Part 5 – Same But Maturing Horse, Different Driver
As we continued in our study of the sixth chapter of Romans, specifically the sixth verse through the eleventh verse, we were building on this truth that when the Christian comes to faith he has truly died to the old life and is reborn in and through the Spirit of Christ. The old man – the sinful nature – has been truly crucified – and for the unbeliever he/she are left with only their sinful nature/devil/world to find meaning and purpose, and those sources are impotent, ineffective, and lead to death – physically and spiritually.
A Christian is one who is ‘alive’ because the Spirit of Christ now lives within them and is empowering them to live the Christian life for the glory of the Lord God, and for our edification as well. Although the Christian’s sinful nature has been crucified, their/our ‘body of sin’ or ‘flesh’ – our body and our soul (mind – the way we think, feel, and choose) has been tainted or trained by our former inner self (sinful nature) and may still at times rear its ugly, impotent, powerless, crybaby self and ‘demand’ to be nurtured and fed.
When the Christian sins they are ‘giving in’ to the cravings of the flesh, although the flesh is “powerless” to rule over us. We, as spiritual creatures ruled by Christ, give the flesh the authority to dictate and satisfy its selfish desires, although we do not have to. As we are led by the Spirit and not the flesh, we will mature in Christlikeness.
When the Christian sins we are actually trying to find meaning and purpose in the flesh, as opposed to finding our meaning and purpose in Christ, who IS OUR LIFE. Maturing in Christ – our sanctification – is a matter of trusting and depending on Christ in all things, and not listening to the carnal and selfish desires of the flesh. All Christians will battle with the flesh throughout our life and we won’t be totally free from sin and the desires of the flesh until we get a glorified body when we see Christ. BUT that doesn’t mean that we can’t – with the help of the Lord, His Spirit, Grace, and His Word, crucify the misdeeds of the flesh and mature into Christlikeness. We can do so as we depend on Christ in all things!