Crucifying the Flesh
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:24 NIV
In Galatians 5:13-26, Paul talks about transformation. The new life that happens when we accept Christ and become sinners saved by God’s grace. The moment in faith that we acknowledge Christ died for our transgressions and receive him as our Savior, we can never return to being the person we once were.
That doesn't mean we will never sin again. The crucifixion of which Paul is speaking is not a single; one-time come to Jesus moment but a daily exercise because we are tempted daily by passions and desires. What are these fleshly desires? Paul lists “sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.” (v. 9-21) Like an alcoholic confessing in AA or an addict in NA, we remain sinners and must take responsibility for our sin.
Here is the hope that lies in Christ. As a result of our acceptance, we are convicted by the Holy Spirit when we err. Humbly confessing our sins before God, and with hearts earnest for change, he grants forgiveness. Then, like the loving Father he is, he picks us up, dusts us off, and sets us back on the right path.
Gracious and Loving Father, we thank you for your compassion and forgiveness. We give thanks for the gift of salvation through your Son and the conviction in the Holy Spirit. We confess we have sinned; we have not yet conquered the passions and desires of the flesh. Father, forgive us and help us as we pursue your righteousness. Help us to become perfect as Jesus Christ is perfect. It is in His name we ask these things. Amen.