“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. For one who has died has been set free from sin.” Rom. 6:6,7 (ESV)
Yesterday I began to discuss our struggle against the old self. This is a critical yet often misunderstood concept. In today’s verse, Paul gives us another clue to help us achieve victory in the battle between our old self, and our new Spirit indwelled self.
Paul tells us that our old self was crucified with Christ.
For years this was confusing to me since I interpreted this to mean that the old self was killed and should be dead…yet my experience told me that the old man was still very much alive.
Then I realized that crucifixion is a long and painful death process.
When Paul states that our old self was crucified with Christ, he means that the death process of our old self has been initiated and the outcome inevitable.
My old self is destined for death.
Before I came to faith in Christ, my old self was alive and well… and ruling my life. When I accepted Christ as my Lord, the old self was crucified and began the long arduous death process. The old self didn’t die immediately after I became a Christian…but it was mortally wounded.
Putting off the old self hastens the death process.
Feeding the old self prolongs the death process.
I put off the old self by recognizing and confessing my sins. I put off the old self by resisting my old motivations and temptations to self-indulgence.
I feed the old self when I continue to indulge it.
Christ inflicted the mortal wound on my old self.
It is up to me to either hasten that death or prolong it.
The reason that Christ inflicted that mortal wound on my old self was so my old self would no longer enslave me. I am now free to follow the leading of the Spirit.
It’s your choice today to either hasten or prolong the death of your old self.
Prayer: Lord, help me resist the patterns of sin that still enslave me!