Believers don’t owe anything to this flesh. It will never please God. That’s why it’s going on down to the dust and God is going to give the believer a new body. The believers production didn’t gain them their new identity in the last Adam in the first place. It certainly can’t gain them heaven. Jesus accomplished that for the believer. If the works of the believer didn’t contribute to getting them saved, how can the works of the flesh play a part in keeping them saved. Since the believer does not derive their new identity from the output of their flesh, they don’t owe the flesh a thing. If a believer is trying to satisfy God’s justice on a daily basis or however by conforming to a standard of rules and regulations, they are going to find that just the opposite becomes true in their flesh. They are going to find themselves constantly focusing on the flesh.
Listen to the attitude of law orientation; an attitude that comes from a person who is walking after the flesh: “I’m not going to do that because that is bad,” or “I’m, not going to do that because I cannot do that and remain a Christian,” or “I’m going to follow the rules because God will accept me if I follow the rules faithfully.” That’s walking after the flesh according to the Word of God. Now contrast a walking after the flesh attitude with the attitude of one who is walking after the new identity: “I’m not going to do that because that’s not who I am in the last Adam. And that’s not good for me and it’s not good for the other person. Why spend my time wallowing in the mire that caused my Savior to have to die in the first place? Paul was functionally not capable of producing any fruit that God could accept. He died functionally when he tried to apply law-keeping to perfect his flesh. It wouldn’t work.
Living after the flesh, from a functional point of view is taking the credit yourself. Walking after the new identity is recognizing the source of the fruit. God through his power from on high is the source of the only good that comes from you that God can accept. To walk in the new identity is to take the credit away from yourself. The believer realizes that God is not looking at how well they adhere to any standard. He isn’t looking at their production. He isn’t looking at their behavior in order to view them as being in favor with him. He’s looking at their identification with his son and at what his power is producing in them. Does the believers no-condemnation status with God depend on any degree whatsoever upon their performance? Absolutely not. There is absolutely no condemnation whatsoever to those who recognize that it’s not their own righteous conduct but what Jesus accomplished that sets them apart as Holy and acceptable unto God.
From Adam onward, people have been doing what seems right to a person in regard to having a relationship with God. Not one member of the entire human race has ever lived up to any system of rule-keeping for righteousness. Yet, how many are attempting today, to do what humankind before them was totally unable to do? The pathway of rules and regulations for righteousness, otherwise called religion in the Word of God, seems right to a lot of people today. Yet, when we look at that word in Scripture, we find it used in a negative sense. God gave a religious system to Israel called the Law of Moses. But, the religious system was not for the purpose of giving a person an avenue to righteousness. The law did not work within the religious system God gave to Israel to prove to them the law would not make them righteous. We find that rather than something that worked to produce what the natural mind thought could be produced through the law; the law worked to produce the opposite.
Justification and sanctification go hand in hand. Justification is the believers gift declaration of righteousness. Sanctification is how that judicial degree of righteousness is achieved. Every believer is set apart by God as being holy at the point of that believers belief. God is the one who is performing the setting apart. God accomplishes this sanctification by joining all who believe to his son. Saint is God’s word for a believer. God sets every believer apart, sanctification is about that issue. Paul even called the carnal believers at Corinth saints or set apart ones because even though they were carnal, they had believed Paul’s good news. Paul was not only first in line when it came to dispensing the Grace of God, Paul was also foremost in crime when it came to murdering the saints of the earthly kingdom program and the blasphemy associated with God’s ministry at Pentecost.
God has set the believer apart and he calls them righteous based not upon what they do or what they abstain from doing where God’s concerned, but on Jesus’ righteousness and their faith in Jesus’ faithfulness on their behalf, because it’s at that point of their belief that God set them apart. God alters the believers identity by removing them judicially in God’s mind from an identification with Adam number 1 and now they are judicially identified with Adam number 2. But, throughout human history, people have refused to accept the finality that death brings to life. Death brings an unacceptable, sudden interruption to one’s work, plans, and relationships. After all, the death rate is still one per person. The serpent’s lie, you will not die, has lived on throughout human history to our time.
Jesus’ victory over death affects the believer’s understanding of physical and eternal death. The believer can face physical death with the confidence that Jesus has swallowed up death in victory, because Paul was eagerly awaiting God’s purpose for Paul. The glory that Paul knew would be revealed in him at the manifestation of the sons of God when the sons of God receive their glorified bodies when the believers meet Jesus in the air (not on the earth). For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
The day is coming when believers will no longer be capable of being corrupted. They will be incorruptible. There will be no way that they can be corrupted. When believers get their new bodies, they will be bodies that are not subject to corruptibility. It will be impossible for corruption to set in when they get these new bodies. The believer’s hope is based not on the immortality of the soul, but on the resurrection of the body. In Paul’s view, immortality is tied solely to the resurrection of Jesus as the ground and pledge of the believer’s hope. Those who insist in finding the philosophical idea of the immortality of the soul in the Bible, ignore God’s revelation and insert dualistic Greek ideas into God’s Word. It is the resurrection that bestows the gift of immortality on the body, that is, on the whole person of the believer.
Paul’s desire to depart this earthly life for a heavenly life with the Savior is a relational and not an anthropological statement. It is a statement of the relation that exists and continues between the believer and the Savior through death, not a statement of the state of the body and soul between death and the resurrection. Paul did not think the question of the status of the person between death and resurrection was a question that needed to be considered. Their relation with Jesus is one of immediacy, because they have no awareness of the passing of time between their death and resurrection. Paul never alluded to the conscious survival of the soul and its reattachment to the body at the resurrection. clearly shows that such a notion was totally foreign to him and to Scripture as a whole.
The law of sin is nothing more than the ever present moral choice of good and bad that resides in the earthly tabernacle of all God’s earthly human creation given Adam’s rebellion and will continue to remain a part of the believers earthly tent until they receive their new tent. These fleshly tents will never be worthy of heaven in that they will never be able to perform to the measure of the righteousness that is true of God. One of the most horrible, most cruel forms of punishment in Paul’s day was a method employed by the Romans. One of the ways of putting people to death was to take a corpse, someone who had already been executed and to strap that corpse onto the body of a live person. Paul paints that very picture when he illustrates the ever present problem that his moral choice of good and bad presented to him. Paul couldn’t escape the rot of his moral choice of good and bad, no matter how fervently he tried.