The Old Man is Dead
Dr. Mary Wilkerson and Rev. Mark Maulding
Dr. Mary Wilkinson, President Grace Life Ministries
Rev. Mark Maulding, President Grace Ministries Carolina
God has helped us in His Word to understand that for non-organic issues, our problem is "flesh" and the answer is "Spirit." We can never really change our flesh, and God allows our flesh patterns to trouble us in order to cause us to press into deeper realms of our union with Jesus Christ for answers. Unfortunately, modern Christians have partially abandoned that pursuit because it is so different from man-made ways of change. What many therapies amount to is management of the flesh, rather than crucifixion of the flesh by faith in our co-death, burial, resurrection and ascension with Jesus Christ on the cross (See Ephesians 2:4-6). In other words, we must come to the place where we receive illumination from the Holy Spirit to realize our "old man" was crucified with Christ and no longer exists. We are now dealing with the flesh, which is memories, shadows and ghosts of the "dead man." What Christians have to learn is how to live from our new identity in Christ, rather than trying to fix the old man, whom the Bible says is dead. Our battle is no longer with the "old man" but with the flesh. In a practical sense, the flesh is all of the ways a person has learned to cope with life to attempt to meet his or her basic need for love, acceptance, worth and meaning apart from Jesus Christ.
What you need to do is this. Begin to believe that because the old man is dead, you have already died to sin. Begin thanking and praising God that although you may still sin, from time to time, He has already forgiven you 2000 years ago (See Colossians 2:13). If you will begin to put your faith in the finished work of the cross, rather than you trying to manage yourself through performance, therapies, self-help books, self-discipline, works, etc., which grieve the Spirit of God within us, He will begin to set you free..... perhaps slowly, imperceptibly, at first, but nevertheless continuously. We have to stop looking at ourselves and learn to look upon "Christ in you the hope of glory" (See Colossians 1:27). The root cause is flesh, which operates based upon deception and lies. The "cure" is resurrection life in Christ, manifested through your surrendered personality. Remember, walking in the light is not sinless perfection but rather honesty before God, dependent upon His Son in you to live the Christian life through you.
We are told in Scripture that we are "new creations" in Christ. A "new creation" means that we now have the identity of being a child of God who is holy, righteous and perfect in Christ. In fact, 63 times Christians are called "saints" in the New Testament! God wants us to learn to let Christ live through our new identity rather than us trying to make our flesh change or somehow improve.
As new sap causes the old leaves to fall away and new leaves are produced, so our old dead behaviors begin to drop away, effortlessly and spontaneously, when we know who we are in Christ, and trust Him to set us free, not our own works, and plans. It is not a program but a Person who sets us free.
Our prayer is that you will begin to believe that your old man is dead (See Roman 6:6), embrace your new identity in Christ and daily depend on Christ to live his life through you (See Galatians 2:20).
May God bless, you dear saint in Christ as you discover the truth that sets you free!