How to Kill Your Flesh
When we come to Christ, He washes away our sins by His shed blood. However, the nature of sin within us causes us to continue to “make sins” even after we get saved. This causes us to continually need to come to God for cleansing. At times it feels like there is a factory inside of us constantly pumping out sins that needs to be decommissioned in order for us to stop. Think about it this way—if the U.S. outlawed alcohol, it would still be produced if there were factories in operation. We would still have alcohol on the streets, even if it were outlawed.
Most Christians live like this every day; they have broken the bottles, but never shut down the factories.
There are two major issues in every person’s life: the issue of “sins” and the issue of “sin.” When we talk about SINS, we refer to the ungodly things we think and do, and the attitudes we carry. However, when we refer to SIN, it is the flesh, or nature with which we were born that produces the individual sins.
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin.Romans 6:1-7
This is why the cross is so important and is so much more than just a piece of decoration you hang in your house or a pendant you wear across your neck. The cross of Jesus Christ not only provided the blood of Christ which cleanses us from our sins, but the cross also removes sin.
The Blood of Christ Deals with my “Sins”
For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.Matthew 26:28
The blood of Jesus shed on the cross was for the remission of our sins. Jesus’s shed blood cleanses us from our sins, which results in the following:
1) Jesus’s blood clears our record with God.
God needed the blood to satisfy the righteous demands of His justice that we broke.
I want to exemplify this using the example of a calculator. Have you ever used a calculator to calculate a long formula and got lost with one of the numbers along the way? The calculator has no way of going back to correct that initial issue. Once you mess up, the only way to fix it is by hitting the “clear” button and starting again. In the same way, God used the blood of His Son Jesus Christ to act as a clear button for our sins. Once sin was introduced into humanity, God the Father sent Jesus to be the pure, spotless sacrifice to clear our sins.
It is because of the blood of Jesus Christ that God does not look at His children as sinners.
2) Jesus’s blood cleanses my conscience.
How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?Hebrews 9:14
Even after you have received the forgiveness of your sins, you may still struggle with self-condemnation. In other words, you have peace with God, but not with yourself. Most of us never struggled with guilt until we got saved. When we were lost, our conscience was dead, so we never felt bad about doing wrong things. We actually enjoyed sinning! But now being alive in Christ, our conscience is quickened so that we hate sin. On the other hand, some may feel that their conscience has not only awakened but become hypersensitive to slip-ups; so much so that it judges and condems them. Deep down it’s as if they know God has forgiven them, but it seems like their own conscience won’t let them be free from past mistakes.
The Bible says:
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.Romans 8:1
Therefore, you can apply the blood to not only make peace between you and God but to make peace with yourself. This is not the same as forgiving yourself, but rather applying His forgiveness to yourself. Applying the blood will quiet down your conscience because Jesus paid and covered all of your sins when He died on the cross.
The Holy Spirit convicts us, He does not condemn us.
3) Jesus’s blood conquers the accuser.
When you find yourself at peace with God and with yourself, you may find the devil trying to come from the outside trying to accuse you of your past mistakes. He often uses the memories of your past and what you have done to try to convince you of how messed up you are, making you feel there is no way Christ could ever love you, accept you, or cleanse your record. When the devil comes in like a flood, God will raise up a standard against him—which is the blood of the lamb (Isaiah 59:19). Let this be your defense against him:
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.Revelation 12:11
By the blood of Jesus, you’ve been washed, redeem, and sanctified.
Do not underestimate the power of the holy, precious, and powerful blood of Christ. Once you’ve repented and are saved, it does not matter who you were or where you came from. Even if you were once a prostitute, a homosexual, a drug dealer, an alcoholic, or had an abortion—Jesus already paid the price for those sins and has redeemed you from them through His blood. No amount of meditation, inward-looking, good works, or charity can remove your sins.
The only solution to the sin problem is the blood of a perfect, pure, and righteous Sacrifice—Jesus.
The Cross Deals With My “Sin”
Now we will shift our focus to the nature of SIN that all humans were born into, the flesh.
When we say “sin” we are not talking about individual SINS or offenses that we commit on a daily basis, but rather the nature of sin in a person that inclines a person to do wrong things. The cross is the only thing that can kill the flesh. Technically, you will never become stronger than it to beat it, instead, you need deliverance from it.
God does not give you power over it; God kills it––that is the only way you are free from it.
Deliverance removes the demon, but removing a demon does not remove the flesh.
The sinful Adamic nature was inherited by humans through birth and the only way to end it in our lives is through death. This is why many Christians secretly hope for the day they die so all the problems with the flesh, battles with sin, and urges will be over. However, instead of looking forward to our death, we should look back to Jesus.
You need to understand that God had known this was going to be a problem and that there was no way we as humans were going to be able to overcome the flesh in our own strength. Therefore, He sent the only Solution to die on the cross to rectify this issue—the Lord Jesus Christ.
We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.Romans 6:6-8
When Jesus died for you, even before you were born or committed your first sin, your flesh and old nature died with Him (see Galatians 2:20). Jesus’ death was not only a substitutionary death, meaning He died for us to allow His blood to cleanse us, clear our record, and is a weapon to fight against the accuser, but it was also an inclusive death. This means that our flesh and old self also died with Him on the cross. Therefore, when you are saved and redeemed by Jesus, you are a new creation, and your old self or sinful nature is gone—this is what it means to be born again.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.1 Corinthians 5:17
4 Practical Steps
You have to know the truth about yourself according to the Scriptures. Paul asked the following,
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?Romans 6:3
A lot of Christians do not know that their old man was already dead in Christ when they were baptized into Him. You are probably asking, if it really did die, then why doesn’t it stop bothering me? This is because you need to “know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32).
You can have soap in your garage, but if you don’t apply it to your body, it would not work!
If you don’t know the real significance of the blood of Jesus and the cross, you will continually live in guilt and in your old nature.
It does not matter if you hold Bible in your hands for 2 hours each day. If you never know the truth it contains, you will never be changed by it. You need to start living in the Word every day. I highly recommend you spend time reading and meditating on the book of Romans in order to truly understand what it means to be a Christian and what Jesus did for you on the cross. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the Word to you as you read it.
Before you say, I need to try to remove this from my life and be more disciplined, have better control, change my attitude, turn off my social media—which all may be true and necessary–you need to know the real solution to the flesh is His crucifixion and recognize that you were baptized into His crucifixion as well.
2. Reckon/Consider Yourself Dead
So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.Romans 6:11
Now that you know that you were crucified with Jesus, you now have to consider or view yourself as a new creation.
You have to start thinking and therefore accepting the truth about your current self instead of going back to the old facts about how you used to live. This is not to be confused with New Age practices that say, “if you think it, you will be it.” There is no groundwork for this practice. This is like walking around and saying, “I am a bird” and believing because you think it, you will transform into a bird. This will never happen no matter how hard you think it, how much drugs you use, or how much meditation you do.
I urge you to forget about New Age because it does not work! There is no blood, cross, death, salvation—there is no Jesus. The problem with New Age is that it never leads you to new life because only Jesus can offer that. We cannot think ourselves into a “new life.” Instead, as Christians we accept and live by this truth: He died, I believe it, and now I consider who I really am in Him. The Bible teaches us that once we know this fact about Jesus, it should become our reality. This is contrary to New Age which teaches that a random thought will somehow create our reality. Thinking a thought does not produce a reality, but true biblical realities should change our thinking, thus changing us.
3. Present Yourself
Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.Romans 6:13
Presenting yourself to the Lord means surrendering your body to Him so that He can use it for His purpose and glory. Pray, “Lord, I offer my hands, mouth, feet, and eyes from this day forward to be Yours.”
Saint Augustine was walking by and a woman he used to be intimate with saw him. As she called to him asking him if he remembered her; he turned around in response but replied, “that man is gone.” He was not the same person; he no longer presented his body to sinful deeds. However, this process does not start with your surrender, it starts with death to the flesh— I know the truth, I consider that which I am in Him, and now I surrender and present my body to the Lord.
4. Walk By the Spirit
I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.Galatians 5:16
When we were born into the flesh, the flesh lived and dwelled inside of us (Romans 7:17,20). In other words, we carry this sinful nature from Adam, due to being born of Adam. Adam, who was made from dust, started the human race. However, when Jesus came on this earth, He ended Adam’s race in humanity and started a brand-new race. This is why being born again is so important.
When we are born again, we are born into Christ’s new humanity instead of Adam’s humanity.
And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven.1 Corinthians 15:45-47
Jesus is the last Adam described in this verse. Jesus was born out of a woman, just like the descendants of Adam, but did not carry the same sinful nature that they had. Therefore, Jesus through His death ended the race of Adam and killed the flesh, giving us new life. Because He was the last Adam, He restarted humanity.
Those who were born of Adam received the flesh upon birth, but those who are born of Jesus receive the Holy Spirit when they receive new salvation and new life. This is why every Christian has the Spirit of God indwelling inside of them. Although we know how easy it is to sin, we often overestimate how easy it is to walk in holiness. It is actually simple if you stop trying to do it and just let the Holy Spirit do what He needs to do in and through you.
The message of the Gospel is very simple: Jesus died for your sins and you and your sin died with Him on the cross.
The cross did not only break the curse of sin on humanity, but it broke the nature of sin within us(the flesh). There is no amount of self-discipline, positive thinking, yoga stretches, therapy sessions, or medicine that can deal with this core problem of sin in a human being. Stop waiting for death in order to be free from the flesh, instead, trust in His. The blood already washed you of your sins, and the cross freed you of your sin. Under Adam, you were a sinner who kept on trying to suppress your desire to sin. In Christ, His blood washed you clean, and when you find yourself giving into your constant urges, remember that Jesus did not only pay for your sins, but He also included you in His death.
This is why we have two ordinances: communion, which reminds us of the power of the blood and the importance of His brokenness on the cross; and water baptism which identifies us in Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection into new life. This is why we are seated in heavenly places with Christ Jesus.
Jesus not only loved you, but He gave Himself up for you. He removed the hindrance from our lives that separated us from Himself. Once saved and baptized into Christ, you no longer identify with your previous sins, sicknesses, or shortcomings, you identify with Christ. Therefore, thank Jesus for His cross and for His blood. Thank Him for His death, redemption, and for killing the flesh in us. Thank Him for starting a new race and making us born again. Thank Him for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and that we don’t have to strive to have peace with God, but that we can just have to surrender to Him.
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