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Freedom

Freedom

Words of Faith 6-28-19

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2019

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Galatians 5  

      [24] Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.

 

      The truth is so rich here we must slow to a snail's pace not to miss a drop.  

      The warfare between the flesh and the Spirit is intense and relentless. The qualities of flesh and Spirit are fundamentally opposed.  When we are caught in that warfare, it is a miserable place where we feel we cannot do what we would like to do-- and do things we never wanted to do again.  How, then, is a victory to be achieved? What must the believer do to triumph?

       Paul, first of all, reminded the Galatian believers that when they came to Christ, they repented fully of the works of the flesh and indeed turned their backs on those works forever. This is the act that must be sustained.

      Paul saw radical repentance through the vivid image of the crucifixion.  This is an image that Paul used in other places such as Romans 6:6, For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin, and also in Galatians 2:20, I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

      Here Paul used the image of crucifixion in a slightly different way.  In other instances, the verb is in the passive voice, "was crucified" and "have been crucified.”  The reference was to what has been done for the believer as a result of Christ's death. But in this passage, the verb is in the active voice: Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified.”  

       The language is clear in pointing to what the believer has himself done and must continue to regard as being done. The proper term to describe this act is repentance.   

       But wait a minute!  Didn't I repent once at the time of my salvation?  Isn't that good enough? 

       Certainly.  And our initial repentance is undoubtedly vital as part of our new birth in Christ.  But Paul is clear that a believer in Christ who has already repented of his former way of life must continue to regard this execution as complete. 

        There will be ongoing battles.  We might even think in terms of an actual crucifixion in which life lingers though the criminal has been nailed to the cross.  But the believer who belongs to Christ is to regard the decisive act as having been done. He is not to seek to remove from the cross what has once been nailed there.

         This is the powerful claim of faith.

 

        O God, I belong to Christ Jesus!  I know that my old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that I should no longer be slaves to sin.  I claim this truth by faith.  I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.  I belong to Christ Jesus, and I have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.  Thank You, Lord God.  I am free.  In Jesus' Name. 

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, and our website, and our church app, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.  

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