It is commonly taught that crucifying the flesh is to stop sinning. Many believers live under the burden of guilt, shame, and condemnation due to this error in teaching, thinking they may not be saved when they still sin. This study will set you free from this burden.
It is also commonly taught that to come to Christ; a person must repent of their sins. While it may be implied, the truth is that the Bible does not specifically tell us to repent of sins. But in Hebrews 6:1, it clearly tells us that our foundation, basic and elementary teaching, is repentance from dead works (not sin), and faith toward God.
Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, Heb 6:1 ESV
Dead works are good works in the eyes of men. They are done to be right with God, our vain attempt to start afresh, be born again. They are distinct from “works of the flesh” in the Bible, which are outward sins.
Repentance means “change mind.” Therefore, to get to Heaven, we change our mind about how it is possible to get there. We repent of dead works when we stop trusting our flesh to be right with God. Thus we crucify our flesh to be born again and do things God’s way, trusting in Jesus.
To be born again, Jesus had to be crucified first. Like Jesus, we must be crucified first before we can be born again. If you are born again, you crucified your flesh when you repented of your dead works to be saved, stopped trusting in your flesh’s dead works for salvation and turned to Jesus, just like Paul.
Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Gal 5:24 ESV
We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. Rom 6:6 ESV
A crucified flesh is not a flesh that has stopped sinning; it is a flesh that has stopped trying to be right with God through dead works.
Once a person changes their mind and turns from their dead works and places their faith in God, they are crucified with Christ first and then born again. A true miracle of God. A crucified flesh is dead and cannot be relied upon. That is the point of a crucified flesh. Therefore, to be right with God can only be accomplished by God. Being born again must be 100% of God, a true miracle.
Think of the story of Abraham and Sarah in the Old Testament. God promised Abraham in his old age a child with Sarah. This child was necessary to fulfill the promise God had made to Abraham. The promised child did not come immediately, so Abraham and Sarah using their fleshly wisdom decided to help God. Abraham fathered a child with their handmaiden so they would have an heir. This was a dead work because when God promises something it is already a reality, and God promised them their own child. God did not need their help nor does he need our help to fulfill His promise to save us. He needs us to turn from our own works to him for salvation.
Sarah was barren her whole life, not being able to give birth to a child and God waited until Abraham was as good as dead (Heb 11:12), crucified if you will, not able to father a child. Isaac was born to them when Abraham was 100. Isaac’s birth was a true miracle of God, not a dead work, just like when we are born again.
Trying to crucify an already crucified flesh in order to stop sin is of no value. It is a dead work because a born-again person’s flesh has already been crucified.
If with Christ you died (were crucified) to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism (self-denial, self-mortification) and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh. Col 2:20-23 ESV (emphasis mine)
Trying to perfect the flesh by the flesh is foolish. It is to walk in, rely on, the flesh instead of the Spirit as Christians are told to do.
O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith— just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”?
Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justifythe Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. Gal 3:1-9 ESV
Righteous, Holy, Sanctified and Perfected.
The Bible is very clear that if you believe you are saved. As a follower of Jesus, you are already righteous, holy, sanctified and perfected by the shedding of His blood at His death and resurrection. God has qualified you and states that no man can ever call you unholy based on your actions. God has promised never to be angry with or rebuke you. It is all about Jesus perfect sacrifice for you. Satan does everything he can to steal this truth from you. If he can get you to doubt your salvation, you will try to earn it by dead works. These works are dead because the result they hope to achieve, a right standing with God, has already been achieved by Jesus shed blood for you. The Bible teaches that dead works cannot serve a Living God. The only way to defeat Satan’s lies is to renew your mind with the truth. First establish your mind in His Righteousness – Matt 6:33.
Our flesh was crucified when we repented of dead works and placed our faith in Jesus. We are already born again and a new creation. To accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we set aside faith in our own ability and humbly placed ourselves under Christ. We are the humble in the Bible who shall inherit the renewed earth. We cannot stop the flesh from sinning by the flesh. The flesh will never be perfected and this is why it must die. We need to be renewed in our minds and set free from old ways by right believing. Right believing leads to right living.
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. Gal 2:20 ESV
If you are a believer, I believe you are looking for a way out of sin and not into sin. The above verses tell us that doing dead works and trying to crucify an already crucified flesh is not the answer. Below are some studies on how to stop sin in your life by hearing the truth and mixing it with faith.
Many more New Covenant studies HERE.
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