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Crucify Your Flesh. 

“Therefore, put to death your members which are on the earth.” Colossians 3:5. 

Your new birth experience elevated you into a God-relationship, but soon after, you were ambushed by the flesh. At first, you refused temptation effortlessly, like flicking a mosquito off your arm. Then life happened. Fleshly weaknesses surfaced. Instead of resisting these pressures, you yielded to them. You repented and recovered, but it kept happening. Condemnation set in until you lost your initial joy. Eventually, you felt trapped by your continual failure. Living for God now seems impossible. 

The Bible refers to the flesh as lusts, desires and the fallen human nature. “We all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath.” Ephesians 2:3. Moreover, the flesh consists of our works or deeds.  Now the works of the flesh are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you… that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21. This is a catalog of general corruption. 

Humans are entrapped by the Law of Sin. “Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.” Romans. 6:13-14 NIV. We inherited this from Adam’s sinful nature. Romans 5:12-14. The flesh will always serve the Law of Sin, revealing the depth of Adam’s transgression.  “Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.” Romans 7:25 NIV.  The flesh cannot be saved and will not enter heaven.  Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 15:50. 

You must not coddle nor be permissive with sin. “Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin.” Romans 6:6-7. This is a life or death matter.  “For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” Romans 8:13. You cannot reason with your sinful nature any more than you can reason with a poisonous snake or spider. Only death will do.  

The Old Testament sacrifices symbolized the attitude of the penitent; crucifying the flesh is not emblematic, but actual.  It must happen every day.  Even the great Apostle Paul wrote, “I die daily.” 1 Corinthians 15:31.  Keeping it viable involves several approaches. 

  1. Continue to walk in the Spirit. Romans 8:1-9.
  2. Develop a hatred for the sinful flesh. “He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” John 12:25.
  3. Remove every temptation you can.
  4. Maintain a continually repentant heart.
  5. Fall deeply in love with Jesus.

Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14.

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