of this in the major religions - a lot of outward pomp and piety, but empty of true righteousness). 

Here is what the Holy Spirit speaking through the Apostle Paul said about the flesh:

1. The mind set on the flesh is death (Romans 8:6).
2. The mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God (Romans 8:7).
3. The flesh does not submit to God's law and cannot. (Romans 8:7)
4. Those that live in the flesh cannot please God. (Romans 8:8). 

The Church of Jesus Christ is full of fleshly Christians who live by the soul thinking they are living by the Spirit. The dividing of soul and spirit is not taught in the majority of evangelical Churches and is in fact an unheard of doctrine. When I discovered this truth in the 1970's, I taught it to my Church. I must admit that it has taken me a lifetime to live out this truth for there have been many defeats with the flesh. There is only one way to defeat the flesh. It must die. Jesus put it to death on the cross and we must bear our cross daily, that is, allow the Holy Spirit to use the cross to defeat our old wicked flesh. Paul said in Galatians 5:16-18 that the Spirit and the flesh are in daily conflict and guess who determines the victory - you and I. The onus is on us to either follow the Spirit or the carnal flesh - the natural man, which is everything we inherited in Adam. The key is, who is leading in our lives - our own will or the will of God as understood in His Word and the wooing of the Holy Spirit. 

For a more detailed study of this subject see Watchman Nee's book, The Spiritual Man, Volume I, pages 119-132, 

Allen B.