Thursday, January 30, 2020

2020.01.30 Hopewell @Home ▫ Galatians 5:24-26

Questions from the Scripture text: To Whom do some people belong (Galatians 5:24)? What have those who genuinely belong to Christ done? In Whom do those who belong to Christ live (Galatians 5:25)? What must they also do in the Spirit? What must we not become instead of dependence upon the Spirit (Galatians 5:26)? What would this false pride cause us to be toward one another?
As we come to the end of Galatians 5:26, we see that this has all been a unit with what began in Galatians 5:13-15. Our freedom is not for indulging the flesh but for killing it—otherwise, in our fleshliness, we will consume one another (verse 15), provoking and envying one another (verse 26).

The Spirit is out for death—the death of the flesh. The apostle uses a word image that is pretty gruesome: crucifixion. If you belong to Christ, you have crucified the flesh. You have pinned down your remaining sin, nailed it up, and are determined to choke every last bit of air-gasping life out of it.

This is not a passive, just-learning-to-enjoy-Jesus-more-and-more, low-effort, low-activity approach to sanctification. But it is the Scripture-picture for what it looks like to keep in step with the Spirit. Why? Because the Spirit’s desires are against the flesh (Galatians 5:16-17). The Spirit wants our remaining sin dead, and if we are being led by Him, then our battle against our flesh is a ruthless death match. Crucifixion.

If we forget that we are dependent upon the Spirit, and try to approach sanctification in any other way, then we are conceited (Galatians 5:26a). And, when we fall out of step with the Spirit, it is then that we shift from bring hard on ourselves to being hard on others (verse 26b). On the flipside, if we find ourselves hostile to or envious of others, we have good reason to ask ourselves, “Am I walking in the Spirit? Do I belong to Jesus? Am I locked in a crucifying-to-death battle with my sin?”
Against which of your sinful desires are you currently engaged in a crucifying-to-death battle?
Suggested songs: ARP32AB “What Blessedness” or TPH51C “God, Be Merciful to Me”

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