Our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin.
When you choose to be controlled by the Holy Spirit of God, He gives you power in times of temptation. But if you want God’s power to take control of your life, you first have to know the condition of your old sin nature–those old desires that are opposed to the things of God.
I have found that Christians tend to go to one of two extremes when it comes to their old nature. Some Christians actually deny they still have a sin nature. There was a man in one of my former churches who would argue with me about this endlessly. He said, “Pastor, you are wrong about this. Christians no longer have that old set of desires. They only have one nature. It is a new nature alive to God.” Then one day that man left his wife and children for another woman. He had that old nature inside of him still; he just did not realize it. And we are on dangerous ground when we forget there is a set of desires still within us that are opposed to the things of God.
In Galatians 5:16-17, Paul said there is a civil war going on in the heart of every true believer between the old nature and the new nature. He wrote, “Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.” Paul was not talking about your human flesh; he was talking about that old set of desires. “The flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.” Don’t you feel that all the time–something pulling you to do the right thing, and another pulling you to do the wrong thing? That is the result of our old sin nature.
Some Christians deny its existence, but other Christians go to the opposite extreme: they put their old nature in a place of prominence it should not have, and they believe they are still under its control. Look at what Paul said about the condition of our old nature once we trust in Christ: “Our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin” (Romans 6:6-7).
When you trust in Christ as your Savior, your old set of desires is crucified. Not just wounded–crucified. Paul said it has been “done away with.” Now, that phrase confuses people. It does not mean “removed”; it means “rendered inoperable.” Paul was saying that old set of desires has no more power over your life than you choose to allow it to have. Yet there are a lot of Christians who believe they are under the reign of their old nature, and they act as if they are under the reign of their old nature. No, Paul said–your old sin nature has been crucified.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “What The Holy Spirit Can Do For You” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.