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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : The Old man and Flesh...Different?

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Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


It would be time to start looking for a new profession were that to happen...

Nice pun. ;-)


Mike Compton

 2008/3/4 20:38Profile


Compton, that's the funniest thing I've heard in a long time!!!

[size=x-large]:lol: [/size]


 2008/3/4 20:50

Joined: 2007/1/30
Posts: 1230


Paul West,Did you say you are a mortician?

Have you ever tried to raise anyone from the dead?

That is truly an awesome profession.

i am extremely interested in raising the dead!
to be that close to so many dead people,must be awesome.


 2008/3/4 20:53Profile

Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas


i am extremely interested in raising the dead!

I think you've been reading too much Wigglesworth, dear brother :) Actually, I'm more interested in living the Resurrection Life than raising dead bodies in the mortal sense. But if God ever impressed it upon me to pray for such a thing (as of yet He hasn't)...I would obey.

to be that close to so many dead people,must be awesome

You remind me of my 17 year old cousin. He doesn't say "awesome" though; he says "pretty messed-up" instead.

It would be time to start looking for a new profession were that to happen...

Nice pun

Picked up on that one, did you? ;-)

Paul Frederick West

 2008/3/4 21:09Profile

Joined: 2006/2/26
Posts: 193


You said that we don't battle with the old man but it seems as though we are all going in circles. I realize that scripture reveals that the old man is dead. But the Mortician made an excellent point with a fault. He said that the "new man" must battle with the trinity of the enemy and the flesh was a part of that list. So back to my question, if the flesh and the old man are synonymous then WHY are we fighting against the flesh since the old man is on his side? Are they different? If not, why do we fight a dead enemy? If so, then why does scripture make them synonyomous.

This is not an arguement against the battle we have as christians, this is a theological anomoly that I have crashed into and the conlcusion will help me to make sense of the reason I battle with sin, and what I am battling with.

 2008/3/5 2:38Profile

 Re: The Old man and Flesh...Different?

Beyedoers said

I remember Ron B. (philologos) discussing this once. I THINK (don't want to put words into his mouth) he said something to the effect of our flesh is individual lust against the spirit we all carry with us but there was one "corporate" old man (singular) that was crucified with Christ.

You're correct on this point. The 'our old man' who was crucified with Christ, is Paul's way of defining the universality of the meaning of the crucifixion of sin from [u]God's[/u] point of view.

For the purpose of explaining this further, philologos gives this 'sin' a capital S - Sin. He explains the properly in the thread 'What is sin?' which I mentioned earlier.

The way to distinguish in scripture reading, between Sin and 'a sin', is to read in Young's Literal Translation, where Young uses 'the sin' for Sin. The sin, 'our old man', is Paul's way of giving sin what we might call [i]a life of its own[/i], as he separates it out in Romans.

It is this [i]character[/i] called 'the sin', which commits [u]sins[/u]. It is the [i]character[/i] called 'the sin', which was crucified with Christ, [u]the death[/u] of which, [u]we appropriate in Him[/u], and only through Him.

Much earlier in the thread, I mentioned re-training the flesh to not serve sin, as Paul describes in Romans 6. warriorforgod, this is the battleground - that re-training camp of life and daily living.

Picking up on PaulWest's use of the term 'the new man', you'll find Paul the apostle exhorting us to 'put off' the old man and 'put on' the new man. This is another pictorial way of describing what it is to cease from sin by acts of desire\purpose\will to bring about the ceasing from sin.

Apparently, the Greek verb 'put on' means 'sink into', which is how they described putting on a robe (their daily normal clothes in that culture), and which also mimics the picture in baptism, of sinking into His death to rise into His life.

warriorforgod asked
if the flesh and the old man are synonymous then WHY are we fighting against the flesh since the old man is on his side?

Put it this way round. The 'old man' used to be the control room of the flesh, but the control room is no longer [i]bindingly[/i] operational. Now, we can refuse to take the signals it still seems to send out, because they are no longer the most powerful impetus in our lives; Christ is now the boss, if we will obey Him through the power of the Holy Spirit which He has given us.

Are they different? If not, why do we fight a dead enemy? If so, then why does scripture make them synonyomous.

I am sure they are different.

Try reading them as different, and you will also come to references about 'the body'. The body is also different from the flesh.

The flesh is not dead in the sense that 'our old man' is dead, although as Compliments put it, is a good way of reminding ourselves that the sinful actions of the flesh were crucified [u]to[/u] us, in Christ.

Now, it is a matter of whether we will have to sin to rule over us - or, righteousness? [u]How we behave[/u] will tell us where our own heart lies - or... where our own heart betrays us by what we put our minds and our bodies to serving.

Sure, Paul has clearly listed named sins in the New Testament, and the full list is in the Old Testament, but we also battle to stop [i]thinking[/i] in favour of sinning. This is another aspect of the daily battleground, and it does, eventually, become more peaceful there. And, the deeper thought patterns of our whole natural culture and personal history come under the kind of pressure which only God can exert, until we understand this and that of how flawless Jesus was as the Word made Flesh.

The challenges never come to an end on the practical level of living, but the spiritual truth that we [u]have been completed in Him[/u] through the eternal sacrifice in the Spirit, is the basis of our hope of the resurrection after [i]our[/i] physical death.

Seriously, I recommend you find an online version of Young's literal translation, and search for 'the sin'. I suspect you'll find it in the Old Testament also. Then, read all the references and see if you can get a feel for the difference between 'the sin' (our old man) and, the fruit of the life of 'the sin', which scripture calls 'sins'.

 2008/3/5 5:59

Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas


if the flesh and the old man are synonymous then WHY are we fighting against the flesh since the old man is on his side?

But the flesh and the old man are [i]not[/i] the same, I thought we established that. The old man is dead, and the [i]lusts of the flesh[/i] must be mortified. An excellent book to consider is John Owen's [i]"The Mortification of Sin"[/i] which can read online. Also, did you read Zac Poonen's explantion between the flesh (the robbers trying to break into the house) and the old man (the wicked servant who lets the robbers in) I posted earlier in this thread?

God has slew the old man (the wicked servant) with Christ and has placed in his stead a new man which delights to read His Word and do his will. This is the reason you [i]don't[/i] want to sin anymore: you don't want to cuss, get drunk, steal, lie, view porn - your spirit has been quickened by God and you want to keep all the sin out of the temple now. The problem is that this "new man" must be strengthened every day lest the flesh (the robbers wanting to break into the temple) overwhelm him and prevail in defiling the temple.

This is why you grow weak and are easily tempted when you've neglected prayer and Bible study. If you yield to temptation (if any man sin), you immediately feel horrible about it because the "new man" still doesn't want to sin. "Look, Lord" he says in shame, head bowed. "I've let the robbers in and look what they've done to the temple. Father, I'm so sorry." God must restore you, and He does, and the blood of Christ cleanses us once again. Brother, this is precisely the reason why you have that constant drone in your spirit, that meddlesome yearning and burden [b]to be in the Word of God and be in prayer[/b] even when you can't seem to bring yourself to do it.

This is God's way of calling you to perpetual arms, calling you to the gymnasium of the spirit, calling you to breakfast, lunch and dinner. Understand that the Lord does not slay the flesh; He slays the old man but continues to use the flesh as an anvil and furnace to build up His children [i]when they approach the trials with fortified and maleable spirits by the fire of the Word of God and prayer[/i].

Paul Frederick West

 2008/3/5 7:19Profile

Joined: 2006/2/26
Posts: 193


"But the flesh and the old man are not the same, I thought we established that."

I thought we established that too. I was the one to begin with this question from the beginning. I was the one that said that it seems as though they are seperate. But someone showed how they are synonymous IN SCRIPTURE. It would like to see an end to this but it seems as though there is a circular reasoning going on here.

I hope to find the answer as I grow in the Lord but for now I will depart from this thread until I can find further reference. Thank you all for the crittical thinking i will take all into consideration.

 2008/3/5 7:54Profile


Maybe these scriptures will help:

Romans 7:18For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

Romans 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Galatians 2:20I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live [u]in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.[/u]

Romans 8:1There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

Ephesians 4:21-25

21If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:

22That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;

23And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

24And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Romans 13:14
But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

The New Man is Christ.

Galatians 3:27
For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

The Gospel according to the Mystery is **Christ in you**, and **You In Him** the Hope of Glory.


 2008/3/5 8:31


Here is a great article that may help to understand our salvation.

Our Old Man Is Crucified With Him
By G.V. Growcott

"We are buried with him by baptism into death, that like as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."


The predominant characteristic of this occasion is joyfulness. We are told that the awakening of a son of Adam to the love of God and the decision to become united to Christ is a cause of great joy in heaven. One more is added to the family of the sons of God, all knit together in the beauty of holiness.

While an occasion of great joy, it is also an occasion of great seriousness and solemnity. We are here to witness both a death and a birth. The whole background of baptism is death. The act of baptism is a recognition that the end of natural man is death -- that all are subject to the power and lordship of the great enemy -- that death casts an ever-present shadow over all life's hopes and joys -- that the highest and noblest and sweetest of this life's activities all end in the darkness of the tomb.

But this is only part of the picture. This is the natural side. While baptism is a recognition of this state, and all the vanity and sorrow surrounding it, its principal purpose is to manifest the great deliverance from it that the love of God has, through Christ, provided. Baptism is a death whose purpose is to make way for a glorious new birth.

The chapter just read (Rom. 6) is a strong, intense exhortation to holiness, based on this death-and-new-birth symbolism.

Symbols are but shadows -- it is the reality they symbolize that counts. The act of baptism itself is only a symbol -- it is upon the fulfillment of the reality of the newness of life it portrays that life and death depend.

Paul shows that the reality symbolized is death to the old natural way of the flesh and rebirth to the new way of the Spirit of holiness. His conclusion in chapter 5 is this, that --

"As sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom. 5:21).

But how does grace "reign through righteousness unto eternal life?" Paul has said that --

"Where sin abounded, grace -- that is, the gentle unmerited goodness and kindness of the glorious love of God -- did much more abound" (Rom. 5:20).

And also he has said that God had included all under sin, that He might have opportunity to extend His grace, mercy and kindness to all.

"What shall we say then? -- (he asks) -- Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?" (Rom. 6: 1).

Put in this blunt way, the thought seems self-evidently absurd, but actually it is the unconscious presumption that lies behind any carelessness or complacency about any form or evidence of sin.

Sin is a terrible, destroying disease -- highly infectious -- infinitely more deadly than any physical disease. When we are not straining every effort in the war against this evil thing, we are in practice saying, "Let us continue in sin so grace may abound."

"God forbid! -- Let it not be! -- How shall we, that are DEAD TO SIN, live any longer therein?" (Rom. 6:2).

What does he mean: "Dead to sin?" How does a man become dead to sin?

"Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?" (v. 3).

That is, do you not know that the act of baptism is an act of recognition of the necessity of a DEATH -- a death in order to end a certain state of affairs -- to create a complete severance and separation and termination (v. 4) --

"Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death, that like as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."

We note the words, "by the glory of the Father" -- "like as Christ was raised by the glory of the Father, even so we also . . ."

Ours, too, must be "by the glory of the Father" -- there is no other way -- no other possible way of walking "in newness of life." We cannot do it of our own weak, mortal, sinful selves. "Newness of life by the glory of the Father" is the great thought that gives baptism its beauty and significance. A new life, a completely new beginning. What a wonderful occasion it is!

A natural son of Adam, an earthy creature born under the shadow of death and bound by the dominion of sin, reaches a stage of development and enlightenment wherein he is drawn by the power of God to voluntarily choose that which is good, and holy, and divine, and reject all that is related to the kingdom of sin and the wilfulness of the flesh -- not from fear of consequences -- not even just from desire for reward -- but rather from pure, transforming love for a glorious divine Benefactor and Father -- from an overwhelming sense of His infinite goodness and the transcendent joy of His friendship and love --

"Iove is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God."

"He that loveth not knoweth not God, for God is love."

"He that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him."

"There is no fear in love: perfect love casteth out fear."

When we look at the beautiful picture John draws of divine love -- of its holiness, and purity, and fearlessness, and perfection -- we are apt, like Peter, to draw back into the thought --

"Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!"

But the beloved apostle allays our fears, and gently draws us onward, teaching us that this beautiful picture is a matter of development and growth, though at first only dimly perceived --

"I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven";

"I write unto you, young men, because ye are strong";

"I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him from the beginning" (1 Jn. 2:12-13).

And he shows us the way --

"Whoso KEEPETH HIS WORD, in him verily is the love of God perfected; hereby know we that we are in Him" (1 Jn. 2:5)

Paul tells us (Rom. 10:17) --

"Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the WORD OF GOD."

That is the beginning. When hearing has brought faith, and faith -- belief -- has moved to thankful and humble obedience in the waters of baptism, then the joyful course of life and love reaches higher and higher toward the perfection of the divine ideal. This is expressed in many ways. Paul speaks of it as --

"Coming in the unity of the Faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ" (Eph. 4:13).

He speaks of it as being --

"Rooted and built up in him ... unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding of the mystery of God and of Christ, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Col. 2:7, 2).

He speaks of it perhaps most beautifully and deeply in this way --

"We all, with open face reftecting as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory by the Spirlt of the Lord" (2 Cor. 3:18).

This is the glorious and exciting spiritual experience that leads upwards in ever-increasing joyfulness from the waters of baptism to the eternal radiance of the day of the Lord.

Baptism, while only the beginning, is the great turning-point in life. The act of baptism is unquestionably the greatest and most important single act and moment of one's entire lifetime.

"IF we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection."

It is clear that Paul is speaking, not just of the literal act of baptism which all professed believers pass through, but rather he is thinking of the full significance of being "planted in the likeness of his death," for the parallel thought -- "likeness of his resurrection" -- does not just mean coming out of the grave, but the resurrection of life in its fullest and most glorious sense.

Resurrection as such -- just the coming out of the grave does not, we know, depend on baptism, but on responsible knowledge of God. Therefore the "likeness of Christ's resurrection" to which Paul refers cannot just mean emergence from the grave, for he makes it contingent upon a being "planted together in death."

And likewise this "planting together" cannot just be the external form of baptism for that is no assurance of sharing Christ's glorious resurrection -- it must be the reality to which the act of baptism testifies and bears witness -- the death of the "old man" and the "walking in newness of life." He continues --

"Knowing this, that our old man is (in baptism) crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed" (Rom. 6:6).

"Our old man is crucified with him." We are all double personalities -- the old man of the flesh and the new man of the Spirit. Paul tells the Ephesians (4:22) that the old man is "corrupt -- decaying -- going to ruin -- through deceitful lusts."

He calls them deceitful because they never give the pleasure and happiness they seem to promise -- because they appear good and desirable to the blindness of the natural mind but actually only end in sorrow and regret and emptiness.

The "old man" is the natural man -- pleasing ourselves -- doing what we think we want to do -- following the ordinary way of the world -- everything that is contrary to the enlightened mind of the Spirit. We can most clearly see the distinction in contemplating the characteristics of the new man -- the fruits of the Spirit, as Paul gives them in GaL 5:22 --

Love -- that is, thinking, desiring and doing good to all, regardless of what they do to us.

Joy -- a consistent spiritual cheerfulness flowing from close and satisfying fellowship with God.

Peace -- calm, inward tranquility -- "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee." -- the mind resting at all times upon God.

Longsuffering -- inexhaustible patience and kindness toward all human weakness and waywardness, recognizing the frailty and sadness of natural man.

Gentleness -- no roughness, or hardness, or bitterness, or pride, or self-assertion -- all of which are manifestations of ungodly ignorance.

Now Paul says that in baptism the old man is crucifled -- everything in the flesh contrary to these Spirit-fruits is crucified in the act of baptism.

Crucifixion has two aspects: a putting to death, and a public holding up to condemnation and repudiation.

The natural Serpent nature must be put to death, and in its putting to death it must be publicly held up to condemnation on the Rod of the Spirit-Word.

Baptism is a public repudiation of all these things as a way of life -- a renouncing of allegiance to the old Master, Sin, whom we all serve from birth, and a pledging of allegiance to a new Master and a new way of life. It is a solemn covenant --

"All that the Lord hath said will we do."

Paul says (Rom. 6:18) that in baptism we are "made free from sin." What does it mean to be "made free from sin"? What does it mean in the actual realities of life?

It involves much. In the ultimate, if faithfully pursued until the end, it involves complete freedom from the sin-principle and its inseparable companion, death. This is the gracious, unreserved title of freedom and release that we are freely given in baptism -- freedom from sin, from sorrow, from pain, disease and death -- freedom from all the burdensome limitations of human frailty and corruption.

But primarily, at the present time, it means a great lifting of the burden of the consciousness of sin -- of natural ugliness and deformity of character.

Paul exclaims, as he describes the awakening consciousness of the vicious evil that runs through every fiber of human nature --

"O wretched man that l am! Who shall deliver me from, this body of death?" (Rom. 7:24).

Baptism is the loving and merciful provision for cleansing from this condition --

"Ye are washed,"

"Ye are sanctified" (made holy),

"Ye are justifted (made righteous and upright) -- in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and BY THE SPIRIT OF OUR GOD" (1 Cor. 6:11).

The baptized believer is one with Christ -- a part of Christ -- an accepted part of the triumphant perfection of holiness which in Christ trod sin under foot and held it powerless.

The baptized believer is a Brother in Christ -- he has a guaranteed part in the final and eternal victory of sin and death -- as long as he truly abides in Christ. Jesus said to his disciples, on the night before his death --

"Abide in me, and I in you. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit."

-- the glorious Spirit-fruits of holiness of character --

"These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full."


It is an essential requirement of discipleship that we, as brethren, love one another in the same way he loved us. Of that love which he has given us as a pattern, he says, as he continues --

"Greater love hath no man than this -- that a man lay down his life for his friends" (v. 13).

This is the love and fellowship to which baptism opens the door. And the new brother, as he rises from the cleansing waters, says with Paul (Gal. 2:20) --

"I am crucifted with Christ. Nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life that I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me."

 2008/3/5 8:42

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