Paul is saying, “Don’t live like the unsaved! They have a depravity of truth when it comes to spiritual things, they are covered in darkness, they are dead spiritually, and they are morally blind. They are in this state because at their core they have hardened themselves to the truth of God and who He is. It’s this same callousness that keeps them from feeling any longer that they are even depraved.”
What I hear is, “Stop being so stupid!” So, why do I get caught up in doing the same stupid things the world does? Why do I shut out the wisdom of God at times and focus on the really dumb lies the world would have me believe? I think that the problem lies, at least in part, because the flesh doesn’t think, it just wants, And the more I feed it, the more it wants.
So, what is the solution to this flesh problem? We are to “put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires” (Eph. 4:22) and “crucify the flesh with its passions and desires” (Gal. 5:24). If you are like me, then you’ve tried to do this time and time again and it only gets you so far. But that is only half the equation. We are then “to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:24) and “walk by the Spirit” (Gal. 5:16). It is only when I fully embrace who I am in Christ and the power of His Spirit dwelling within me that I can be more than a conqueror over the ways of the world.
Romans 6:1-14 really hits this home. “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.”