“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20 NKJV).
Normally when a criminal is condemned or sentenced to death by a judge, a day of execution has to be fixed to carry out the sentence, verdict or judgement of death that has been passed on him in the exact manner the judge has ordered or prescribed.
In God’s sight, your sinful self (Mr. Flesh) is just like an unrepentant stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his parents in spite of being chastised or disciplined severely several times.
No correction, chastening or discipline can change, rehabilitate or modify your corrupt self to make him obedient or submissive to God’s Word and Spirit!
The Scripture clearly states this truth in Romans 8:
6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.
8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. (NKJV).
Therefore, God’s verdict on Mr. Flesh (your sinful self) is the same as that stipulated by the Law against an unrelenting stubborn and rebellious son under the Old Covenant (Deut. 21:18-21).
The verdict or sentence is DEATH.
Mr. Flesh has to be put away by death!
When and how did God plan for the execution of Mr. Flesh to be carried out?
The Scripture clearly reveals this!
The Scripture clearly reveals that Mr. Flesh (your sinful self, the old man) was executed on the Cross with Jesus Christ.
The execution of your stubborn, rebellious and unrepentant self took place on the Cross when and where Jesus died in your place!
Paul queries, “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?” (Rom. 6:3 NKJV).
“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.” (Rom. 6:6 GNT).
Your total and constant victory over the flesh and its passions, lusts and desires depends on this truth, revelation knowledge and spiritual understanding that your old self who was sin-riddled from birth was crucified with Jesus Christ on the Cross over 2000 years ago.
The death of your old sinful self was not gradual, progressive or incomplete. It was a ONCE FOR ALL, TOTAL, COMPLETE and PERFECT DEATH.
If you are ignorant of this truth, you will spend the rest of your life seeking, striving or struggling in vain to put the flesh to death by yourself.
As a born-again believer, you were baptized into Christ’s death and were raised together with Him to walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:1-4, Eph. 2:1-7).
You don’t die daily!
You died once even as Jesus died once and was raised from dead to die no more! Hallelujah.
Paul clearly presents this truth.
24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (NKJV).
3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (NKJV).
Seeking to execute or put Mr. Flesh to death in your own strength by employing any religious means or imposing any strict rule or discipline on yourself is simply an act of unbelief and it is unprofitable. It is belittling, despising, doubting or rejecting what Christ has already done for you through His death on the Cross!
Paul boldly and emphatically declared that he died once and for all with Christ, not gradually or daily.
He testifies, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20 NKJV).
The same is true of every born-again believer!
Your flesh or corrupt self has been put away when Christ took it to the Cross. In Christ, you are now a new creation or a new self with a new, holy, divine and loving nature of Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:
17 Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come. (RSV).
1 John 3:
9 No one born of God commits sin; for God’s nature abides in him, and he cannot sin because he is born of God. (RSV).
What then is left for you to do?
To renew your mind by prayerfully, diligently and constantly by imbibing the truths of God’s Word (Rom. 12:2)!
To deny yourself daily by reckoning, considering or regarding yourself to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus (Rom. 6:11)!
To ignore the desires or passions of the flesh as a dead man, but yield to the desires of the Holy Spirit as a resurrected man, one who is now alive in Christ (Gal. 5:16-18)!
Beloved, the primary key to experiencing and enjoying constant victory over sin and the flesh is not seeking, striving or struggling to die daily through any religious exercise, discipline or rule, but understanding, accepting and appropriating the victory that Christ Jesus has already won for you over sin and the flesh by His death on the Cross.
This victory is perfect and complete!
All that is now expected of you is to take the victory as yours, appropriate it, take advantage of it, walk in it and act upon the victory.
That is what Paul did by declaring, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me…” (Gal. 2:20 NKJV).
You don’t need to seek to execute or crucify your flesh or self by any means, for Christ has done that for you on the Cross. Like Paul, your old corrupt self has also been crucified with Christ.
Therefore, the key to a victorious Christian living is not seeking, striving or struggling to crucify the flesh daily, but acknowledging, reckoning, believing, and walking in the truth that your flesh with its passions and desires has been crucified with Christ and that you are now a new self in Christ.
The Scripture aptly states this truth.
24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (RSV).
6 For this we know, that our old self was crucified with Christ, in order that the slave of sin might be destroyed; so that we should no longer be in slavery to sin. (MNT).
2 Corinthians 5:
17 Therefore, if any one is in union with Christ, he is a new being! His old life has passed away; a new life has begun! (TCNT).
Discover how Christ’s death on the Cross meant the execution of Mr. Flesh (your sinful self) in the second part of this piece!
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus Christ, to receive and experience the sentence of death meant for my sinful self. Dear Holy Spirit, teach and help me daily to understand and appropriate this truth, in Jesus’ name. Amen.