Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature [flesh] with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:24 (NIV)
In your ongoing war against sin, Christian, you are to crucify the flesh. What does that mean? Is crucifixion a fast death or a slow death? Crucifixion is a slow death. So when Paul says we have crucified the flesh, that means it is dying, not that it is dead.
Martin Luther said, “Christ’s people nail their flesh to the cross, so that although the flesh be yet alive, it cannot perform that which it would do for as much as it is bound both hand and foot and nailed to the cross.”
We are not talking here about self-mutilation. We are talking about a policy of zero tolerance. Give it no quarter. You have to be merciless to the works of the flesh. Crucify them!
Of course, your flesh will not take this lying down. It will be kicking and screaming all the way to the cross, and even when the flesh is on the cross, it will be shouting temptations to you and telling you that it is your master.
It is amazing how many Christians deeply believe that they cannot deal with their own flesh. But if you say that you cannot crucify the flesh, you are saying that you do not believe the gospel.
If you are a Christian, the Spirit of God lives in you and that means that you have the ability to crucify the flesh. The way you know true Christians is that they are the ones who are doing this. How do you know that you are living by the Spirit? You are waging war on the flesh.
Where do you need a policy of zero tolerance? Where can you begin crucifying (a slow death) your flesh?