There are two crucifixions spoken of in the Bible. First is the crucifixion of Christ at Calvary that every man is familiar with. The second is a crucifixion that pertains to self or what the Bible calls the “Old Man”. The crucifixion of the Old Man is a part of the Spirit’s sanctification that gets the believer away from the …I…me…and mine…part of life, to a better life that comes through the fullness of the Indwelling Spirit. The Old Man is a great hindrance to a life in the Spirit. Both the Holy Spirit and the Word of God agree on the fact that a believer can…crucify the lusts flesh.
• Gal 2:20-21…I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God
• Gal 5:24-25…And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Crucifixion of the old man is an actual Christian experience of putting away selfish lusts in effort to obtain a totally surrendered life to Christ. This is perhaps one of the greatest blessings a Christian can receive in this life pertaining to the fullness of Salvation. Crucifixion leads to a life of full contentment in the Spirit without the conflict of the flesh. Unfortunately the crucifixion of self is often hindered, dodged, or misunderstood throughout many believers’ courses of life. One reason for this is because it’s not taught or encouraged from behind the pulpits today. By not being taught, it allows very few to hear of, or realize the great worth of…death to the old man. This has caused many to miss the fullness of the Spirit’s work in the life of a believer. Crucifixion of the flesh gets the believer away from the self controlled life, to a completed life in Christ controlled by the Spirit of God.
• Gal 5:16-17…This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
Lack of knowledge or wrong indoctrination concerning the crucifixion of self can sway a believer’s life in the Spirit. Selfish inclinations like doubt and rejection of truth can also sway him. A child of God must understand, “its Calvary and the Holy Spirit’s witness that draws all believers to the crucifixion of the old man”. Crucifixion of the old man is a Gods way of purging the believer from worldly lusts, or earthly things which are not sin that attach to selfish side of man. Unfortunately some believers never experience this part of the Christian walk until their final hours. However, when the flesh is mortified the fullness of the Holy Spirit comes in and takes full possession of a part of man that self once governed. A crucified man is… dead…to the old man.
• Col 3:1-5…If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth;
Crucifixion of the flesh is a believer’s path to receive the fullness of the Indwelling Spirit. A believer must realize that all of self must be emptied out before the Holy Spirit can fill him. After a believer dies to the old man, sanctification through the Indwelling Spirit thus destroys the inherited body of sin not dealt with at the new birth. This inherited nature is the selfish side of man that a believer is unable to get rid of through forgiveness from God or confession of sin. When the believer realizes that a conflicting helplessness exists and surrenders it totally to Christ, the sanctifying power of the Holy Ghost destroys and purifies that soul from a fallen condition.
• Rom 6:6…Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
Crucifixion of the flesh does not take place at the new birth as many think. Crucifixion takes place after a believer experiences Salvation of the soul, where the Holy Spirit changes a man’s desires, affections, interests, motives, habits, etc. These functions within the make-up of man are swayed by the power of the Holy Spirit’s witness and lead him to the crucifixion of self. Remember after the new birth, self’s natural inclination begins to conflict with the Holy Spirit’s witness! Crucifixion or death to the old man gets the believer away from this inner struggle however; human struggle is not limited to an inner struggle only.
There are three types of struggle that man deals with:
1. Man struggles to obtain salvation by works rather than by Divine Grace
2. An inner struggle between the flesh and the Spirit; a war within the members of a believer
3. Man struggles with outer circumstances such as the problems of life; and attachments to the world that can pull the believer away from Christ
God reveals to all believers the need for a crucifixion to self. Self takes man away from the things of the Spirit of God. Self is wrapped up in…I, me, and mine. Self pays little attention to Christ. Self attaches easily to things of the world.
In the new birth a believer begins his separation from self through a union made with the Spirit of God. Calvary thus becomes a revelation to the heart of a believer through the Holy Spirit’s witness. Calvary reveals the negative side of man by revealing to him what he is in the presence of a Saviors love, mercy, and goodness. When man sees himself in light of Calvary he realizes more of his own helplessness and inability to obtain Grace by works. Calvary shows man how to get away from…self. The Holy Spirit urges the selfish side of a believer to die through the power and glory…of Calvary.
• 1 Cor 1:18…For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
• 2 Cor 4:6...For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Crucifixion of self is the path to an entirely sanctified life. After conversion the Holy Spirit leads a believer to the crucifixion of self where man is shown how to die to an old part of himself that is in direct opposition to the power of the Holy Ghost. Unlike a selfish man, a crucified man desires the fullness of the Spirit of God without self-sufficiency. He becomes a surrendered man with a Spirit given desire to be right in light of a Savior. His conscience is purged by the Holy Spirit. A crucified man delights in obedience to God. He confirms the moral holiness of the Bible by the Spirits directive. He never uses the Bible to condone sin. He is ashamed of disobedience to God because of memories from the past life.
• 2 Cor 10:6…And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
• Rom 6:21…What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed?
After the believer lays down the old life and empties from all that he was; the Holy Spirit in sanctifying power is then able to destroy the inherited Adamic nature and take full possession of mans being…body, soul, and spirit. As the Holy Spirit takes full possession of mans physical being, the inner evidence of this sanctifying power is the believer’s victory over indwelling sin; which is the holy heart and holy life in subjection to God…without sin or struggle. Speaking in unknown tongues becomes an outer evidence of this work which shows that Christ controls the anatomy of a believer from the Throne Room. (1 Corinthians 12:1-12). This Divine operation comes through Christ’s baptism with the Holy Ghost and fire the same as the Apostles received at Pentecost. It is a completed work of sanctification through the Spirit that follows the crucifixion of the old man in the life of a believer.
• Rom 6:6…Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed,
• 1 Thess 5:23-24…And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.