Thursday, August 13, 2009

Galatians 5:24

"And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." Pretty graphic statement when you think about it. Paul's direct audience was all too familiar with the horrors of Roman crucifixion. Crucifixion was a brutally painful way to die. It was also a method of publicly shaming the criminal while striking fear into the bystanders. The Romans had obviously crucified Jesus decades before Paul wrote Galatians. Other than believers, that culture was in denial that Jesus had risen. Paul now states, "they that are Christ's..." implying that His resurrection was real, but also that real ownership over the believer is in Christ alone. Believers are not owned by the culture, the government (praise God), or even by the church, because they are Christ's. He now states that all saved people "have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." How do we still struggle with the flesh if we have "killed" it? Paul is showing that when a believer is saved, he/she publicly transfers allegiance from the lusts of our day to Jesus Himself. We must see the lust of the flesh as an enemy or criminal which is intolerable and must be publicly shamed. This does not mean that we become perfect people free from temptation, but rather, that sin is not our master. If you are saved, you have publicly transferred your allegiance from sin to Christ. If that is so, are you serving your real master, or are you tolerating sin?

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