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Crucify the Flesh

Galatians 5:24 (ESV) -- And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Crucifixions haven’t been a common practice in well over a thousand years. This instrument for death and destruction was perfected by the Roman Empire. It generated fear in people. It brutally ended the life of criminals, warning others of what getting out of line could lead to for them.

Yet our Lord Jesus was crucified on a cross. He was innocent. There was no guilt found in Him. He willingly went to the cross because there the Father poured out His wrath for sins on Jesus’ head. The Son of God willingly endured the wrath of God for our salvation. 

Our passage today teaches us how we must now embrace our cross. Paul writes, “And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” The fascinating thing about what Paul is saying is that while crucifixions haven’t happened for many centuries, we must kill our flesh as Christians. The imagery of crucifixion is used to describe how thorough and brutal this death to self must be. 

We are to crucify the flesh of ours that Christ saved. We have desires and passions that still roam there, and they must be dealt with or they can lead to our ruin. This is not a passive endeavor. We must act against our flesh if we desire victory over it. This means each of us should take seriously how big of an enemy our own flesh is. We should repent of sin and ask the Lord to help us to fight it. Our battle is fought with the help of the Holy Spirit, the truth of God’s Word, and the partnership of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Reflection & Journal:
- What is the “flesh” Paul is referencing in this passage?
- How can Christians fight and win against the flesh?
- Why does it require “crucifying it”? What does this tell us about the nature of the battle and the power of sin?

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