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Crucifying Our Sinful Nature

“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and
desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.
Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” 
-Galatians 5:24-25 NLT

 
The imagery used here in this passage is really intense and gory, isn’t it? (Sometimes I think we lose sensitivity to the true nature of crucifixion because it is often immersed in tradition or religion.) It was a style of execution that involved bending limbs in unnatural positions and then forcing them to remain in place against rough hewn lumber using long, sharp metal spikes. Death did not come quickly; it was often a slow and painful process.
 
I don’t think Paul used this imagery by mistake when referring to the process by which Christ-followers put to death their sinful natures. We wrestle with our sins, try to pin them down and it often takes perseverance to press on until they fully die. You can anticipate this struggle when you begin it, but do not be discouraged by it! Just as Paul refers here to nailing our sinful nature to “His cross” (meaning Jesus), I want to remind you that God does not leave you alone to do this work.
 
Jesus overcame the cross and the grave and He can help you overcome whatever sins that have tried to enslave you. And when He ascended in Heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit to lead us and walk with us through that process.
 
You may wonder about the results we can see after the deaths of these sins and Paul addresses that earlier in the chapter. Galatians 5:22-23 NLT says “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control…”
 
By: Anna Williams


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