Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:24)
Pastor John’s Notes:
In order for us to live by the Spirit, the old life must die. Crucifixion is a violent act, and we are instructed to crucify our own flesh. Let’s unpack some of the language here. The “flesh” is a term used in Paul’s writings to refer to everything that has to do with our sinful self. Words like “selfishness” or “worldliness” carry the same idea. We begin life as “fleshly” creatures, setting our own physical needs. The flesh will not die willingly; we must exert force against it in order to disempower it. This is not an easy or happy task, but it is a necessary one.
Crucifixion is also a public act. It is a declaration that the activity of the person crucified will not be tolerated. Within ourselves, we must declare that sin will no longer reign within us. We must do this so that the Spirit of God might take his rightful place as Lord of our lives. We cannot serve two masters.
Holy Spirit, as I welcome your Lordship, help me to crucify the flesh. I am in need of your help because I have served the flesh for so long and am so familiar with its demands, I do not know what a life centered in your will is like. Help me to trust in you, that your Lordship is far better than anything the flesh can offer. Help me to crucify the flesh with its desires, and set new desires within me.