There is a difference in what the Bible calls the flesh or known as the sin nature, and what the Bible calls the old man or known as the old nature, these are not the same terms. The sin nature has not died, we know it is alive and functioning in every one of us, none excluded.
We all have that sin nature towards satisfying the lust of our flesh toward serving ourselves; we all have the sin nature to contend with. Paul would have us understand that while we still contend with our sin nature, God eradicated our identity with our sin nature as far as our righteous standing before him is concerned and our identity in the Bible calls that the old man or known as the old nature, that is gone, crucified.
So, while we continue to have and will continue to have to contend with the sin nature on this side of life before we get our new bodies with that life God has within himself (John 5:26), same kind of life God gave Jesus when he raised Jesus from among the dead, same kind of life the tree of life produces, God no longer sees us in our identity with the old nature.
God can only view individuals in this age of grace one of two ways, we are either in the old nature or we are in the new nature, we cannot be both. While we are in the new nature we contend with the sin nature, but we are not in the old nature in God’s view of us.
The sin nature we have inherited from Adam God no longer identifies us as being in that, because our identity in that, the Bible calls the old man or known as the old nature. What did God do with the old nature? He eradicated, crucified the old nature with Christ. God wants us to reckon as true what he believes to be true, and that is the fact that as believers he has crucified everything we were in the first Adam.
Everything we are in our incapacity to serve him sufficiently to merit a righteous standing before him, God has done away with. God no longer views us in the old nature; he views us in a new nature, that is the key to living a successful life. So we quit trying to merit a righteous standing before God base on what we do or abstain from doing.
We do not look at our righteousness any longer as coming from what we do or abstain from doing. We view our righteous standing with God based on what Christ accomplished for us. When we stop focusing on the do’s and cease focusing on the don’ts, the do’s and don’ts become a lot easier.
Every believer is standing in the gift decree of righteousness, the very perfect righteousness as God’s perfectly righteous son. Believers are placed into the son, so that when God views them, he no longer views them in do’s or don’ts, he view them in the do’s and don’ts accomplished by our savior.
Our life is hid with God in Christ, God views us in the son, God’s sentence on the old nature was not REFORMATION, it was total eradication. That sentence was carried out when we died with Christ. God had no intention of repairing the old nature, no plan to clean the old nature up and make the old nature more presentable, God’s intention was to kill the old nature.
We had our identity in the first Adam, Adam in rebellion; we now have a brand new identity in the second Adam (Jesus Christ). This is identity truth, sanctification, set-apartness truth. Those who would die in their sins are those who would continue to have their identity in the first Adam, Adam in rebellion. Understanding identity is key, we have a brand new identity, a new nature.