Friday, May 22, 2020

Still Struggling With The Old Man?

Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin” – Romans 6:6

Is there some aspect of your life – your old life – that you still struggle with? The King James version refers to our old nature as the “old man” some of the newer translations use “old self”. We can’t relax spiritually. Just when you think your are safe, that the “old man” can’t find you – BOOM! – there he is showing himself and typically not in a nice way.  Ok – for the sake of clarification – God created man and woman – out of man – so my reference to the “old man” applies to both sexes. And there are only two – God made X and Y chromosomes and combined them in two and only two ways.  But I digress …..

Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.” – 2 Corinthians 5:16-18

I have read and heard a lot of discussion over those highlighted words – “old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new”. That is a reference to our old and new natures. We have been made alive toward God when we were born again. Living that new life and not yielding to the influence of our old nature – well that is another thing altogether.  You might hear someone say that you are sanctified and are still being sanctified – conformed to the image of Jesus – which is to say yielded fully to the will of the Father and free from the influence of the flesh.  I might suggest that your sanctification, perfection if you will, will not be completed this side of heaven.

The issue at hand is not whether the old man will reveal himself in your life.  The issue is “what are you going to do when he does”?  Most often, I think, we try to pretend it didn’t happen.  Like the character on TV that would sheepishly say “Did I do that?” It is as if my sin is not as bad as someone else’s sin.  They may need to ask for forgiveness or say I am sorry, but not me. Can I get an Amen?  Or perhaps and “Oh me!” Our old man is offensive toward God and others.  Jesus went to the cross because of our old nature – why would it be OK to display it towards others when the second greatest commandment is to love others?  Let me paint a picture – if you are wondering what the old man looks like

 “The acts of the flesh [Old Man]are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.” – Galatians 5:19-21

Please don’t look that extremes in this list and think, “Oh that is not me!” Trust me – we are all in that list somewhere, maybe several somewhere.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” – Galatians 5:22-25

‘Nuf said!

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