“And we know that our old being has been put to death with Christ on his cross, in order that the power of the sinful self might be destroyed, so that we should no longer be the slaves of sin.” (Romans 6:6 GNT).
Under the Mosaic Law, when a man has a very stubborn, unruly, disobedient or rebellious son, who after chastening or disciplining him severely several times will still not change and obey the voice of his father or his mother, his father and mother are expected to take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his city to pass on him a verdict, sentence or judgement of death.
The Law clearly instructs on how to deal with a stubborn and rebellious son.
18 “If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and who, when they have chastened him, will not heed them,
19 “then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city, to the gate of his city.
20 “And they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’
21 “Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death with stones; so you shall put away the evil from among you, and all Israel shall hear and fear. (NKJV).
Like a stubborn and rebellious son, who will not repent or change after being chastened or disciplined severely, the flesh (our sinful and corrupt self) is unrelentingly stubborn and rebellious to God. It will not obey or submit to God’s commandments.
No chastening, rebuke, discipline or correction can change or transform the flesh (our corrupt, sinful and fallen nature) “because the mind of the flesh is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be: and they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Rom. 8:7-8 ASV).
The Flesh (our inherited sinful and fallen nature) cannot be renovated, refurbished, modified or improved upon by any means to make it better or pleasing to God. It is irreversibly, irredeemably and irreparably damaged and corrupted by Sin. Therefore, the flesh or sinful nature is useless and unprofitable to God.
Paul writes about the unprofitability of the flesh in his epistle to the Romans.
10 As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one;
11 There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God.
12 They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.” (NKJV).
Moses also writes about the corruption of the flesh.
5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
6 And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. (NKJV).
12 And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth. (RSV).
Since the flesh, self or the old man has become irredeemably or irreparably corrupted and damaged by Sin, and unrepentantly stubborn, rebellious, and hostile towards God; it is an unruly evil in God’s sight that must be put away by death, just as the unruly and unrepentant rebellious son must be put away by death under the Mosaic Law (Deut. 21:18-21).
Under the Old Covenant, the unrelenting stubborn and rebellious son has to be put away by death lest he gets worse, corrupts others, and also so that others may hear and fear God.
The Law commands, “Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death with stones; so you shall put away the evil from among you, and all Israel shall hear and fear.” (Deut. 21:21 NKJV).
Similarly, Under the New Covenant, the flesh must be treated as “the evil” to be hated and put away by death lest it gets worse, corrupts others, and hinders you from obeying God (Jude 1:23).
Beloved, your flesh, sinful self or nature cannot be modified, refurbished, renovated or improved upon by any religion, institution, education or rehabilitation. Therefore, it is absolutely rebellious and unprofitable to God and so must be put away by death.
The flesh is “the evil” that you must not seek to pamper, preserve, protect, hide, accommodate or tolerate in your life. You must detest it, reject it, take hold of it, bring it out or expose it to be put to death.
In God’s sight, the flesh or the sinful self is guilty of disobedience, stubbornness and rebellion to God (Rom. 8:7-8). Consequently, God’s verdict, sentence or judgement on the stubborn, rebellious and unrepentant self or flesh is DEATH.
The Scripture amply states this truth.
4 “Behold, all souls are Mine; The soul of the father As well as the soul of the son is Mine; The soul who sins shall die. (NKJV).
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NKJV).
36 But he who sins against me wrongs his own soul; All those who hate me love death.” (NKJV).
How then can you put the flesh or your sinful self to death?
The truth is that no man can put his flesh or sinful self to death by himself. If we can, then we don’t need the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is because we cannot by ourselves or by any means change our sinful nature or flesh that God sent “His own Son in a body like that of sinful human nature and as a sacrifice for sin, He pronounced sentence upon sin in human nature; in order that in our case the requirements of the Law might be fully met…” (Rom. 8:3 WNT).
On the cross, the Lord Jesus Christ became our perfect substitute and received the full wages of our sins, which is death. The Sin that was embedded in our flesh was judged in the body of Jesus on the cross. Christ became sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
The Scripture amply states this truth.
2 Corinthians 5:
21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (NKJV).
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth. (NKJV).
1 Peter 2:
21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:
22 “Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”;
23 who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously;
24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness–by whose stripes you were healed. (NKJV).
Beloved, having become spiritually united with Christ through the New Birth, you don’t need to seek, strive, or struggle to put the flesh to death, for Christ has accomplished that for you.
As a believer in Christ, you are already dead to Sin, the Flesh, the World and the Law through the body of Christ.
This is a pivotal truth that you must acknowledge, understand and appropriate daily by faith!
Paul aptly states this truth.
6 And we know that our old being has been put to death with Christ on his cross, in order that the power of the sinful self might be destroyed, so that we should no longer be the slaves of sin. (GNT).
24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (RSV).
3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (NKJV).
Find out more scriptural truths about the execution of the flesh in the next piece!
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, I acknowledge today that my flesh with its passions and desires has been crucified with Jesus Christ. Dear Holy Spirit, teach and help me to appropriate, internalize, and live by this truth, in Jesus’ name. Amen.