The “Carnal” Christian – Pt.2

The “Carnal” Christian – Pt.2

The Deliverance of the Cross

“They that are of Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh” (Galatians 5:24, R.V.) These are the words with which the Apostle ends his description of the “works of the flesh” in his letter to the Galatians, as he contrasts the ” fruit of the Spirit” which the “spiritual” man-the man in whom the spirit, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, rules -should bring forth in his life.

The “babes in Christ” who are “yet carnal” need a fuller apprehension of the meaning of the Cross; for in the purpose of God the death of Christ meant that the “old man ” was crucified with Him, so that “they that are of Christ have crucified the flesh” with all its affections and desires. The same Cross that was revealed to the unregenerate man as the place where sin was atoned for, and his burden of sin removed by the blood of the Lamb, is the place where the “carnal” Christian, who may be a “babe” in Christ, even though regenerate for many years, must obtain deliverance from the domination of the flesh, so that he may walk after the spirit, and not “after the flesh”, and thus in due season become “spiritual”, and a full-grown man in Christ.

ROMANS 6 IS THE MAGNA CHARTA OF LIBERTY THROUGH THE CROSS OF CHRIST, which the babe in Christ needs to know, for it most clearly sets forth the basis of deliverance, to which only a brief reference is made in Galatians 5:24 and other passages.

Only by an appropriation of death with Christ, with the putting to death of the “doings” of the body (Romans 8:13, R. V. m.; Colossians 3:5) can the believer live, and walk, and act in and by the Spirit, and thus become a spiritual man. “When we were ` in the flesh’ the passions of sin … wrought in our members to bring forth fruit unto death,” wrote Paul to the Romans, “but now we have been discharged from the law, having died. .. ” (Romans 7:5,6).

“In the likeness of sinful flesh” (Romans 8:3), the pure and holy Son of God hung upon the tree, an “offering for sin”, and because He died for sin, and to sin in the place of the sinner, God thus has condemned for ever a life of ” sin in the flesh ” in all who are truly united to His Son. The believer lives “in the flesh” (2 Corinthians 10:3) it is true, in that he is still in his physical body, but once he sees God’s own Son in the ” likeness of sinful flesh ” hanging upon the tree, and knows that in Him he died to sin, from that hour he lives ” in the flesh ” (Galatians 2:20) as far as the physical body is concerned, but he does not WALK any longer ” after the flesh “that is, according to the demands and desires of his body -but “after the spirit”-that is, according to his renewed spirit indwelt by the Spirit of God. (Cf. Romans 8:5,6)

Based upon the work of the Son of God on the Cross of Calvary, in which the sinner for whom He died was identified with the Substitute who died for him, the redeemed and regenerate believer is called to “reckon”, or account himself “dead to sin”, because “our old man was crucified with Him”. The Holy Spirit of God dwelling in his spirit can then carry out to its ultimate issue the Divine purpose that the “body of sin”-i.e., the whole continent of sin in the whole of fallen man may be “destroyed” or abolished  as the man on his part steadily and faithfully refuses to “let sin reign” (Romans 6:6,11,13). It is as the “babe in Christ” knows this that the “flesh” ceases to dominate, and have control, and he rises in spirit into real union with the Ascended Lord-alive unto God in Christ Jesus.

The “babe in Christ” who apprehends this now knows the fuller meaning of being “Alive unto God”; and walking after the spirit, and by the Spirit, he ceases to fulfill the desires of the flesh, and henceforth gives his spirit, indwelt by the Spirit of God, the domination of his entire being. It does not mean that he may not again lapse into the walk “after the flesh”, but as long as he gives his mind to the “things of the Spirit”, and reckons himself continually “dead indeed unto sin”, he, “by the Spirit”, steadfastly “makes to die” the “doings of the body” (Romans 8:13 R. V. m.), and walks in newness of life.

“The word destroyed in the A.V. is rendered  ‘done away’  by Alford, and ‘annulled’ by Darby. In Romans 3:3, it is translated ` make without effect’; in Romans 3:31, `make void’; in Romans 4:14, `made of none effect’;  in Romans 7:2, ‘ loosed’; in Romans 7:6, ‘delivered’. Whatever its best translation in Romans 6:6, it is plain that it signifies that `the body of sin ‘ is to CEASE TO HAVE ANY POWER TO BRING THE BELIEVER INTO BONDAGE TO SIN .. . “-W.R.N.

The root word means to “leave unemployed, to make barren, void, useless “.  Therefore the actual ” abolishing “of the “body of sin” which includes practically all that we receive by nature in the first Adam can only reach its ultimate experimentally when the ” body of our humiliation ” is ” conformed to the body of His glory” at the coming of the Lord from heaven (Philippians 3:21).

1 Comment

  1. Theresa Rice
    September 26, 2016, 4:00 am   /  Reply

    Missing Carnal Christian – Part 1

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