Sink Into Your New Self! The Glorious Truth About Life-Change
We have a new nature in Christ and are provided with all of the supernatural working of the Holy Spirit within us as a new-creation reality. The old carnal nature or flesh has been put to death, but we must also appropriate the inner working of grace by choosing to cooperate with, and walk in, the newness of the life of Christ as He is being fully formed and molded within us.
We must choose to put on Christ and stop thinking about the flesh or indulging the lower nature. Starve it. The grace and power of God by virtue of rebirth is within you.
But clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah), and make no provision for [indulging] the flesh [put a stop to thinking about the evil cravings of your physical nature] to [gratify its] desires (lusts) (Romans 13:14).
Our Flesh Was Crucified with Christ
I have already been co-crucified with Christ: nevertheless I ever live yet no longer I, but Christ ever lives in me: and the life I now ever live in the flesh, I ever live in faith by the Son of God, who once then having loved me, also at intervals is giving Himself up (Galatians 2:20 Expanded Greek Translation (EGT)).
Co-crucified is a verb in the perfect tense in the Greek text indicating that it is already completely done. As a result, it is impossible for us to add anything to this completely finished work by anything that we should do today. Our old self, the old nature, was co-crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might then be rendered powerless, and that “we are no longer to continually serve sin” (Rom. 6:6 EGT). The Greek word for “rendered powerless” in this verse is katargethe, which means to be unemployed. The old self is put out of work, rendered powerless, unemployed in us.
Sin problems in born-again believers are not the primary issues. The focus for the reborn into a new nature in Christ is the revelation needed to render sin powerless as we walk in that truth. We need this Holy Spirit revelation.
When Jesus died on the cross, He not only took our sinful actions upon Himself, He also took our flesh nature upon Himself.
Remember: the flesh refers to a person’s lower nature, which in scripture is also called the carnal nature, the flesh, the old nature, the body of death, and the old man. The flesh is the internal part of mankind that is inclined toward evil desires. We have thereby been crucified with Christ.
For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again (2 Corinthians 5:14-15 NIV).
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20 NIV).
What? Crucify Ourselves?
The majority of the church believes that Jesus crucified our flesh, but that we also are in a process of crucifying our flesh. Yet the Bible does not teach us to crucify ourselves. Our crucifixion in Christ was done in the past and we cannot add anything to what Christ has done for us.
Unfortunately, some Bible translations do not translate accurately the verb tenses regarding our crucifixion, but the original manuscripts of the New Testament are consistent. Every verse regarding our crucifixion in Christ speaks of it as past tense; never present or future.
The following are some past-tense examples:
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires (Galatians 5:24 NIV).
In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ (Colossians 2:11 NIV).
For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3 NIV).
Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry (Colossians 3:5 NASB).
Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices (Colossians 3:9 NIV).
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV).
But as for you, not in this manner did you learn the Christ, since, indeed, as is the case, you heard and in Him were taught just as truth is in Jesus, that you have put off once for all with reference to your former manner of life the old self who is being corrupted according to the passionate desires of deceit; moreover, that you are being constantly renewed with reference to the spirit of your mind; and that you have put on once for all the new self who after God was created in righteousness and holiness of truth (Ephesians 4:20-24 Kenneth Wuest Translation).
By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life (Romans 6:2-4 NIV).
It Is Finished
Jesus completed His mission on the Cross of Calvary and it is finished. Christ has done it, and He did it all for our benefit. We can rest knowing that Jesus did for us what we were powerless to accomplish on our own.
There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His (Hebrews 4:9-10 NKJV).
Jesus has ceased from His work and is sitting at the Father’s right hand in a place of rest.
But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool (Hebrews 10:12-13).
Jesus is resting until the Father puts all His enemies under His feet. As we take our place in Him and enter into His rest we also invite the Father to put our enemies under our feet as well. He is the Head and we are His Body. The Father will subdue all things under our feet in Christ. This is not a passive place of being, but rather an active cooperation with God. From our place of enthronement with Him, we exercise godly dominion in partnership with Him.
Sink into Your New Self
Not only does the Word direct us to put off certain things, but there are also many things that Scripture tells us to put on. Many Christians have taken the phrase put on and have tried to use it as a formula. For example, there are those who daily declare, “I choose today to put on the armor of God.” They work and work, trying to put on the new self, but this was not the intention of the New Testament writers when they said put on the new nature:
and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:24 NIV).
and having put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator (Colossians 3:10 NIV).
The New Testament phrase put on comes from the Greek root word enduo, which means to sink into. Putting on Christ does not mean that we must work and strive in human efforts. Putting on Christ means to sink into or lean back and rest in our identity in Christ.
The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light (Romans 13:12 NIV).
and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:24).
Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes (Ephesians 6:11 NIV).
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand (Ephesians 6:13 NIV).
and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator (Colossians 3:10 NIV).
And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity (Colossians 3:14).
The putting on that Paul talks about in Scripture is not based in striving, but rather sinking into the provision of grace and our new life in Christ. This is incredible news for those who have been working hard to die to themselves and crucify their flesh daily. How liberating it is to receive Christ’s accomplished work on our behalf and to believe in our new nature! Once you see that the battle against your flesh and sin nature is actually a mirage, you will be empowered to put off the garment of your old nature and begin living according to the new.