Crucify the Flesh

Empty Cross Against an Angry Sky

Crucify The Flesh

As those who follow Christ, we are saved by the blood of Christ. It was His sacrifice that made it possible for us to become God’s children.

However, we must not sit back and rest in this forgiveness. God intends for our sins to die as well.  This is a central theme for the apostle Paul: “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry” (Colossians 3:5).

The blood of Jesus is for our sins…the cross is for us.

This was all brought back to center stage again as I have been revisiting The Normal Christian Life, written by Watchman Nee.

I am struck by the way Nee identified a distinction in Romans between the way Paul refers to the blood of Jesus and the Cross of Jesus in Romans 1-8.

You may want to do a Bible study on this yourself to see if you agree in the difference that Nee highlights:

  1. The Blood of Jesus is For Our Sins       

“Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God” (Romans 5:9).

Only because Jesus shed his blood for us do we receive forgiveness of sins.

  1. The Cross is For Us

Here is the way Nee describes this:

“The Blood deals with what we have done, whereas the Cross deals with what we are.”

“I appreciate the blessed fact of God’s forgiveness, but I want something more than that: I want deliverance. I need forgiveness for what I have done, but I need also deliverance from what I am.”

Crucifying the Flesh

We cannot allow sin to flourish and expect our life in Christ to flourish as well. As those who seek to overcome lust, we cannot accommodate evil desires.  Notice how Paul talks about this:

“And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:24).

“For if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Romans 8:13).

In another book Nee explains this further:

“This putting to death means bringing the death of the Lord Jesus to bear upon all the deeds of the flesh. The crucifixion of the Lord is a most authoritative one for it puts away everything it encounters. Since we are united with Him in His crucifixion we can apply His death to any member which is tempted to lust and immediately put it to naught.”

You are severely missing the boat if you believe that your sin must stand—that you have no choice but to remain a miserable, failing, lustful sinner.  I urge you to overcome lust.  Put to death this sin and allow new life to take root.

Here is a follow-up question for you:

I have been thinking about the following question and would like some feedback.

Here is the question:  Who crucifies your flesh? 

Possible answers:

a) You  b) God c) It is automatic when you become a Christian.

If you reply in the comment section below, I will respond with my thoughts about this. You are able to comment anonymously or with your real name.

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  • Ken

    Jim, I must crucify my flesh by making the right decisions and not giving in to lust. And over time this will break my habit of taking the first step and allowing sin to progress from thought to deed. By the way, thank you for this website. You are showing me the way out of a lifetime of lust sin torment and bondage.

    • JVanderSpek

      We will pray for you as you enter this vital struggle. May God give you victory, joy and peace as you strive to do His will.

  • Steven

    I have been delivered from Lust by mindfully saying no, no and no again, i.e., I will not let it past my eye gate or enter my heart. Surprising how it starts losing its hold on you as you stand firm against lust. I knew I was truely delivered. However, lust has since re-entered again and it only took one brief slip of the mind, thus taking hold in my heart. I now must re-enter the resistance stage to weed out this sin. Am I wrong or is their a permanent way to eliminate lust and at the same time have a healty sexual relationship with my wife.

    • JVanderSpek

      Saying no to lust is essential, but not enough. Our own willpower is never enough. You must also say yes to the Spirit. If you walk in the Spirit, you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. I urge you to read the article, Fourteen Weapons for Overcoming Lust, from the dropdown menu. You must take off the old man and put on the old man. I pray for your success.

    • Jonathan

      Brother steven, that is not the right way to go about it. We cannot overcome this without Christ. Acts 14:22, We are going to fail. We are to keep getting back up though as the righteous man does… Here’s how to overcome… The bible says it’s not by power, nor by might, but by THE SPIRIT, saith The Lord.

      Here are 3 thing that will help anyone overcome any situation in their life.

      (1) Fasting on a regular basis, (2) bathing yourself daily in prayer and (3) reading and studying the Word of God is the 3 best ways to overcome this.

      Let’s take a look at each of these

      1. FASTING – Most people have fasting all wrong. Many people fast with the mindset to get God to do something that they want Him to do. That’s the wrong idea of fasting. Isaiah 58 talks about fasting a lot. Fasting is not to get God to do something for us. Rather fasting is crucifying our flesh to prepare us for what God is doing or is going to do. Fasting destroys our will and surrenders to the will of the Father. When a man goes without food, that man begins to die. So what fasting does is kill the fleshly carnal nature and allows the Spirit to have freedom in our life.

      2. PRAYER – Prayer is communion with God. Heart to heart conversation. Prayer prepares our heart and soul to hear from God, whether in our spirit, in an audible voice or through the reading of His Word. Prayer is a must for every child of God. Let me ask you a serious question. How much time do you spend in prayer each day? Just on an average. I’m not talking about praying at work or riding down the road or while doing thing around the house. While this is necessary, we must take time away from everything and do nothing but pray and spend time with the Lord. How much time each day do you lay everything down except prayer? Truthfully most people fail here. This is your lifeline to God. Without prayer there will be no anointing in our life and it’s the anointing that destroys the yoke of bondage. Isa 10:27 And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.

      3. READING AND STUDYING GOD’S WORD – Naturally the bible is food to our spirit man so if we’re not reading and studying it then we’re dying spiritually. Also along with reading and listening, study the bible. This will help you and give you spiritual maturity and also help you overcome many battles in life that the devil will throw at you.

  • Ryley

    Does lust only mean wanting for something sinful or the wanting to watch tv or buy something?

    • http://overcoming-lust.com JVanderSpek

      You are asking the exactly right question: “What is lust?” Once you understand the answer to this question, you place yourself in a position to overcome lust. Read this article for help with this: http://www.overcoming-lust.com/articles/understanding-lust/ .

  • Eric

    I have to crucify my own flesh. Every scripture points to an action on my part. Though I truly believe I am saved by Grace through my Faith, the fact remains that I acted in faith b/c I was lead to do so by God. Nobody wakes up one morning and says,”You know I wanna be a Christian.” We are drawn by God. Now having stated that scripture also states “Faith without works is dead.” What I am saying is it takes work to crucify our flesh and it shows faith that we are doing so. I have gotten alittle off topic but the two are closely related. So yes I must put in the work with God asmy strength to crucify my flesh.

  • Raul

    If I understood correctly I can be saved even if I sin daily? I struggle a lot with porn, I am very angry that I cant do any progress because I feel God will just dump me in hell as soon as I die. But if I am saved because I have Jesus as my lord then that would give me a lot of joy because that would mean God loves me even with my sins. I suspect I might have the spirit of lust because I was molested as a young boy and in the past (sometimes in the present too) I had the incubus demon. And have very strong sexual desires that I cant stop.

  • Carstelina Ransom

    A. You

  • BG

    Raul, I can completely identify with you. I had to shut off the internet at home and do my networking in a controlled environment, i.e. work, church net etc. I also had to
    increase my people activities that hold me accountable. One of the best influence
    in my life has been Reformers Unanimus. Look up a chapter today and get that
    pride put in check. Raul, when He sees you, he sees the blood of the Lamb.
    He sees you as worthy and not as you am. If you asked Jesus to save you,that’s
    eternal. Eph 2:8&9. 1John 5:12&13, John 10:28& 29. KJV

  • Simone

    A.) you