Daily Devotional

May 28

The Flesh Is Subdued

by Frans Bakker


I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh. —Acts 2:17

Bible Reading

Acts 2:16–21


God pours out His Holy Spirit on human flesh. This is not because of any merit in our flesh, for in our flesh there lives no good thing. The Spirit comes because of the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ died and arose in the flesh. He ascended into heaven in that same human flesh. He earned the right to pour out His quickening Spirit on all flesh. There is no sinner too sinful for Christ, and there is no flesh too sinful for God’s Spirit to visit.

What happens now when the Spirit is poured out on all flesh? Is human flesh then improved? Is it changed? No, for Paul still says: “I know that in me, that is in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing” (Rom. 7:18). Our flesh actually worsens. Then flesh becomes sin for us; yes, it even becomes our enemy. But if flesh does not improve, what then is the effect of the miracle of Pentecost in the life of God’s child? The effect is that the flesh is subdued. The Spirit comes upon flesh; then flesh comes under the Spirit. The Spirit conquers the flesh. Man’s own carnal “self ” has to be controlled. It is by this that we may know if God’s Spirit has visited us, for then in principle we die to ourselves. We know what it means to have our flesh crucified. This is the flesh that we cherish and flatter in all selfishness and covetousness. The result is a fight of faith, because the flesh will lust against the Spirit. But when Pentecost becomes real in our lives, then the power of the Spirit is so great that the love of God overcomes self-love and then it becomes so easy to deny ourselves. The Spirit brings our flesh under His control. With God’s Spirit in our lives, we learn to lead lives that are dramatically different from our sinful nature. There will be a noticeable change.

“I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh.” The flesh is subdued. The power of sin yields to the Spirit. God’s child experiences this reality already in this life here on earth. But the time will also come when the flesh will be subdued forever. The flesh will be totally overcome for “it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body” (1 Cor. 15:44). Then the eternal Feast of Pentecost will start. It is rooted in the miracle of the coming of Christ in the flesh. The Spirit comes upon human flesh, because Christ came in human flesh. Did He also come for you?


From The Everlasting Word by Frans Bakker, compiled and translated by Gerald R. Procee. Reformation Heritage Books and Free Reformed Publications, 2007. Used by permission. For further information, click here.
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