By Charles H. Welch
Flesh. This word, which translates the Greek
sarx, occurs in a variety of ways
and contexts, and although this analysis is concerned with the dispensational
point of view, it may be wise to set out the sixfold subdivision, which
is a digest of a longer treatment of the theme found in Cremer's Biblico-Theological
We are concerned mainly with the employment of the term by the Apostle in Romans 9:3-5 as compared with Ephesians 2:11,12, where the "advantage" of being a Jew, and the "disability" of being a Gentile is stressed. These two passages are set out according to their structure in the article entitled ADOPTION. It becomes abundantly clear from these passages that whatever blessing Israel may have had in the past or may yet enjoy in the future "in the flesh" no such hope can be entertained by any member of the One Body. Its blessings as well as its legitimate foes are "spiritual", outside of which, whether viewed as being "in the flesh" or "in the world", the Gentile is looked upon not only as the "uncircumcision" but as being without hope, without Christ, and without God. The Apostle moreover went so far as to say, "Even though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now we know Him so no more" (2 Cor. 5:16 R.V.), and this before the dispensation of the Mystery was ushered in. How much less therefore can any fleshly advantages obtain now, since the middle wall has been broken down, the enmity that was abolished in His flesh has gone, and the veil, that is to say His flesh, removed? For further light on this aspect of the subject, the reader is directed to the article entitled MIDDLE WALL.