We would value your recommendations clicks onTwitter, Google & Share
Share

Insights into Fullness of Life in Christ

 

 

3   How then shall we ( mature and ) live?

  

This is an introductory look at maturing and enhancing our walk with God and live out from the full teachings of the N.T.  It is both an extension on previous studies and an introduction to several further aspects of study.

 

The first of those outlined and explained the nature of The Mystery of the N.T that was revealed to Paul by the Holy Spirit, the exact nature of this mystery, never before having been known by any man, including all the prophets of the O.T.   This revelation to Paul did not come about until he was in Arabia for 3 years and spent further time, presumably under the Spirit of God, in further years in Tarsus before he began his ministry with Barnabas from Antioch. The second study clearly showed how the application of this mystery was explained by the Lord Jesus Christ in His High Priestly prayer in John 17.  Jesus himself clearly showed that He and His Father were in each other and thus were one and how this unity was the expected outcome for all believers, that they would be included in this divine union.  In other parts of scripture, Jesus also mentioned the cost of such discipleship, teachings on this being expanded by Peter and Paul in particular.

 

The issue of maturing in Christ and living as the N.T says is possible puzzles many believers.  In some ways this is surprising, because the Bible provides all the foundational truths that are needed.  There are many reasons for the puzzlement and maturing.  Some of the reasons will be mentioned in this study. 

 

This question about “how shall we live” and “how we can mature” is asked for a number of reasons.

 

  • Some believers say they don’t know where they are in life and in their Christian walk.   
  • Many say now that they are recipients of God’s grace, they expect to live and walk in fullness of faith and Spirit, but don’t know how.
  • Some say they are unaware of God’s leading or His presence.
  • Some say it even more simply.  As believers, how can we make our Christian life work better? 
  • So, we could ask, what does God expect of us?
  • How well we abide in Christ, walk in faith and in the Spirit.
  • How well we are able to commune with God’s Spirit.
  • How much we have moved past living out of our soul and intellect and living in the Spirit (His will) and not from fleshly carnal influences?
  • How well we realize and utilize all that Christ has provided for us and living out of those provisions?  e.g knowing who we are in Christ.
  • Knowing what the Bible says about these things and learning from Him to live that way?
  • that life only springs out of death ….and
  • we only receive according to our faith…..
  • We must know that we have been convicted of. confessed and repented of our sin {of not previously accepting Jesus as Saviour and Lord}
  • We must believe that Jesus died to save us from our sins, and was resurrected to give us a new life.
  • We must know that the Spirit of God has regenerated our spirit and that we are new creations in Him.)
  • Our desire needs to be for God alone. For believers, there needs to be a state or more or less continuous surrender of our lives to the will of God.                                                                             
  • Our priorities in life must change. Our focus needs to be on God and losing our life to receive His fully.  Without personal loss we will not get to know God.                                                                
  • We need to recognize the importance of a mystery that was revealed to Paul the Apostle.  The importance of this mystery and the exact nature of this mystery, was hidden throughout the entire O.T. until revealed to Paul by the Spirit of God.                           
  • Understanding of this mystery, and living via the mystery, is the means by which we get to know God intimately and commune with Him.                                                                                    
  • We need to recognize that there are stages in the Christian life. John highlights these in 1 John, being one of several places where they can be found in scripture.  Once we understand these, it is a little easier to see how God works and what He is doing in our lives.  Initially, that comes out of knowledge of important Bible doctrines.                                                >>>>>> 4
  • Self effort and / or legalism is sin and will never get us where God wants us to be, either in our lives will prevent that happening.
  • Remembering we are spirit, soul and body, intellectual knowledge of scripture is quite inadequate to know God, but can be seen as a stepping stone towards receiving revelational knowledge through and from the Spirit of God.                                                         >>>>>> 5
  • We might be convicted by the Spirit to a greater or different form of commitment to Him.
  • God may just call us directly or draw us for some specific purpose.
  • We might ourselves begin to seek God more, because of difficult circumstances, trials or persecution in our lives that highlight our need of Him – or just dissatisfaction with the world or our lives.
  • The desire to know Him more can seem to just creep up on us.  For some unknown reason we just decide to go hard after God.
  • Out of thankfulness for what God has provided in our lives, we might want to know Him and serve Him more.

This study will begin to address these issues in broad terms (detail will come in later studies), showing the scriptural basis as it is taught in the N.T. and how this desired maturity relates to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.   This will include reference to some of the erroneous side paths that are taken by believers in their attempt to do what scripture says, as well as Paul’s ways and means of achieving this life.  In this series of studies, readers may notice some repetition of some themes because such repetition is useful in teaching and learning.  So howdo we mature? How do we get to live the Christian life as it should be lived?   What did Paul teach on these things?

Ken Walker   July 2008

 

 

No

 

Thematic Point

 

 

Developmental Point

 

Illustrations and Linkages

 

1

 

What do those questions have to do with in the Christian life?

 

 

These questions really have to do with:

 

When you look at all these issues in relation to the question of maturing in the Christian life, only one real issue or question emerges.

 

The question really is……

 

2

 

How do I get to know God?

 

This is not just knowing about God, but knowing Him personally.

 

Most people know something ABOUT God, including many believers who think because they KNOW (perhaps a lot) ABOUT God, are satisfied with that, but perhaps do not realize that knowing about God  and the Bible, does not bring them into Christian maturity and living in the fullness of life God has provided.

 

Surely this is what the Christian life is primarily all about – Knowing God personally through His Spirit.   This was Paul’s aim in life.  Remember what Paul said in Phil 3:10.   

 

“I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings…..”

 

 

The word KNOW - Greek Strongs 1097   Ginosko - To know by experience, by acquaintance, by intuition, be conscious of, to perceive, to understand.

 

Notice the elements here.

 

●    Know Christ.

●   Know the power of His resurrection

●   Know the fellowship of His sufferings.

 

Knowing Christ means

power from His resurrection

 

Knowing Christ means suffering with Him.

 

3a

 

Where do we begin on this issue of us knowing God personally?

 

1.    Life springs out of death.

 

2. We receive from God according to our faith.

See below

 

Two Biblical principles are fundamental

 

1.    Life springs out of death.  

 

Jn 12:24 – “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”     1 Cor 15:36 – “Foolish one, what you sow is not made alive unless it dies.       

                  

To be fruitful we must allow our own will to be taken over by God’s – or if you like to allow His will to take over ours.                                 

 

Also, scripture makes it very clear that life cannot come unless death comes first.  Christ is the perfect example – He died before He arose again in resurrection.   Because all believers were with Him on the cross, we all also died in order to have resurrection life. 

 

When we surrender our lives to Him fully, this is as though we are accepting the death of our own will in our own lives, because we have decided to live for Him.                     >>>>> *                                                 

  Paul puts it another way: 2 Cor 4:11 – “11For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12So then death is working in us, but life in you.  

                                               >>>> **                                                          

 

* Self effort is living as though we are trying to keep our own selves alive to our own desires.      Legalism is attempting to live by the letter of the law rather than out of the life of the Spirit of God.         

When totally accepted, all self effort and legalism ceases and we learn to trust absolutely.  This is profound - and there is a cost involved.

** Just as Christ died for our benefit, we too “die” for the benefit of others.

From this we can see that death of our self life and then living by faith are fundamental to the Christian life.

  

The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is central to our faith.  Without our participation in the cross and then personally by surrender of our lives, we cannot live the Christian life.

 

 

3b

 

Where do we begin on this issue of us knowing God personally?

 

2.We receive from God according to our faith

 

2       We receive from God according to our faith. 

Scripture makes it plain we get nothing without faith.

Matt 9:29 – “Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith let it be to you.”   

 

Heb 11:17- “By faith Noah….. became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

 

Matt 8:13 – “Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.”      (believing and having faith being virtually the same thing – being derived from the same root word in Greek)

 

As we will see in later studies God does significant testings of us and our lives in order that we learn to live in faith and by the Spirit of God.

 

 

So these two principles…

are significant issues of knowing God personally through His Spirit.

 

4

 

Before we go on, let us backtrack a little.   (For these two principles to operate we must assume some basics to apply.

 

 

In other words we need to be saved – be regenerated by the Spirit – before these things can begin to operate in our lives.

 

This is because the natural man – without the Spirit of God – cannot receive what God has for him. 

 

Paul says in 1 Corinthians 2:14 that: “A natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.”

 

So if you are not saved (born again, regenerate) you will not understand these things.  Read about this at

 http://www.goodnews.org.au/fullness/index-2008rc.html

 

5

 

Once regenerate, here are several other aspects of the Christian life that gradually become apparent to us.

 

It is important to be aware of these.

 

Some of these are >>>>

 

For all believers, there is the great commission of Jesus to follow, which is really not possible until we get to KNOW Him.  

 

(for out of knowing Him comes our wisdom and power                  >>>>> 6

1   “He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” John 12:24                                                                        

 

2 Scripture has more on this than most people realize.  Adversity, persecution, trial, difficulty and chastening are God’s ways of getting us to know Him.

 

3 This mystery was Paul’s main focus. See later details

 

4 The subjects of later study

 

5  By knowing God we receive revelation by His Spirit.

 

6  To know - the experience of being conscious of, perceiving Him, being acquainted with Him and intuitively knowing and understanding Him.

 

6

 

You might want to ask the question…

How might this process of knowing God begin in me?

 

 

It can start in many ways.  Some of these are:

 

God’s prevenient grace (him seeking us) can result in us wanting to become closer to Him.

 

We might read something in scripture or a book, or hear something said somewhere that lights up some truth in a different way.

 

Thankfully, ultimately we find that nothing and no one else can satisfy.

 

7

 

From all this, you might be wondering if this affects you.

 

Are all called to serve? 

 

Does the call to serve vary in degree and type?

 

What about those employed in normal full time vocations?

 

 

Probably, all are called to serve, to one degree or another in some form or another, both male and female of any age.  The great commission is universal. 

 

Some hear the call to serve early, some late, some for full time work, others part time, which allows for the need to earn “normal” incomes and bring up families.  God chooses some for full time work, some for work that fits in with their vocation in life.  Some have specific calls to use special gifts, others more generally.   To others, it is just a natural response to having received the greatest gift of all – salvation unto eternal life.

 

There might be a desire to serve Him, because we are in relationship to God via His Spirit, and it is out of that relationship we respond with some form of service – it is inevitable.  

 

Scripture also calls all to seek perfection in Christ, to display the fruit of the Spirit, out of which we can minister on His behalf, using the gifts that He has given us. 

 

Once we are regenerate believers, our hearts are changed just so much, that there is no other response than to want to serve Him in some way.

 

So, given that all are going to serve in some way, what stops some of us, some of the time and others all of the time from doing God’s perfect will for our lives.

 

8

 

So if serve is what we are meant to do, what are some of the things that get in the way – that might prevent us from living the way Paul describes?

 

We are going to look at several things that do prevent us living as Paul describes.

Trying to comply with the law (legalism) and self effort to rule us

 

Trying to follow principles

 

Allowing personal fleshly desires and resolutions to dominate.

 

Idolatry

 

Each of these four are potential barriers to living as

Paul described.   He also recognized this and taught against them, particularly, the law, flesh and idolatry

 

8a

 

Trying to comply with the law and using self-effort

 

If we were to use the law as our guide, the Bible says we would fail to get anywhere – except that – because we know what the law says, it provides a standard of how we should be – and so exposes our sin and weaknesses in all respects.             >>>>> 1                                                                          

So the law in itself does not provide what we need in the  Christian life – it only reminds us of the negative – how we fall short of God’s requirements. In our own strength, it is impossible to achieve the law.                                                      >>>>>> 2        

Also, trying to follow the law, stimulates self effort which scripture denounces. 

                                         

Some are prone to take a NT command and treat it as law, whether it be read from the Bible or listened to from a teacher.  When they try to carry out that command they mostly find they cannot perform it – because it can only be achieved out of the power of the Spirit.  

 

So if people are not walking in the power of the Spirit and by faith, they cannot do what is required and become frustrated.    Scripture taught as a legalism is a real trap.                   

                                                              >>>>> 3

 

 

1 The law has two purposes It is through the law we become conscious of sin (Rom 3:20)   Second, the law was put in place to lead us to Christ  that we might be justified by faith(Gal 3:24) 

 

2 Through consciousness of sin and finding out we cannot meet its requirements, we seek Christ, to live by faith.

 

3  Paul talks about this in 2 Cor 3:1-6.  He says that what is written on our hearts is not written with ink, but by the Spirit of the living God.  We are of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit, for the letter kills but the Spirit gives life.

 

8 b

 

When considering living directly from principles – biblical or otherwise.

 

This is an extension of the previous point of the eminent failure of attempting to follow a law or principle, without God’s underpinning of it by His Spirit. 

Oswald Chambers – in his devotional, “My utmost for His highest” – May 2nd provides the following ideas of having a sense of duty to God, or being devoted to a personal vision, does not provide the spiritual power to attempt the task.                             >>>>> 1                                                                    

Moses endured, not because of his devotion to his principles of what was right, nor because of his sense of duty to God, but because he had a vision of God.  “he endured as seeing Him who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:27). A person who has the vision of God is not devoted to a cause or to any particular issue—he is devoted to God Himself. You always know when the vision is of God because of the inspiration that comes with it. Things come to you with greatness and add vitality to your life because everything is energized by God.”

 

As he points out, what is required is devotion to God Himself and having God’s vision.  When this is so, the whole task is energised by God Himself, bringing with it the inspiration and vitality to complete the task – all out of the power of the Spirit of God.    2 >>>                                                             

 

1  Having a vision of God implies the involvement of the Spirit of God in the person’s life.

 

2 So, if all that is present is in following Biblical principles, even if with a sense of duty towards God, or being devoted to a personal vision, then the task at hand will not have the power and energy involved to complete it.

 

Such following of principle then is a negative that needs to be avoided.

 

 

8 c

 

When considering resolutions and personal desires

 

This is another way of trying to do things without following the Spirit of God, but by some human means.    In this point, to the extent that we try to follow personal resolutions and desires, which are attempted out of self effort and self-will, it is similar to law – impossible – because the power of God is not involved.

  

What makes the difference is where and by whom the resolution or desire originates.   If the desire is put in the heart by the Spirit of God and the person accepts this as God’s will for them, then very little can stop God achieving His will through that person.    

   

If however, the person initiates the desire and tries to do it out of resolution and their own strength, the failure is a virtual certainty. 

 

Psalm 127:1 says that “Unless the LORD builds the house, they labour in vain who build it;

 

 

So, a person led of the Spirit, walking in the Spirit and by faith, will achieve God’s perfect will.   

However, if a persons resolutions and desires, are not based on God’s will, nor from His Spirit then a persons ability to achieve anything will be stifled.

 

8 d

 

The problem of idolatry

 

The Apostle John in the last verse of the book of 1 John says,

 

“Little children, guard yourself from idols.  

 

His writing in all the rest of the book was about fellowship with God and others, abiding in God’s light and God’s love.  

 

Why then that one verse?

 

 

 

John was highlighting believers the extreme dangers of idolatry.   John would have been aware of Exodus 20:3-4 which say specifically that we shall not have any others gods, make any idols or worship or serve any idols.   Throughout the history of Israel, the children of Israel fell into idolatry frequently, suffering great loss of Godly influence.   It was and is a serious issue.  See Ezekiel 14:1-11 for a good example.

 

In the NT it is no less serious.  Although in some countries the actual worship of a physical idol is still current, the idols within our hearts are just as deadly and can prevent a full relationship with Jesus.   I have friends in Africa that tell me that the worship of physical idols is still a problem and they teach against that all the time.  In the western world, idols in the heart are perhaps more subtly prolific.

 

What is idolatry?  An idol is something other than God that we set our hearts on or desire.  (1 Cor 10:6)  It is something other than God that motivates us.  (1 Cor 4:5)  it is something other than God that masters or rules over us.  ( 1 Cor 6:12)  It is something other than God that we trust in and thus serve. (Matt 6:24)

 

We should remember how man tends to get things in the wrong order, firstly in relation to Jesus’ teaching on the Lord’s prayer and secondly also of His two commandments.

Let’s look at what Jesus taught in terms of the order of things. Jesus taught the Lord’s prayer to the disciples in an appropriate sequence.  First, affirming relationship with God and then all other things that might come out of that relationship. 

 

So, unless we seek connection and communion with the Lord through the relational aspects of prayer first, there is far less basis on which we can ask for anything.

 

Scripture

Rule one

Rule two

Lord’s prayer

Affirmation of relationship with God

All other things to do with life

Lord’s commandment

Love the Lord your God

Love your neighbour as yourself

 

It was similar in relation to His two commandments. The first and great commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.  In other words, this is the first thing we should do, before all else.  Then what follows that is to love your neighbour as yourself along with dealing with all other aspects of life.

 

In both instances, this can be referred to as rule one and rule two. Rule one, as we are calling it, is the worshipping of the God of love and rule two, all other things on life, including the loving of your neighbour as yourself.  So this is how the teaching of Jesus looks in summary.

 

Idolatry is when rule 2 applies to our lives and rule 1 comes second.  Other NT scriptures dealing with idolatry are: 

1 Cor 10:14 “flee from idolatry. 

Gal 5:20. 

 

Idolatry is one of the deeds of the flesh – alongside sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, and divisions.

Colossions 3:5 – “covetousness is idolatry”

1 Peter 4:3.  Idolatry sits alongside sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies etc.

 

 

9

 

 

If law, resolutions, personal desires and principles fail and idolatry is a stumbling block, then how do we proceed?

 

 

When considering what the Bible say about getting guidance from scripture as to how to proceed, what directions does scripture provide?

If we are going to live as he lived, we need to be in exactly the same position as Paul was.   So here is the position that Paul was in.

 

The centre and pinnacle of Paul’s teachings in the NT are expressed in his stated aims, where were to know Christ and live from life of Christ within him.

 

●  That he gain Christ.               ● That he be found in Him.

 

● That he has His righteousness. ● That he knows Jesus.

 

● That he lives in the power of His resurrection.

 

● That he shares in the fellowship of His sufferings.

 

Here are the NKJV scriptures that say these things:

 

Philippians 3:8-10 (NKJV)  Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,

 

 

This is the relationship that Paul had with Jesus Christ – that he know Him, be found in Him, have His righteousness, His power and His sufferings.

 

 

 

 

Notice that these are all behavioural, experiential and relational aims (by faith)

They are not knowledge oriented in any way.

Bible teaching to do with law, resolutions or principles can (in themselves) never achieve the result of these five aims stated by Paul.

 

So, we need to emphasize relationship (with Christ) and not knowledgeits own sake.

 

 

 

10

 

 

Once Paul had this relationship with Christ, what did he then do?

 

 

It had to do with what God told Paul that his task was.  Paul said that God told him that he was made a minister according to the stewardship from God … that he might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, that is, this mystery…which is Christ in you.    Here is the scripture that says this

 

“Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, that is, the mystery which has been hidden from past ages and generations; but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Col 1:24-27)

 

 

 

 

So Paul was made a minister to preach the word of God…..the mystery….which is Christ in you.

To me, this is so crystal clear that I wonder how it does not seem to be noticed by many.

 

That was Paul’s task in life – and therefore I believe it is also ours – to do the same.  To preach and teach…..the word of God….the mystery….which is Christ in you.

 

11

 

We must not forget that all we have said about Paul so far, was based on a firm foundation.  The foundation was  the crucifixion of Jesus on the cross and the power that resulted from His resurrection.

 

 

In his epistles (particularly Romans, Colossians and Galations) Paul laid a foundation for the Christian life, based on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.    From that we know that:

 

●      The blood of Jesus Christ was shed so that our sins might be forgiven, initially and continuously.            >>>>> 1

                                         

●        Our “old man” *** was crucified with Jesus, so that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we may count ourselves freed from sin                               >>>>> 2

 

●        We have been sanctified by our participation in the body death of Jesus Christ.      >>>>>                                                                              

●        If we died with Christ, we shall also live with Him and that we are alive to God in Christ Jesus.  We are new creations in Him.                             >>>>> 4

 

●        Through His death on the cross, Jesus was victorious over     Satan, rendering Satan powerless, so that we too may have victory over sin and Satan.                   >>>> 5

 

 

 

1  Forgiveness by the shedding of His blood to pay the debt for our sin.

 

2  Romans 6:6 says we are dead to sin – that is because when Jesus died we died. 

 

3  We are sanctified by our dying with Jesus.

 

4  Because we died with Him we were also resurrected with Him.  Amen!!

 

5  His death brought victory over sin and Satan.

 

12

 

Summary

 

So, Paul not only told us his aims, relational in nature (outside of law, self effort and intellectual focus), but how to achieve them – by faith, all on the basis of the life we have obtained out of the life of Christ.

 

So if we believe what scripture says, we can live through and on these foundations – in order to KNOW Him – and to minister from that position.   Nothing else matters.

 

There is no other means by which we can live the Christian life.

 

It is always based on the principle that death springs out of life.

 

That way of living can only be achieved through faith.

 

All forms and degrees of self-effort will fail.

 

 

 

May I suggest that you pray for yourself and perhaps others that they might know the Lord in this way.

Although you may understand these things in your mind, the Lord needs to teach you by the revelation of His Spirit.

 

God bless

Ken

 

*** (take care with some modern bibles that use the word “self” instead of “old man” in Romans 6:6.   The word “self” has too many connotations and can be misleading.  An appendix has been added below this study to explain this. 

This is the third in a series of articles to further outline and provide resources for believers to move towards Fullness of Life in Christ.

Ken Walker – Webmaster of Fullness of Life in Christ

July 2008

 

Appendix     A (necessary) diversion into the meaning of some Greek words.  Written about 2003

 

Care has to be taken with some of the words in these last few verses, otherwise wrong interpretations of words can emerge and cause misunderstanding, which can mislead as to what is being said.   The words “old man” are a case in point.   In some Bibles these words appear as “old self”.  Have you heard of the terminology “dying to self”?   As you will see both here and later on in this study, these words have been known to cause confusion.   If our old man (or old self) is dead, then how can there be any more dying to self as some propose?   More on this later.   Here are the meanings of these words from the Greek.

Old, from the Greek palaios, Strongs 3820.   Old here means,”the sinful and unregenerate self previous to salvation. ( standing in contrast to Kainos, meaning qualitatively new, regenerate man.  (Zodhiates 1 pp 1090)

Man, from the Greek anthropos, Strong's 444.  Man here means, “a human person with human infirmity and imperfection, when contrasted with God.    The old man means man with the former un-renewed disposition of heart.  (Zodhiates 1 pp 180)

In Bibles where the word self is used instead of man, the meaning is still the same.   Our old man or old self is dead, crucified on the cross with Christ.  When we are regenerated we immediately have the benefit of our old man (old self) being dead.  No more dying to self is  either required or is possible.  

Please Note!  The word “self” is not a common biblical word in the original Greek.   I have done some research with my King James Bible resources, which is the only Bible where I have all the Greek derivations.  In the KJV NT the word self is only used 5 times and never in relation to the “old man” as usage in modern bibles tends to be.  These 5 usages are in John 5:30, John 17:5, 1 Corinthians 4:3, Philemon 1:19 and 1 Peter 2:24.    In those verses the range of Greek words is only three.   The words are Strong’s 4572 seautou (a reflexive pronoun), Strong’s 1683 emautou (reflexive pronoun), Strong’s 848 hautou .   All these word meanings seem to be along the lines of – of thyself, to thyself, myself, to myself, of myself, himself, herself, itself.  (Zodhiates 2 pp  1283, 573, 294)

Never do they relate to being the state of that self, whether unregenerate, or newly regenerate as the original words used “old man” do so state.  It would appear that most modern translations (NKJV excepted) may well have changed the meaning of the text by using the word “self”.  In common usage the word self is a noun, which not only changes the word form from the original Greek, but also the meaning.  One can easily see the confusion and misinterpretation that has resulted. 

Flesh, from the Greek sarx, Strong's 4561.  Sarx is derived from sarkikos 4559, meaning fleshly, pertaining to flesh, carnal, sensual, with proneness to satisfy the desires of the flesh.   Flesh (4561) here implies sinfulness, proneness to sin, the seat of carnal appetites and desires, of sinful passions and affections whether physical or moral.  (Zodhiates 1 pp 1280)

More on flesh. Earle adds to this description of sarx.  “Paul uses the word sarx in two distinct ways.  He uses it as a classical Greek word where it refers to flesh in the sense of the physical body.  However, sarx is not synonymous with soma (physical body)  From the very context it is obvious that Paul does not mean the physical body in this verse of Romans 6:6.”  Its other very significant use by Paul (says Earle) is that, ”the flesh would seem to be interchangeable with the old man.”    However, this cannot be.  Flesh (Sarx) is totally different to the old man.  The old man is dead and flesh continues to operate against the Spirit, as mentioned in Galations 5.

Body (of sin), from the Greek soma, Strong's 4983, here means,” believers physical body before salvation, possessed or dominated and controlled by the sinful nature.  In simpler terms, the “body of sin” means the sinful nature.  Theologians mostly do not allow for this body of sin to be destroyed, but that the believer is delivered from its power, whilst at the same time, the nature itself is left in him permanently.  So for the body of sin “to be done away with” renders it idle, inactive, inoperative, reduced to a position of absolute impotence….as if it were dead   Where the word destroyed is used instead of “done away with”, it is not the body that is destroyed but the body as the seat of sin.    (Earle pp 166)