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Does the Bible really teach self-destruction?

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From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Q: Many people teach that we should crucify the flesh. Does the Bible really teach self-destruction? -- C.S.

A: The apostle Paul wrote: "Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires" (Galatians 5:24, NASB). When Jesus was on earth He lived as a man, He was tempted as a man, yet He kept the whole law of God and had victory over the esh. Those of us who are bound to Him by faith are, in principle at least, finished with all that belongs to the esh. Yet Paul recognizes that these old eshly tendencies still lurk within us and that we must always yield to the Holy Spirit to have total and complete victory.

The Scripture doesn't say, "They that are in Christ should crucify the flesh." Crucifying the flesh took place as Christ hung on the cross for the sins of mankind. All those who would ever receive Him as Savior had their sins crucified with Him.

"Knowing this, that our old [self] was crucified with Him" (Romans 6:6). It's a completed action, a settled matter. Believers have been buried with Christ and now are raised from the dead to new life in Him.

 

Many people say, "I cannot live a life like this." No one, on their own, can. This is why Jesus promised to send His Holy Spirit to be with us -- and in us -- empowering us to live for Him as new creations.

Consider yourselves to be dead to sin (Romans 6:11) that sin shall no longer reign in our mortal bodies. This means that "by faith," we accept what Jesus has done for us at the cross. By faith, we turn over our lives completely and without reservation to the Holy Spirit. Christ sits on the throne of our hearts. This is the heart of the Easter message.

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(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

(c)2020 BILLY GRAHAM DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.
 

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