Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. – Galatians 5:24-25
Crucifixion seems a little radical. I mean, we’re only human and as humans we are due a little freedom. That seems to be the prevailing attitude among many who call themselves Christian today. There are some, it seems, who have reduced Christianity to a doctrine and salvation has been reduced to reciting a particular formula. One makes a profession of faith, thus securing a birth in heaven, and then one goes about one’s life.
Throughout the writings of Paul we get a different picture than that. In this particular passage he is saying that if we are going to consider ourselves as belonging to Christ then we are going to have to do something about the nature we have as humans which is committed to our own passions and desires. He is saying that we have to crucify the nature which leads us to sin.
What are we being asked to crucify? Our passion and desire for sin and the things of this world. Paul has just given a list of those things in verses 19-21. They range from sexual sin to witchcraft and include such things as rage, jealousy, selfish ambition, envy, and more. What is the driver behind these behaviors? It is self; self-fulfillment, self-realization, self-aggrandizement,
We can’t belong to Christ and be committed to our own passions and desires at the same time. Paul is calling us to put aside all those things that have the purpose of fulfilling our flesh.
When we have surrendered our lives to Christ we have made an eternal covenant. It is no longer we ourselves who live but it is Christ who lives through us. Oh, I know that we still breathe air, eat food and have our own blood running through our bodies, but I’m not talking about Christ living in our bodies – I’m talking about Christ living in our spirit. We live by his Spirit.
Prayer, Meditation and Reflection:
Prayer: Father, I have a difficult time crucifying my flesh. Grant me a heart to surrender to you and allow the Holy Spirit to work in me. In Jesus name, amen.
Principle: We can’t belong to Christ and be committed to our own passions and desires at the same time.
Affirmation: I have realized that my passions and desires will lead me away from Christ, therefore I have committed those things to him and now my desire is to please my Lord.
Reflection: Paul uses the analogy of crucifixion to show the attitude we should have toward our sinful nature. Just what does that mean to you? How does a person crucify his sinful nature?
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