I heard a kind of teaching while growing up. It says that we have got to bring our flesh (old man) to the altar and kill it. Oh, I tried it severally. But I kept having an old man to deal with. It seemed that the old man kept resurrecting each time I killed it. As I grew older and studied scriptures deeply, I realized that it was not in my power to kill the old man. The old man was crucified with Christ. The old man is dead. This truth liberated and positioned me for victory over the flesh.

Friend, you have got victory over the flesh (Galatians 5:24). God has not ordained you to be struggling with the flesh or old man. To struggle with the flesh is to not understand the potency of what Christ has accomplished for you on the cross (Colossians 3:1-5). This was the case of Apostle Paul before he encountered the truth of redemption (Romans 7:18-25, 8:1). He never knew he had been set free.

The responsibility of the believer is not to kill the old man. It is to remind the old man that it is dead (Romans 6:6-11). It is to ensure that he does not give room for the old man to raise its head (Romans 6:12-13). To put to death, as used in Colossians 3:5, is not talking about taking responsibility to put to death. It is to consider the old man dead and to enforce the work of the cross. If you don’t understand this, you would keep struggling unnecessarily.

While the old man has been crucified with Christ, the flesh is the part of you that wants to give expression to the old man, just as your spirit should give expression to the operations of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:6-14). Your flesh also talks about the training that you have given your body over time (Galatians 5:13). Simply put, your body needs a retraining. This is another responsibility of the believer.

If you don’t retrain your body, it would betray you as a Christian (Job 31:1). You would keep wondering why, even though you are born again, you are still engaged in the activities that characterise your old life. Training your body begins with exercising your spirit to keep your flesh under (1 Corinthians 9:27). Your flesh is as strong in your life as the exercise of your spirit.

To gain control over the flesh is to discipline your body by walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-26). Christianity is not lawless living. We have been delivered from the law of sin and death into the law of the Spirit of life (Romans 8:2). If you leave your body undisciplined, it would go wild. This is why we set boundaries. It is also the reason we do not keep relationships that provide opportunities for the flesh in our lives (Psalms 1:1-3, 1 Corinthians 15:33).

‘Demola Awoyele
Lead Pastor,
Destiny Impact Church
Akure, Nigeria