Is it not strange that what concerns the believer vastly differs from what concerns God?
The Christian is concerned with “the works of the flesh” (Gal. 5.19), that is, with the varying sins of the flesh. He is occupied with today’s anger, tomorrow’s jealousy, or the day after tomorrow’s strife. The believer mourns over a particular sin and longs for victory over it. Yet all these sins are but fruits from the same tree. While plucking one fruit (actually one cannot pick off any), out crops another. One after another they grow, giving him no chance for victory.
On the other hand God is concerned not with the works of the flesh but with “the flesh” itself (Gal. 5.24).
Had the tree been put to death, would there be any need to fear lest it bear fruit? The believer busily makes plans to handle sins-which are the fruits, while forgetting to deal with the flesh itself-which is the root. No wonder that before he can clear up one sin, another has burst forth.
We must therefore deal today with the source of sin.