The word “self” in the New Testament is literally translated “man”. There are two types of man, Adam and Jesus. These are two creations, the old and the new. Adam is the old and Jesus is the new. Jesus in the flesh was actually the last Adam, or man, as it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul.’ The last Adam [Jesus] became a life-giving spirit, 1 Corinthians 15:45. We were crucified with Jesus, the last Adam, the old creation, the old man, and raised up with Jesus, the risen Christ, the new creation, the new man.
We are now to lay aside the old man, [Adam] (Ephesians 4:22), which was stained with sin, and put on the new creation, Jesus, who overcame sin (vs. 24). For this reason Paul said, “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts,” Romans 13:14. And, “For if we have become united with Him [Jesus] in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self (lit. man) was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin,” Romans 6:5-7
Romans 8:12-14 says, “So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh—- for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” And those who are being led by the Spirit of God are those who have put on the Lord Jesus Christ, the new man, the new creation.
This is clarified further in Colossians 3:9, 10, “Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the “old” self (lit. man [Adam]) with its evil practices, and have put on the “new” self (lit. man [Jesus]) who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him.”
“If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me,” Luke 9:23. We deny self (the old man) by laying it aside, and taking up our cross daily, wherein we were crucified with Christ and raised from a life of sin to a new man, or new creation, into a life of holiness in the Holy Spirit of God, and we follow Jesus wherever He leads.
In closing, we rise above the old man [Adam] by faith in the new man [Jesus] for, in His sacrifice, Jesus made a way to overcome the inherent sinfulness of the old man. He did this by becoming to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord,” 1 Corinthians 1:30, 31.
Jon David Banks, God’s most unworthy servant