by K Neill Foster
for February 23, 2019
Text: "Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires." Galatians 5:24
Apparently, when one embraces Jesus as Lord and Savior, He comes with a cross. Or to look at it another way, Jesus is no longer on the cross, but His crucifixion continues to have benefit for His followers.
Paul uses the past tense-- those who belong "have crucified" the sinful nature. This element of Christian conversion is often not explained to new converts. Counselors who prepare them for baptism do well to connect the baptismal act to the reality of being crucified with Christ.
When Jesus was crucified it was as if I hung on the back side of the cross. I was there. If you are a believer, you were there too. This "back-side" crucifixion deals with the self-life, the carnal nature, the passions and desires of the flesh.
Let's go a little farther with this. The truth is that the carnality, worldliness and haughty self-life that plagues many Christians has had a remedy all along. Yes, for those of us who stumble and struggle, the answer is the cross in deadly embrace with me as it was with my Lord. That means that by faith and through the Holy Spirit's power, I am crucified with Christ.