PUTTING THE FLESH TO DEATH [313]

Although there may be references to the effect that there is a certain responsibility to see that the flesh is curbed from its prior activities, this suggests legalism, and is not a good way to consider how the flesh is to be controlled. But more of a reminder.

Paul in Romans 7 found his flesh was uncontrollable and of course he was explaining pre conversion  thinking. The above reference though is to the ongoing Christian life. The thing of it is, that apart from temptation being a problem, the power of the cross lies in the fact that we and our body have been put to death with Jesus.

The power of the flesh lies in the accusations of the law, but his and our death are already accomplished, the law has no power to condemn anymore, he has died for us, that we be set free from the penalty power of the law to condemn, it is He himself who has taken on and in himself the results of sin.

So putting the flesh to death is really something that has already been done, and done permanently. Dying with him (buried in baptism) is also to live with him, by the power of faith that he has died FOR us, instead of us, in our place. Just like he took the place of Barabbas. And all humanity. The power of life to control us comes from faith that death can no longer do so, because its power has been removed, Jesus died for us.

So next time someone talks about putting the flesh to death, remember how it is this very thing that was achieved for us on the cross, and faith in this, in him, is in fact, that which welcomes and embraces the Spirit of life.

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