“So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Rom. 8:8) (NKJV)
The only way to be truly alive before God is to die to our flesh. Until we come to the cross and die to our flesh we have no life in us. It is the process of dying on the cross that ushers in the new life. God is not looking for a rehabilitated or improved man. God is looking for a brand new man, a transformed man, a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17).
The whole essence of the death of Jesus Christ on the cross was to give us a brand new life. We must begin to have that spiritual understanding that we were crucified with Jesus Christ and that we resurrected with Him (Gal. 2:20). Jesus was not crucified for us but we were crucified with Him. When He died we died with Him and when He resurrected, we resurrected with Him and a brand new life was given to us. Until we die to sin, we cannot have this new life.
When Jesus Christ died on the cross, it was all about giving us a new life to enable us fulfill God’s purpose for our lives both on earth and in eternity. Jesus Christ took the sin away but not the punishment. He died so that we can live. Our sin nature, which carries a sentence of death, was crucified with Him on the cross (Rom. 6:6-7). It is only when we die to the flesh that we can be free from sin and be truly alive before God. We cannot please God in the flesh.
The only way to overcome sin is to reckon ourselves to be dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus (Rom. 6:11). When we remain in the realm of the flesh, we cannot please God (Rom. 8:8), especially when our activities are funded by the flesh. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God (Rom. 8:14). Therefore, if our passions and desires are still funded by the flesh, we cannot please God (Gal. 5:24).
There is nothing good in the flesh (Rom. 7:18). Until our flesh, which is a factory of sin (Gal. 5:19-21) dies, Satan will always find something in us (John 14:30). Therefore, we must crucify the flesh so that Jesus Christ can come alive inside us, to dwell within us. We must submit our flesh to God and allow the word of God to fill our heart richly (Col. 3:16).
It only when our mind is renewed (Rom. 12:2) based on solely on God’s word and not the tradition or religion of men, that our thoughts and the daily decisions we take will not be funded by our flesh. Our flesh does not have what it takes to resist or withstand sin. If we are going to serve God our thinking must change. Until we appreciate what Jesus Christ did on the cross, our Christianity is in vain (1Cor 1:18).