Now those who belong to Christ [Jesus] have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:24 NABRE
Paul is writing to the community in Galatia with a powerful message on the fruits of the Spirit. Paul outlines what is against the Spirit. Paul says the works of the flesh are against the Spirit. When Paul refers to flesh he means sinful self-interest, Paul does not believe the flesh is evil. The examples he gives as these sinful self-interests are; immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, envy, anger selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing and the like. Paul warns that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Paul says if we are led by the spirit we are not under the law, we have freedom; freedom to choose sinful self-interest or fruit that brings life. Paul goes on to name the fruits of the spirit; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Paul concludes this discussion with the quoted verse; if we belong to Christ then we have had our sinful self-interest with its passions and desires nailed to the cross of Christ, put to death. We are liberated from our need for sinful self-interest thanks to Christ taking sin to his grave with Him. Paul believes we should use our freedom to serve Christ, and His mission.
Followers of Christ are free to choose good over bad, love over hate, generosity of selfishness, serving others over self-pleasure and devotion to Christ over promotion of self. Before the cross we were not free, we were slaves to pleasure, the immediate, things, images, and self-experience. Christ’s cross liberates us and gives us true freedom.
Do you recognize your freedom? Are you participating in the mission of Christ?Followers of Christ are free to choose good over bad, love over hate, generosity of selfishness, serving others over self-pleasure and devotion to Christ over promotion of self. Click To Tweet
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