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If I'm Dead to Self, Why Am I Tempted?


We may wonder why, if we have been crucified with Christ, the flesh has any influence on us at all. It seems that crucifixion is a slow death.

As soon as you are born again (by believing and trusting in Jesus) you ARE a new creature. However, you still HAVE a fleshly nature. Your REAL self is the Christ nature, that ministry that you have BECOME. This ministry, Christ in you, is at war with your old fleshly nature. You ARE the spiritual man, but you HAVE a flesh.

Paul said something interesting about this in the Book of Romans. He pointed out that the more he tried not to covet, the more he coveted. Then, he said that since he agreed with God, it was not really him who was sinning but the fleshly nature that was sinning. It sounds like a cop out, but it is not. We are Christians (Christ-ones) with Christ in us, the hope of glory. The Christ Who is in us cannot sin. (1 Jn. 3:4-11) Christ is that spiritual man John talked about in First John. On the other hand, our old nature cannot do anything right. But we do have a will. If we willfully sin, then we are re-crucifying Christ in our minds. When we do that, God will not hear our prayers--not to get even but to turn us around and back to Him.

The self, fleshly nature, is on the cross to be sure. It is fighting for its very life. It is deceitful beyond measure and is motivated by self-preservation. It will continue to try to deceive us until it is totally dead.

Before we were born again, we had no choice but to do the will of Satan. We were free from the righteousness of God and slaves of Satan. No person who is not born again can do righteousness. They can do works that look like righteousness, but they are hypocritical works. They can only be self-righteous. The only righteousness that is real is that righteousness that God does through us by His Grace, which is through His faith. Real righteousness is by grace through faith.

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When we are born again, we should know that we are two people. We have Christ in us. He has become our true identity. We also have the fleshly nature, the old Adam. He has to die. There is not middle-point of agreement between these two separate entities. When the flesh tempts us, that is not us tempting ourselves. We no longer identify or make provision for the flesh. That is the enemy of our souls that is tempting us.

The flesh is not the real you, if you have Christ in your heart. You are the ministry, Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Last updated: Jan, 2013
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