When becoming a true follower of Christ, we are obligated to keep our own desires in check, and to be subject to the will of God. When Jesus was teaching about those who would enter kingdom of heaven He said, “…but the one that does the will of My Father in heaven [will enter]” (Matthew 7:21b). The works of the flesh are in opposition to the will of God. We must learn to crucify our flesh daily. It is a good idea from the moment we wake up, to say a prayer for strength. We must remember throughout the day, to resist the desires of self.
Jesus also said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Mark 8:34). When we are baptized into Christ our sins are forgiven (Acts 2:28), but this does not mean our habits go away. It takes prayer, discipline, desire, and love for Christ to overcome our flesh. Crucifying the flesh is putting God’s desires ahead of our own and resisting temptation. Resist the devil and he will flee (James 4:7b).
We are not alone. We have the Holy Spirit and God’s word for guidance. When we read the Bible it feeds our spirit. The more we read and understand what we are reading, the closer we grow to God. The closer were grow to God, the more we keep our old self buried. When one understands baptism correctly they will understand this is the beginning point of their “new self.”
Let us look at another verse before we close. Romans 6:3-4 says, “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” Baptism is your beginning point and from this point on you will have trials and suffering but we are able to get through because we fix our eyes on Jesus, crucify the flesh, and find comfort in our promise of eternity with our creator.