CRUCIFYING THE FLESHEdit
THE LORDSHIP OF OUR LIVES We have two natures, the carnal fleshly nature which is the old man, and the spiritual which is the new man created after God and in His likeness. In Messiah, the 'old man' - the carnal nature, has been put out of operation in that we have been delivered from it's power over us and have become partakers of Messiah, in His life. The old has died, not that it has ceased to exist, but that it is completely put out of operation by the believer being separated from it and being joined to Messiah.
"Wherefore brethren you also are become dead to the law by the Body of Messiah that you should be married to another, ......that we should bring forth fruit unto God" Romans 7: 4
The words 'are become dead', if literally translated would be 'you were made dead'. That is, you were put to death, meaning that we were identified with Messiah in His death and we died with Him (our old man died with Him). And the purpose? That we should be married to another. Paul is illustrating that as death releases a woman from marriage, so we His Church, His Bride by coming into union with Him, we have been released from the power of sin and the penalty which the law brings upon the old man. See verses 1-6
"For the law of the Spirit of life in Messiah Yeshua has set me free from the law of sin and death." "That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" Romans 8: 2, 4
We are released from the power of the old nature that we might serve in the "newness o the Spirit" of the new nature (Ch.7: 6). We are set free from the sinful nature that the righteous demands of the law might be fulfilled in us. The law coming upon the old nature brought forth sin and death, although the law itself, being God's standard, was righteous. The law's demands coming upon Messiah's life, did not expose any sin and bring forth death in Him, but instead it brought forth life.
With Messiah living in us, we can walk as He walked, in that same righteousness. By the enabling of the Spirit, as we continue to walk in the Spirit, we will walk in that righteousness of Messiah. The fulfilling of the law's righteousness is by us walking in the Spirit. We are no longer under any influence from the dominion which sin had over us through the old nature wherein we were helpless in it's power - we have been made free to walk after the Spirit.
"Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh .. .. " Romans 8:12
Debtors here means one who is bound under duty, obligation or compulsion. It has the sense of ownership. In other words, we are no longer the possession of the evil desires of the carnal nature, and therefore we are not under any bondage to serve them. They no longer have a hold of us.
"Being made free from sin, you became the servants of righteousness." Romans 6:18 (see also verse 16)
To whatever we yield, whether to sin unto death, or to obedience unto righteousness, to that we become subject and it becomes our Lord. But, sin with its end result in spiritual death is no longer our 'lord'.
Yeshua is the One who has purchased our redemption (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), He is our Lord and to Him we owe our obedience, which when we yield to it, will have it's outworking in righteousness in our lives. We are not our own. The title deed to our lives has been purchased by another.
It was Satan's - now it is Messiah's by right of purchase! He is our Lord.
WE WERE CRUCIFIED WITH MESSIAH
Paul presents the question, "shall we continue in sin?" (Romans 6:16)
The point is that it is possible to allow sin to have dominion over us if we so wish. We have been set free from it's dominion, but in such a manner as to allow us our free-will. The dominion which sin exercised, made us slaves to it's desires, but Yahweh God sets us free in such a way so that we can choose to obey Him. Paul answers the question, "How shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" Romans 6: 2
When we were baptised into Messiah, we were baptised into His death. (Romans 6: 3) That is, we identified with Him in His death for our sins when we went into the watery grave of baptism. As a result, we received the atonement for those sins and when we came up out of the grave, we arose in the resurrection life of Yeshua. Those sins, and the sinful nature were left in the grave and we began a new life with a new nature, released from the power of the old. "That, just as Messiah was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we should walk in newness of life. For, if we have been united together in the likeness of His death; we should also be in the likeness of His resurrection" Romans 6: 4-5
That is, just as Yeshua was able to rise up out of death because it had no legal claim upon Him, so also we, as united with Him and partakers of the same life with Him, are raised up out of the state of spiritual death to walk in resurrection life. (Yeshua's death was voluntary for the sin of the world, being without sin Himself)
Paul continues, "Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin." Romans 6: 6-7
That is the crux of the matter! He that is dead is free from his old life! A dead person no longer continues his past activities - they died with him. This is the basis of our deliverance from sin's dominion! It is something which He procured for us, and freely bestowed upon us. Our old nature "was crucified with Him" We died with Him and our old life was buried with Him and we have risen to a new life.
The term 'old man' in the Greek is PALAIOS ANTHROPOS. It means 'old' in the sense of usage, not in the sense of time. It describes something worn out, useless, to be discarded. This is an apt description for the old life. The old life was crucified that the "body of sin might be destroyed". The "body of sin" refers to the physical body dominated or controlled by the sinful nature. It is destroyed by rendering it inoperative. (destroyed in Greek is KATARGEO and means to render inoperative or idle - Wuest)
Therefore the understanding is that the 'old man', the old life was crucified so that our bodies might no longer be operating under the dominion of sin. We are no longer subject to the power of sin. Then the obligation on our part is "that henceforth we should no longer serve sin." Our liberation is so that we might no longer serve sin. But we can wilfully choose to go back to the old things. Lack of knowledge of what has been done for us can render us susceptible to the deception of the enemy, so that we fall back into the old pattern of life. But the truth is that "he who has died is free from sin". The verb 'died' here is in the aorist tense which means that it is a completed historic fact. It needs nothing to be added to it to make it complete. The preposition 'from' (APO) also implies a complete finished event. The verb 'is freed' is DIKAIOO and is in the perfect tense here, meaning justified, declared righteous, absolved or acquitted of a charge. So, our death is a historic fact with Yeshua, nothing needs to be added to it, it is finished work. We have been declared righteous, absolved and acquitted. In having died, the believer is loosed from sin's claim upon him.
THE POWER OF CHOICE
Sin no longer has any authority over our bodies to dominate us. Our will has been loosened from it's slavish bondage to the flesh and so, as a result, we are free to walk at liberty. The believer's responsibility is to maintain that relationship which God has effected for us from the sinful nature of the old man. Having now been brought into a relationship of obedience to Yahweh God, unlike our servitude under the bondage of sin, we have a freedom of choice. We can choose to obey Him in loving response to His mercy. The new nature desires to do the will of Yahweh God and it is contrary to the divine nature to sin. But it is not impossible to sin, seeing the believer has a free-will to make the choice as to whom he will obey, the same as did Adam in the beginning, and he chose to wilfully commit sin. (1 John 3:3-9)
In view of the fact that the believer has been set free, Paul says, "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body" (Romans 6:12) The word 'reign' is BASILEUO - 'to exercise kingly power'. The verb is negative and imperative, thus it has the sense of forbidding the action in progress. So, it could be translated, "stop allowing the sinful nature to reign as monarch in your mortal body" Where it says, "that you should obey it .. .." - the word 'obey' here in the structure of the Greek grammar is referring back to the body controlled and dominated by sin.
In view of the fact that we have been raised with Messiah (v.11), we should not allow sin to have dominion over us. If allowed to exercise it's influence, the next step will be that we will obey it "in the lusts thereof".
"Neither yield your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin" (Romans 6:13)
In the Greek, it is "stop yielding"! The verb is PARISTEMI - to place beside or near, to present or to put at one's disposal. So the exhortation is to stop putting the members of your body at the disposal of the sinful nature. The choice is ours not to present our bodies as instruments of unrighteousness, but, instead, to present them as a living sacrifice unto God. (Romans 12: 1) The Greek word used for 'instruments', is a term used for weapons. Our bodies can be weapons used by the enemy for our destruction; or used by the holy Spirit of Yahweh God for warfare against the enemy, as "instruments of righteousness unto God". (Ephesians 6:14-18)
Our will is involved -- Stop allowing -- Stop yielding! -- the decision is ours who we obey. (v.16)
"Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh" Galatians 5:16
That is, you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh if you walk under the domination/control of the holy Spirit.
FAITH IN THE WORK OF THE CROSS
"Likewise reckon yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin but alive unto God .. " Romans 6:11
The word "reckon" is LAGIZOMAI and means to 'reckon, compute, to take into account'.
So firstly it means that we should take into account that we are dead to sin and live accordingly as one who has been set free from the sinful nature. Secondly, Paul says that they should account themselves alive unto Yahweh God, having the divine nature which gives us the desire and power to live according to His will. If the believer reckons on the fact that the power of sin is broken over their lives and embraces the reality that it cannot exercise any control over them, they can choose to not come under it's dominion. Thus, when the temptation to sin comes, he does not allow it to take a position of authority over him and rule him, nor does he yield his faculties to it's control. But instead, he exercises his will according to the divine nature and walks in the Spirit. By yielding to the Spirit, he will have placed his will under the control of the Spirit, to be led of the Spirit in all that He does. This requires a renewing of the mind to accept the facts of the work of the cross according to the truth of the Word. What the Word says has been done for us and in us, is fact, regardless of what our past experience may have been. Knowledge of the truth will set us free.
CONSEQUENCES OF LIVING IN THE FLESH
"For if you live after the flesh, you shall die" Romans 8:13
The verb here in the Greek is in the present tense, indicating a habitual practice. That is, that the process of death is in effect at the present time. Sin produces death, which does not have it's full outworking right away.
In Genesis 2:17, Yahweh said to Adam that he would "surely die" if he partook of the wrong tree. The word used here has the meaning, "dying you will die". In other words, death would come through a progressive process of dying. The outworking of that, when he did disobey and partake of the wrong tree, was that spiritual death occurred immediately with a progressive degeneration in his physical body until eventually the ultimate stage of death occurred and he ceased living.
"For to be carnally minded is death .."
The state of mind which results from the sinful nature, it's thoughts and attitudes, are by reason of their very nature in a state of spiritual death, that is, separated from God and from the life which is in Him.
"But to be spiritually minded is life and peace." Romans 8: 6 A spiritually-minded person is controlled by the Spirit of Yahweh God. He is the source of all spiritual life. Part of man's degeneration, in his fallen state, is in not knowing what real 'life' is.
"Because the carnal mind is enmity against God,
- So that, they that are in the flesh cannot please God." Romans 8: 7, 8
Not only is man in his carnal/fleshly nature alienated from God, but he is also in the enemy's camp - virtually opposed to God and unable to please Him in anything which he does out of his fleshly nature. Therefore the believer is exhorted to,
"Put to death the deeds of the body", -- "For if you live after the flesh, you will die, but if, through the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you shall live." Romans 8:13
If you are going to put something to death, you take the offensive against it and oppose it. There is no compatibility with something you intend to destroy, even though it may rise up in self-defense, if you are resolute in your purpose, you do not give in to it's demands and give it mercy. If you intend to render something within yourself without life, you therefore give it no expression for it's life. You allow it no opportunity to express it's life in any way. You mercifully put something to death by annihilation in one act and not by a gradual, slow process of inflicting it. There is only one way to deal with the sinful nature and that is to execute upon it one final death blow.
The weapon which we use to strike the death-blow is the Word of God. Quote the scriptures that apply to it. Yeshua used the Sword of the Spirit when being tempted in the wilderness by the enemy, saying, "It is written .. .. .. .. ..
The Word is living and powerful, able to discern and divide the inner motivation and intents of the heart, and having done so, expose them to the power of the Spirit of God for destruction. (Hebrews 4:12)
We cannot be partakers in the inheritance of eternal life, if we live in the flesh. "All who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." Galatians 5:21
The things here referred to are listed in verses 19-21. This is repeated again in 1 Corinthians 5: 9, where Paul says, "Do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?"
The kingdom of God is love, joy and peace in the holy Spirit (Romans 4:17).
When we are alienated from His life which is in Messiah, we are also ex-communicated from all that flows out from Him of His nature which evidences itself in our lives as the "fruit of the Spirit"
When we are severed from the Vine, we cannot bear fruit - that is, we cannot bear the fruit of the holy Spirit which is love, joy, peace etc.. This life only flows when we are connected to the Vine. (John 15: 1-5)
As a result, we lose our inheritance through living after the lusts of the flesh and what we experience is, spiritual death. We become spiritually separated from Him and become at enmity with Him.
Yeshua said, "If a man abide not in Me he is cast forth as a branch and is withered and men gather them and cast them into the fire and they are burned." John 15: 6
This is a picture of the end result of those who, after having been cleansed from their sin, go off and walk in the flesh again. Their end is destruction.
All of the promises of Yahweh God are to those who endure to the end, in righteousness. (Matthew 10:22; 24:13; Mark 13:13)