Old Man vs. New Man

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Puritan Board Freshman
I'm finally coming to accept the fact that God is working in my life, however,
in the midst of the warfare I often find myself losing the battle against the old man.

Please give some insights as to how I call upon the grace of God to help me overcome sin.

My major offenses are my toungue, selfishness, my temper and my judgements of others...

What are the weapons I need to utilize to remain sober and to fight these sinful impulses...

more prayer? throughout the day?? calling upon the Lord for strength?
more reading of scriptures?
more surrounding myself with fellow, like-minded believers?

Any resources to recommend?




Puritan Board Graduate
Brother you are not alone. Every new creature in Christ fights a lifelong war against the flesh. Remaining sin will dog your every step while on the King’s Highway.

Romans 7:24-25 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God -- through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

Tis a point I long to know,
Oft it causes anxious thought;
Do I love the lord or no?
Am I his, or am I not?

If I love, why am I thus?
Why this dull and lifeless frame?
Hardly, sure, can they be worse,
Who have never heard His name?

Lord decide the doubtful case!
Thou who art thy people’s sun,
Shine upon thy work of grace,
If it be indeed begun.

Let me love thee more and more,
If I love at all, I pray;
If I have not lov’d before,
Help me to begin today.
-John Newton


Unshaven and anonymous
Staff member
Anthony, I would strongly recommend Walter Marshall's book The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification. It's available from Reformation Heritage Books, or it can conveniently be read online at The Covenant of Grace.


Ordinary Guy (TM)
Question on semantics:

Do Chistians have an old man and a new man fighting it out inside of them?

Osage Bluestem

Puritan Board Junior
Question on semantics:

Do Chistians have an old man and a new man fighting it out inside of them?

I don't know. What do you think? All I know is that I want God to be in control and I love his ways, and I feel terrible when I do things that are not in his ways like lust after a gorgeous woman or get angry or curse or things like that. I now find myself a monarchist at heart with Jesus as the King that I desire to serve, but I find myself failing to serve him correctly each and every day, but I feel that he loves me and that he forgives me for when I go wrong, and I believe I will be with him when I die even though I'm a sinner.


Puritan Board Freshman
It may only be a matter of semantics, but it might not be. You might be advancing a position called "eradicationism." John MacArthur is the main proponent of this theology amongst those with a Calvinistic soteriology. This position made its way into the Calvinistic community via the teaching of Martyn Lloyd Jones in his commentary on Romans 6. he self-consciously departed from the traditional Reformed understanding of Romans 6 in this commentary, and embraced a view that had more in common with Wesleyanism (though I'm not sure he ever knew that. I can find no evidence of it anyhow.)

I am a huge fan of MLJ, but I think he was in serious error here, and it has borne some bitter fruit even in my own congregation. Eradicationism has been joined with the Keswick model of sanctification and a peculiar infusionistic view called "exchanged life theology." It's complicated, but you end up with a very virulent form of gnosticism and perfectionism that denies the sinners salvation by the imputation of Christ's righteousness.

Traditionally the Reformed have understood "flesh" "old man" "inward corruption" etc as basically equivalent terms:

"The activity or deeds of sanctification have a twofold focus: against sin and unto holiness. In reference to sin it is called: the putting off of the old man (Eph 4:22); the mortification of the members which are upon the earth (Col 3:5); the crucifixion of the flesh with the affections and lusts (Gal 5:24); the putting off the body of the sins of the flesh (Col 2:11); abstenence from fleshly lusts (1 Peter 2:11); and the cleansing of ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and the spirit (2 Cor 7:1.) In reference to holiness it is called: a putting on the new man (Eph 4:24); a being transformed by the renewing of your mind (Rom. 8:29); and a travailing until Christ be formed in us (Gal 4:19)" Wilhelmus A Brakel, The Christian's Reasonable Service Vol 3, p. 6

Anthony, I did a series of essays on just this subject a few months ago. You can find them here. Take them for what they're worth.

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