Murdering My Corruptions

CRUCIFIED with CHRIST

“For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me… And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires… But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Galatians 2:19-20; 5:24

The Christian life is a crucified one whereby the Spirit of God leads us to murder our corrupt nature. He enables us to starve the flesh and empowers us to make war with the sinful passions that previously consumed us. By His strength and wisdom, we become increasingly renewed so that our behavior reflects our status as redeemed sons and daughters of God. However, we know that our battles with the flesh are painful and costly and won slowly, inch-by-inch, as we fight the good fight of faith.

Commenting on our sinful tendency to reflect worldliness rather than holiness, Brian Hedges writes: “We don’t bear the fruit of holiness because the roots of repentance have not gone deep enough.”[1] The problem is that instead of hating our sin, we love it and dread giving it up. John Stott provides an illustration that pictures our grotesque love affair with sin and calls us to put an end to it:

“It is as if, having nailed our old nature to the cross, we keep wistfully returning to the scene of its execution. We begin to fondle it, to caress it, to long for its release, even to try to take it down again from the cross. We need to learn to leave it there. When some jealous, or proud, or malicious, or impure thought invades our mind we must kick it out at once. It is fatal to begin to examine it and consider whether we are going to give in to it or not. We have declared war on it; we are not going to resume negotiations. We have settled the issue for good; we are not going to re-open it. We have crucified the flesh; we are never going to draw the nails.”[2]

 May we learn to embrace the crucified life with the joy and faith of adopted sons and daughters who are no longer enslaved to their former masters!!

____________

[1] Brian Hedges, Licensed to Kill: A Field Manual for Mortifying Sin (Adelphi: Cruciform Press, 2011), 76. I highly recommend this book as a brief synopsis of the best instructions from John Owen’s The Mortification of Sin.

[2] John R.W. Stott, The Message of Galatians (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1984), 151-152, as cited in Brian Hedges, Licensed to Kill, 76-77.

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