“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. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” (Romans 8:13-17)
Have you ever seen a dead person standing? I haven’t. But if I were, I would imagine it to be standing because someone alive is standing behind the corpse trying to have it stand upright.
For a Christian, this is what their old self is like. When a Christian sins, it is like trying to subject the new self (alive) to supporting the old self (dead). Sin to a Christian is a very burdensome act. If you don’t believe me, try to do something that you know as wrong in your most inner being. If you happen to have done that, let me know how it felt afterward. I can imagine that your conscience is reminding you of that very sin, and its consequences you’re about to suffer.
So doing the deeds of the old self is identical to trying to convince others that the old self is alive.
If a spouse continues to cash the unemployment check of her deceased husband, will she not be trying to convince the government that her deceased husband is still alive?
In light of this, this is why The Spirit, having enabled us to do so, says:
“to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.” (Ephesians 4:22-27 ESV)
Now the one thing that mankind is so afraid of, suffering, that we have been empowered by the Spirit to endure so that we never get scared into sinning ever again, as we would rather suffer with Christ than sin. Now that is beautiful.
So drop that old corpse to the floor and walk away from it, for there is no life in it. Instead,
“put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” (Romans 13:14)
“But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor.
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:17-18, 20). Amen.