Galatians 5:24 – Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Jesus laid the foundation for the truth that Paul is giving to the believers at Galatia. “Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me’ ” (Matthew 16:24-25). Part of entering into life with Christ is the putting off of the flesh which is rooted in the old nature, also called the old man. Oh, the absolute genius of our God! God becomes human in the Son. Christ lives the sinless life; He dies in our place as our substitute. God the Holy Spirit raises Him from the dead, enthrones Him as a resurrected man seated at the right hand of God the Father. The Spirit of God is poured out in the earth to bring forth a new creation. We choose to put the old nature to death and we choose to receive the new man. We live life through the power of God’s Holy Spirit. What power has been given to man! What eternal joy is ours to possess! What victory over death and hell!
Once again, the Scriptures put the onus on our choosing to “crucify the flesh”. The ability to crucify one’s flesh is utterly impossible! You can hammer the nail into one hand, but someone else must hammer a nail into the other. That is why the Lord has set us into a community of believers. It takes another to finish the job of crucifixion. Sometimes it takes more than one, a few to hold us down while others drive in the nails.
Beloved, this is a serious matter and not to be taken lightly. In a marriage, often our partner has the hammer to help finish the job of crucifixion. Many run to another hoping to escape, but it does no good because our flesh still needs to be crucified. This is a part of Christianity that none of us like, but it is so necessary if we are to attain what God has for us in this life.
As the Holy Spirit was with Christ in His time of death, so will He be with us. God promises, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you, so that we confidently say, The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What shall man do to me” (Hebrews 13:5-6)? “I will never” literally means, “I will never, no never, leave you.” David declares, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me” (Psalm 23:4).
Let us be bold in the Lord and face our cross even as Christ faced His for us. Power will be released from His death on the cross and in His resurrection. Power will be released as we step into the new realms of His kingdom. By His power, we can guide others into the glorious freedom found in Christ Jesus our Lord!