Romans 8:8 "So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God 9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." Romans 13:14 "But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof."The flesh is so important to understand. With circumcision Abraham cut off his flesh which he sacrificed to God for his grace. God covered Adam's flesh as symbolic of saving him from sin. We are expected to do more than Abraham and God will do more than he did for Adam. If we cut off our flesh entirely, God covers our sin entirely! Christians are to present themselves "a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1).
The flesh is more than the foreskin. The flesh is more than genitalia and the flesh is more than our epidermis and more than our dermis. It's our everything! The flesh is all our heart, soul and mind (Matthew 22:37). Since we are to love Christ with all our heart, soul and mind, giving him those things is our living sacrifice. The three in one is our flesh and they are the trinity which heathens worship!
It is no coincidence that mankind was made endowed with heart, soul and mind and that we were made in the image of God. God said that man was made in "our image". As such the heart, soul and mind were made in the image of God: Father, Holy Ghost and the Son. They are not the real thing, but are human proximity's to those things.
Pagans worship that unholy trinity for what God made holy mankind tore asunder. God's expectations are that we give them back by sacrificing our unholy trinity back to him so he can make them holy again, just as he covered Adam's sin.
It must be understood how mankind operates. We are a system. The system is covered with flesh. The outer layer is our epidermis. It covers our dermis wherein our nerves reside. Nerves carry tactual impulses to the mind. There is where they are processed. The mind desires pleasure and asks the flesh to find some and send it onward to the mind. There the mind pleasures itself and sends signals back so that the flesh can enjoy it too. The same goes for vision and all the other senses.
In order to give up the flesh, sinners must give up the entire sub-system. That sub-system is the pleasuring. It's the beautiful and tasty fruit eaten of the tree. Therefore the flesh is man's pleasuring sub-system. It's part skin, part mind and part soul. "How is the soul part of the flesh?" It was originally made full of God's Holy Spirit because we were designed in the image of God.
Pleasuring emptied the soul of God's Spirit. The flesh was the platter on which our soul was presented to Herod, so to speak. He was symbolic of Satan. Eve presented the soul of Adam on a platter to the serpent from a symbolic standpoint.
Our living sacrifice is our flesh. We must present heart, soul and mind to God. The evil inclinations of the heart (our desires) are to be cut off, the mind is to be sacrificed and the soul presented to God for refilling. The altar is the refilling station to bring us back to the glorified body we once had!
The pleasuring system is controlled by the mind. The mind takes temptations from the world, external to the system, and imbues it as part of the flesh. That imbued unrighteous spirit is evil and is worshiped as lust. Being imbued with the Holy Ghost is God's covering our flesh and divesting it of lust, the antithesis of holiness (Romans 13:14 above).
Being part of Christ is evacuating lust from his temple. We kick the lust merchants out so that God can live within. The flesh, the unholy trinity, is cut-off from the temple and God then allows the covered flesh to be part of him again. The flesh is covered by Jesus' blood and by grace is restored to the person to which God created mankind in the first place. Death brings man full circle to his original condition with the application of new flesh, not soiled and completely covered. That's glorification and that happens as the flesh it goes back to the dust from which it came, and a new body (heart, mind and spirit) is bestowed again.
I think on the gifts of Christmas. They were kingship (gold), life (Frankincense) and death (myrrh). They were given to Jesus as a sacrifice in honor of him when he was born.
At Christmas we give things to other in remembrance of him. What we should give to others is our flesh: our hearts, souls and minds, by loving them as we're told to love God. The material gifts given to Christ were symbolic of the spiritual gifts we are to give. It's love which was given to Christ that day.
Today people EXPECT gifts. With expectations, then, it is no longer a gift because gifts are voluntary and are given without prompting. Look at who is the recipient of the gift: it's the receiver. Christ is receiving nothing. It's you and you expect it. That's the flesh wanting free things. It's supposed to be covered, but your lusts reveal your flesh. Your heart is exposed and your mind is demanding. As those occur your soul is imbued with unrighteousness; not filled, but soaking it up. Grace is that the Holy Spirit is still within the soul, but shares the temple with money-changers. The flesh wasn't sacrificed entirely at all and the unholy trinity lives on... in what should be God's temple.
That's why I don't want things for Christmas. My heart desires much because although the spirit is willing the flesh is weak. My living sacrifice is my flesh. At the minimum on Christ's day my desire is that Jesus' receive what is his. It's my heart, soul and mind. The best way to give God gold, Frankinsense and myrrh is to give him my flesh: my heart, soul and mind. Symbolic of that is prayer and fasting. Those are good and acceptable gifts to God and are a reasonable sacrifice!