A Pennsylvania surgeon says the Apostle Paul was exactly right when he called humans' sinful nature "the flesh," because many sins actually do have physiological connections. Dr. Clark Gerhart, M.D., author of "Say Goodbye to Stubborn Sin" (Siloam Press, 2005), says he hopes the book will show Christians how thoroughly fleshly they are by helping them understand where their sins originate.

According to Gerhart, the human body becomes physically involved in recurring sin. "If you think about it, everything we do in life begins first with some sort of sensation," he explains. "Whether it's taste or touch or smell or sight or sound – one of our senses is giving us information to then process and then give a response to in absolutely everything we do."

One of the most dramatic links to stubborn sin is society's addiction to its senses, the author contends. And the things to which people become addicted, he notes, include not only substances like alcohol and drugs and food, but also the sights and sounds of television and movies and the sensations involved in viewing pornography or engaging in sexual sin.

Gerhart says medical science can be used to demonstrate how sinful behaviors, including bad habits and unhealthy addictions, are physiologically rooted in "the flesh." He believes this finding can lead people to realize that there is nothing in themselves that is good – that is, uncorrupted by fallen human nature.

"I know the secularist view says, 'Well, you know, if you're not a spiritual being, you're just an animal or you're just a physical being,'" the surgeon says, "'so just fix what's wrong with your body and you can be okay.' Well, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, when you see how thoroughly physical you are and how your sinful processes originate in your body, you realize you're corrupted with sin from head to toe."

It is the acceptance of that fact, Gerhart asserts, that leads unbelievers to Jesus Christ, their only hope of salvation. That same acceptance, the doctor insists, can also help Christians mired in sin find freedom as they learn to walk in the Spirit rather than remain bound by the flesh.


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