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The second cross: Crucifying the old man and the flesh with its passions and desires

This “crucifixion” is necessary if we want to become disciples.

Those who are truly tired of their own sinSin is anything that goes against God’s will and His laws. To commit sin is to transgress or disobey these laws. The lust to sin dwells in human nature. In other words, it is contaminated and motivated by the sinful tendencies that dwell in all people as a result of the fall into sin and disobedience in the garden of Eden. This... More and have a genuine desire to enter a new life, are led to repentanceRepentance is the act of regretting sincerely the sin in your past with the goal to never do it again. It is making a decision to turn away from evil and to serve God. Repentance is one of the requirements for the forgiveness of sins. (Mark 2:17; Luke 15:10; Luke 24:46-47; Acts 3:19; Romans 2:4; 2 Corinthians 7:10; 2 Peter... More by God’s goodness. (Romans 2:4) RepentRepentance is the act of regretting sincerely the sin in your past with the goal to never do it again. It is making a decision to turn away from evil and to serve God. Repentance is one of the requirements for the forgiveness of sins. (Mark 2:17; Luke 15:10; Luke 24:46-47; Acts 3:19; Romans 2:4; 2 Corinthians 7:10; 2 Peter... More therefore and be convertedTo make a decision to turn away from sin and darkness, from the power of the devil to the living God. We repent from our former sins, cast off our old life – a life which enjoyed living in the passing pleasures of sin – and lay hold of a new mind – a mindset that is determined to resist... More, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord …” Acts 3:19. Being converted1 is a wholehearted decision one makes to repent from former sins and to turn away from the world – from living in the passing pleasures of sin, to living for God a hundred percent; not a bit of both. By God’s mercy, we receive forgiveness for our sins by unmerited grace, and the foundation for a new life is now laid. (Acts 3:19; Acts 26:18)

Crucifying the “old man” (Romans 6:6; Ephesians 4:17-24)

To come to a new life, we have to put off the “old man2” – our old life. (Ephesians 2:2-3, Ephesians 4:22-24) Our “old man” is our mindset before conversionTo make a decision to turn away from sin and darkness, from the power of the devil to the living God. We repent from our former sins, cast off our old life – a life which enjoyed living in the passing pleasures of sin – and lay hold of a new mind – a mindset that is determined to resist... More, where we allowed sin to rule in our lives, where we had not made a conscious decision to resist sin but instead gave in to temptation. It is clear that there is no way we can stop sinning if our “old man” continues to be active in our lives. Then we will need forgiveness for the same sins we commit day by day. To believe that we can get victory over sin“Victory over sin” means that you do not commit conscious sin – that which you know would be sin at that time when you are tempted. It doesn’t mean that you are without sin, but that temptation is overcome before it can become sin. (Romans 8:37; 1 Corinthians 15:57; Revelation 2:7)... More without putting off the “old man” is deception. Then it will just be a battleAlmost all talk of battles and wars when concerning a Christian life refers to the inner battle that arises when a sinful thought tempts you. God’s Spirit and the flesh are at odds. When you have decided to only do God’s will and are being led by the Spirit, a conflict between the flesh and the Spirit arises: there is... More to keep up a good outward appearance. If we want spiritual progress after we have been converted, then we have to put off, or crucify, our “old man.” (Romans 6:6)

Crucifying the “old man” is an act of faith, a decision we make to put off our old mindset which willingly gave in to sinTo commit sin is to consciously do something that you know goes against God’s will. This can be in word, deed, or even thought. (James 1:14-15)... More, and to put on the new manYour “old man” is your mindset before conversion. It is a state of allowing your lusts and desires to rule in your life; you have not made a conscious decision to resist committing sin. The new man is your mindset after conversion. It is a decision to overcome sin and live in righteousness and holiness. It is the mind to... More3 – a new mindset and determination to resist sin and to live a crucified lifeJesus was physically crucified on the cross at Calvary. Though blameless, He took upon Himself the punishment for sin, which was death, so He could pay our debts and forgive us our sin if we are willing to believe in Him and follow Him the Apostle Paul wrote: “I have been crucified with Christ…” (Galatians 2:20) This is a metaphorical... More with Him. (Ephesians 4:17-24) We reckon ourselves to be dead to sin – we no longer serve sin consciously, and to be alive to God and His workings – our bodies are used instead to serve Him in obedience. (Romans 6:11-14) We can make this decisive commitment to put off our “old man” and to begin a new life regardless of where we are – it is a decision we make by faith!

Having put off the old manYour “old man” is your mindset before conversion. It is a state of allowing your lusts and desires to rule in your life; you have not made a conscious decision to resist committing sin. The new man is your mindset after conversion. It is a decision to overcome sin and live in righteousness and holiness. It is the mind to... More does not mean that we do not have sin in the fleshSin is anything that goes against God’s will and His laws. To commit sin is to transgress or disobey these laws. The lust to sin dwells in human nature. In other words, it is contaminated and motivated by the sinful tendencies that dwell in all people as a result of the fall into sin and disobedience in the garden of Eden. This... More4 and that we are no longer tempted by being drawn and enticed by our own desires. (James 1:14-15) It means, however, that we do not live according to them. This is the new mind3. Our new mind no longer serves sin, but instead declares a resounding “No!” when we are tempted. This is a powerful decision of faith, which takes place in our mind.

Crucifying the flesh with its passions and desires (Galatians 5:24)

With this new mind, our fleshSin is anything that goes against God’s will and His laws. To commit sin is to transgress or disobey these laws. The lust to sin dwells in human nature. In other words, it is contaminated and motivated by the sinful tendencies that dwell in all people as a result of the fall into sin and disobedience in the garden of Eden. This... More with its passions and desiresThe desires that we experience that go against God’s will. In other words, a desire for anything sinful. See James 1:14. Also called “sin in the flesh.” Although the expression “youthful lusts” is  often thought of in connection with sinful sexual desires, lusts include anything that go against what is good and right in God’s eyes. (2 Timothy 2:22.; Galatians... More can be crucified with ChristJesus was physically crucified on the cross at Calvary. Though blameless, He took upon Himself the punishment for sin, which was death, so He could pay our debts and forgive us our sin if we are willing to believe in Him and follow Him the Apostle Paul wrote: “I have been crucified with Christ…” (Galatians 2:20) This is a metaphorical... More. (Galatians 5:24) The flesh is the part of our body of sinSin is anything that goes against God’s will and His laws. To commit sin is to transgress or disobey these laws. The lust to sin dwells in human nature. In other words, it is contaminated and motivated by the sinful tendencies that dwell in all people as a result of the fall into sin and disobedience in the garden of Eden. This... More, of which we are conscious. Naturally, we cannot crucify what we have not recognized as sin up to this point. But as soon as we receive light that something is sin, we have to crucify it – put it to death. (Colossians 3:5) When these lusts and desiresThe desires that we experience that go against God’s will. In other words, a desire for anything sinful. See James 1:14. Also called “sin in the flesh.” Although the expression “youthful lusts” is  often thought of in connection with sinful sexual desires, lusts include anything that go against what is good and right in God’s eyes. (2 Timothy 2:22.; Galatians... More arise from our flesh, they must be crucified – never allowed into our hearts and minds – and suffered out until they die. This incurs sufferingThe Bible often mentions suffering. Though this can refer to outward, physical suffering, in the New Covenant it mostly applies to the suffering that occurs when you deny your own sinful lusts and desires and put them to death. It is an inner suffering that occurs because your lusts are not being satisfied, rather than a physical, outward one –... More in our flesh, because our own sinful lustsThe desires that we experience that go against God’s will. In other words, a desire for anything sinful. See James 1:14. Also called “sin in the flesh.” Although the expression “youthful lusts” is  often thought of in connection with sinful sexual desires, lusts include anything that go against what is good and right in God’s eyes. (2 Timothy 2:22.; Galatians... More and desires that dwell there are not being satisfied. These lusts eventually die when they are continually denied to the point of death.

Our mind, our consciousness, which before was in wicked works has become subject to God’s will by faith. We are to reckon ourselves as dead indeed to sin, but alive to God. (Romans 6:11) When a person continues to live in conscious sin, it is because the old man is still alive, and they don’t have the mind to resist sin – they are a slave of sin. Therefore, putting off the old man opens the possibility of a life in total victory over conscious sin as far as we have light – our bodies are no more slaves of sin. “Therefore, brethrenThe “brothers” and “sisters” are those who are a part of the church of Christ. (Matthew 23:8; Matthew 12:50; Hebrews 2:10-18)... More, we are debtors – not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.” Romans 8:12. The evil inclinations in our flesh shall no longer rule over us.

This cross is for all of us who have sinned and have sinful habits, but who have repented and have decided to begin a new life.

Glossary

  1. Conversion/To be converted: To be converted is to make a decision to turn away from sin and darkness, from the power of the devil to the living God. We repent from our former sins, cast off our old life – a life which enjoyed living in the passing pleasures of sin, and lay hold of a new mind – a mindset that is determined to resist sin (say “No!” in temptation). It is also important, after conversion, not to return to the environment which had a negative influence on one before conversion, otherwise things can go badly again. (Acts 3:19, Acts 26:18, 1 Peter 2:1-2)
  2. The “old man”: Our “old man” is our mindset where we have not made a conscious decision to resist sin. With this mindset, when we are tempted to sin, we consciously agree to these temptations in our mind, allowing these desires to manifest into sinful thoughts, words and deeds. (Romans 6:1-6, Ephesians 4:22-24, Colossians 3:9-10)
  3. The “new man” / “new mind”: The “new man” is the new mindset, the new determination we have put on after putting off the “old man.” It is a decision to fightAlmost all talk of battles and wars when concerning a Christian life refers to the inner battle that arises when a sinful thought tempts you. God’s Spirit and the flesh are at odds. When you have decided to only do God’s will and are being led by the Spirit, a conflict between the flesh and the Spirit arises: there is... More against sin, to say “No!” every time we are tempted to sin, to live in righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:22-24)
  4. Sin in the flesh: The inclination to sin in human nature that all people have inherited since the Fall. This means that as a human being we are naturally tempted by sinful desires and thoughts. This is also often referred to as “indwelling sinSin is anything that goes against God’s will and His laws. To commit sin is to transgress or disobey these laws. The lust to sin dwells in human nature. In other words, it is contaminated and motivated by the sinful tendencies that dwell in all people as a result of the fall into sin and disobedience in the garden of Eden. This... More.”
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The message of the cross – Introduction

The cross is one of the most well-known symbols of Christianity, but its significance lies far deeper than the cross of Calvary.

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What is “The cross?”

Scripture actually speaks about three crosses.

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The first cross: The cross of Calvary

This is the cross that leads to the forgiveness of sins.

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The second cross: Crucifying the old man and the flesh with its passions and desires

This “crucifixion” is necessary if we want to become disciples.

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The third cross: Taking up our cross daily as disciples

With the third cross our entire inner being can be transformed into the image of Christ.

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What is the result of taking up our cross?

A glorious future in the knowledge of Christ.

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