Crucify the Flesh

Crucify the Flesh?

Romans 7:21-23 (NASB)

21 I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wishes to do good.
22 For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man,
23 but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind, and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members.

Galatians 5:24 (NASB)

24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

What is this battle that continues to wage inside of me?

Why do I do things I do not want to do and know I shouldn’t do?

What does it mean to crucify the flesh and why doesn’t God just purify my mind so that whole issue never rises again?

Most of us have all asked these questions since some time before the day we were saved. The issue is not, “Why was sin not eradicated from us the moment we were saved?” Purity is not a static condition  which is gained and never lost. Adam and Eve were created pure; but they both chose to sin. A third of the host of heaven were pure, but chose to rebel against God! God did not create robots; He created self-aware beings who must choose to obey Him.

In Galatians 5:24, the Holy Spirit led Paul to use the word “crucify.” Note that this is a choice, a willful decision to do something about our personal desires (which is part of the fall) and to instead take actions that prove we belong to Christ.

Why is this so hard sometimes, even for Paul? It is because we are focusing on the temptation, instead of the One who gave His life through crucifixion. This was not only to give us an eternal life we do not deserve, but also to give us the power in our present lives to glorify Him in our walk.

If we take our eyes (heart) off of Christ, we see the things that enslaved our lives in the past. If we instead placed ourselves at the Cross where our Savior died … would we choose to add to His suffering? We fall because we momentarily forget what He had to do to save us.

Since Christ suffered and  died for all of our sins; let’s prove we love Jesus Christ our Savior by letting our walk be a reasonable response for all He has done for us! Let’s return to Galatians 5.

Galatians 5:22–24 (NASB)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

We are not to show love, joy,peace, patience, kindness,  goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control because we are ordered to act this way. God has already given us these abilities; we are to live them out as an offering to the Lord in thanks for the salvation none of us deserve. It is as we commit to this thank offering that the Holy Spirit grants us to  the strength to glorify Christ in each step we take. These comments were inspired by my study of the December 9th devotional found in Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost For His Highest.

[Download this devotional as a pdf]