One of the most wonderful things that Jesus did for humanity was to become a substitute and redeem humanity by "...opening their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ." (Acts 26:18) The word redeem means, to compensate for the faults, poor performance or behavior of another; to rescue; to buy back; to ransom. In other words, God took upon Himself the liability of man's sin by deity and humanity coming together in Jesus Christ. Jesus became mans substitute by paying the price with His own life for the crimes of man thereby satisfying the demands of justice for man's crimes. But it goes much deeper than this.
If Jesus only paid for man's sin, then man would still be faced with a dilemma. He would still be spiritually dead and the fallen, satanic nature would still be present within. But the reality of redemption is that God has made a way for humanity to receive His divine nature (2 Peter 1:2-4) thereby putting to death the old fallen, satanic nature. Jesus calls this transformation, "Being born again, being born of the Spirit." (John 3:3-8) The Holy Spirit speaking through the apostle Paul says it this way, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ..." (2 Corinthians 5:17-18)
The old spiritual nature that linked humanity with Satan has ceased being and a new nature, God's nature, is imparted to him. In destroying man's old nature and giving him a new nature, man has now been given the position as a child of God (John 1:12) with all of its rights and privileges. (Ephesians 1:1-23) This is great news but there is something that many believers have not fully understood. The believes spirit is born again, that is, recreated, becomes a new creation, not their soul (mind, will and emotions) or their flesh. This means that a struggle as to who is in charge, the mind and flesh or the recreated spirit is present. This no way indicates that man now has a dual nature, one of righteousness, the new nature and one of sin, the old nature. What this does mean is that man must let his recreated spirit dominate his soul and flesh.
The apostle Paul tells us, "For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God." (Romans 8:5-8) and "I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish." (Galatians 5:16-17) As we can plainly see, the flesh and soul are not recreated and need to be brought under subjection of the recreated spirit. They are enemy's to God because they want to acts out against God.
Believe it or not, there is a very simple way to bring ones flesh and soul under subjection to the recreated spirit. The Holy Spirit through Paul tells us, "Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace." (Romans 6:12-14 and, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. (Romans 12:1) Believers are to offer their bodies to God for His service and not for their self seeking desires. They do this by, "...not being conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." (Romans 12:2) and by "being renewed in the spirit of your mind." (Ephesians 4:23) Through constantly studying and meditating on the Word of God, "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17) which builds the believers faith and also by rely on God's grace "For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure." (Philippians 2:13) which gives the believer the ability and desire to do God's Will.
James sheds some light on this very thing, "Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls." (James 1:21) The word implanted means to, firmly set, insert or embed as seed in the ground that takes root and causes growth. So, the Word of God implanted into the soul of man has the ability and power to save, heal, preserve, deliver and make whole the soul. The saving of the soul will bring the flesh under control because the recreated spirit will once again be the dominating factor in the believers life in the same manner that it was in Adam before the fall.
Now you may be thinking, "I do read, study and meditate on God's Word but I still struggle with poor thinking and the works of the flesh." Well James continues to tells us, "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was." (James 1:22-25) Certainly, reading, studying and meditating on the Word of God is of the utmost importance, but it is only when we believe and act on God's Word that faith is built, grace abounds and the works of the flesh and arguments and renegade thoughts of the mind come under the dominion of the recreated spirit.
This is not at all difficult to the believer who truly wants to be and "Imitator of God as a dear child" who act on God's Word because they know that He is faithful and performs His Word. However, this is very difficult and almost unattainable to the believer who does not believe and act upon God's Word. Unfortunately, some believers have either never been truly set free by the truth or they only expect God's love and favor to be upon them if they do enough good works. If this is you, then know this. God has already given you a measure of faith (Romans 12:3) and His grace (Ephesians 4:7) so all that is required is to believe His word and act on it. It will transform your life.
"There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death." (Romans 8:1-2)