Flesh and Spirit


The New Testament writers frequently contrast flesh (Greek sarx)
and Spirit/spirit (Greek pneuma). But the contrasts are not all the same. It may be helpful to distinguish ten different contrasts
(though some of them overlap).

Physical vs. Spiritual Aspect

Paul exhorts, “Let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body [sarx] and spirit” (2 Cor. 7:1). His point is that sin contaminates our whole being, which he views here as having two aspects: physical (external) and spiritual (internal). Paul uses this dichotomy elsewhere: “Though I am absent in body [sarx], yet I am with you in spirit”
(Col. 2:5; see 1 Cor. 5:3); “you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord” (1 Cor. 5:5).

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