Self-denial, Our Duty as Believers
Category : General
Galatians 5: 24 (KJV)
24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
It has been observed what Paul says to these Galatians. You all profess yourselves to be members of Christ, to be followers of Him; but how incongruous are these practices to such a profession? Is this the fruit of the dove-like spirit of Christ?
Here he adds this, in order to show that all Christians have renounced the flesh, and therefore enjoy freedom. While he makes this statement, the apostle reminds the Galatians what true Christianity is, so far as relates to the life, and thus guards them against a false profession of Christianity. The word crucified is employed to point out that the mortification of the flesh is the effect of the cross of Christ. This work does not belong to man, but by the grace of Christ. The corrupt passions of the soul have been put to death; that is, destroyed. They are as though they were dead,and have no power over us. That we no longer might live unto ourselves. If we are buried with Christ, by true self-denial, and by the destruction of the old man, we shall then enjoy the privilege of the sons of God. The flesh is not yet indeed entirely destroyed; but it has no right to exercise dominion, and ought to yield to the Spirit. The flesh and its lusts are a figure of speech of exactly the same import with the tree and its fruits. The flesh itself is the depravity of corrupt nature, from which all evil actions proceed. (Matthew 15:19; Mark 7:21.) Hence it follows, that the members of Christ have cause to complain, if they are still held to be in bondage to the law, from which all who have been regenerated by his Spirit are set free.
True believers are no hypocrites. All genuine Christians have crucified the flesh – are so far from obeying its dictates and acting under its influence, that they have crucify the flesh with its evil desires and lusts by fasting and exercise and, above all, by a walk in the Spirit. They crucified their sensual appetites; they have nailed them to the cross of Christ, where they have expired with him. Thus, Paul says in Romans 6:6, our old man – the flesh, with its affections and lusts, is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. By which we see that God has fully designed to save all who believe in Christ from all sin, whether outward or inward, with all the affections, irregular passions, and lusts, disorderly wishes and desires. All that a man may feel contrary to love and purity; and all that he may desire contrary to moderation and that self-denial peculiar to the Christian character.
In the day that we live, it is important to note and know the difference between those are Christians and those that are not. Those that are Christ’s are occasionally characterized as born of the Spirit; walking in the Spirit; the children of God; the elect of God; the doers of the law; the heirs of the kingdom of heaven. Those that are not Christ’s are described as walking in the flesh; fulfilling the lusts of the flesh; the children of this world; the unfruitful hearers of the law; the servants of Satan; the heirs of damnation. Are you living to/for Christ, or to/for the flesh? This passage before us serves as scriptural tests, which distinguish from a corrupt and unregenerate world those who belong to the Lord Jesus. Please read the entire chapter of Galatians 5.
Have a great and God filled day!