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:
- 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.
- 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?
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.
Note: You may also like The Normal Christian, another post referencing what Watchman Nee wrote.