Even after justification, one can live either according to the flesh or according to the Spirit. Although God changed the operating system, you still have functional control over your life. Even though you now are in-Christ, a new man, your heart remains active either for or against God. Therefore, we must actively put to death the flesh.
Today in our second post related to putting to death the flesh, we look at eight steps to help you mortify the flesh. Earlier this week in posts, we have already discussed from Romans 8 both the incredible comfort of God’s grace and the call of God’s grace. In part one of this post, we answered the question, “What is the flesh?” Remember, as sinners who are in Christ, we no longer have any condemnation; instead, we have been adopted into God’s family, become a joint-heir with Jesus, and can call God “Daddy.” However, we recognize that although we are accepted into God’s family as we are, God still has an agenda by grace to grow us more into Christ, the process we call sanctification. To do this with the greatest proficiency and effectively as possible, the Apostle Paul tells us to mortify or put to death the flesh. Today, we answer the question, “How do you put to death the flesh?” with eight steps to mortify or put to death the flesh.
How Do You Put to Death the Flesh?
Understanding the difficulty of living consistent with our in-Christ, new man, righteous inner man which is clothed in true righteousness and holiness, Paul explained that we must seek to put to death the deeds of the flesh. As we discussed yesterday, although the power of the flesh is broken, the presence of sin remains. Sadly, even after justification, one can live either according to the flesh or according to the Spirit. Although God changed the operating system, you still have functional control over your life. Even though you now are in-Christ new man, your heart remains active either for or against God. Therefore, we must actively put to death the flesh.
Understanding the Battle
Paul describes the battle between the flesh and the Spirit in Galatians 5.
I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Gal 5:16-21)
And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Gal 5:24)
Paul describes it as a battle. The Spirit leads you toward righteousness but your own fleshly desires and passions fight against that leading. For this reason, back in Romans, Paul instructs:
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. (Rom 13:14)
In a similar way to Galatians, he essentially highlights the battle between the Spirit and the flesh. Here, he refers to it as putting on Christ, which simply means to live consistent with your in-Christ, new man, righteous inner man. But, this is only part of the battle. In reference to the flesh, he admonishes us to starve it out or make no provision for the flesh to fulfill its lusts. Or, to put to death the flesh