“Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” (Galatians 5:24)
It is an awesome day when a person decides to put all their faith in Christ and surrender their lives to Christ as their Lord and Savior (John 3:16; Romans 10:9-10). There’s a sense of true peace to know that we have passed from eternal death, to eternal life. Jesus said:
“I assure you: Anyone who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not come under judgment but has passed from death to life (John 5:24).”
What this means is that, when we surrender our lives to Christ, we begin a new life in Him. We die to our old way of living and begin a new way of life as God, through the Apostle Paul, tells us:
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come (2 Corinthians 5;17).”
Now, in today’s verse of Scripture, the Apostle Paul teaches us how this new life begins. But to fully understand it in the context it was written, we need to look at the preceding verses. Here are verses 19, through 23:
“Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. I tell you about these things in advance—as I told you before—that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law (Galatians 5:19-23).”
Here, God, through the Apostle Paul, explains the difference between a non-Christian, and a true Christian. The evidence of a person in whom Christ does not lives is: “sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar”. By contrast, the evidence of a person in whom Christ does live, is: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control.”
So, in today’s verse, God, through the Apostle Paul, teaches us the process by which we go from living for self, to living for Christ. Let’s take a closer look.
- “Now those who belong to Christ Jesus…” – These are the people who have,
– believed and accepted the fact that they are sinners in need of a Savior.
– believed and accepted the fact that Jesus was sent by God die on a cross for the forgiveness fo their sins
– believe and accept the fact that Jesus was buried and rose again from the dead to give them eternal life
– believe and accept the fact that this is a free gift from God, something that cannot be earned, no bought
– made a commitment, with Christ, to seek Him every day, follow Him no matter where He leads them, and strive to live in immediate, radical, costly obedience to His commands
- “have crucified…” – the cross is a symbol of death. Therefore, we have chosen to crucify, or kill, our old self to begin a new life in Christ.
- “the flesh…” – this refers to the sinful nature into which we were born. We are, by nature, sinful.
- “with it’s passions…” – a heart for what is wrong (sin) in God’s eyes.
- “and desires.” – a deep desire to satisfy our carnal desires.
If this is what it means to be a Christian, we need to self-examine our lives to see if we are living according to God’s standards, and not what we think, or have been erroneously taught by others.
- how are we going to obey what we’ve learned in today’s lesson?
- With whom are we going to share today’s lesson?
- With Whom are we going to share the story of our salvation, and that Jesus did for us?
In Christ’s love,