The Way to Victory
May 24, 2023
What can we do to overcome this raging war inside us of forces pulling us to either walk in the Spirit or walk according to the flesh? Of course, we desire to side with the Spirit. This process involves two actions that must become as basic to our lives as breathing. As the Apostle Paul writes in verse 24, we must rest in the fact that our flesh has been crucified with its passions and desires. We must follow that by applying what we see in the next verse: to live and walk by the Spirit.
God has a place for our flesh, with all its passions and desires. He wants us to reckon it nailed to the cross, so that it may be under control and under the sentence of death. We must remember our flesh has been crucified. This means that our sinful nature has been crucified positionally and the path to victory is reckoning it dead when it surfaces to control our lives again. We must face that choice every day as we live in these mortal bodies. The sad truth is the crucified flesh can and will, from time to time, still influence us.
In Romans 6, he writes;
“Knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin… So you too, consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:6, 11).
How do we know it can still influence us? Experience and Romans 7:
So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? (Romans 7:17-24)
The apostle John writes:
If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. (I John 1:8)
Paul uses the word “crucified” as it relates to the current condition of our flesh. Crucified is an important word. Paul could have simply chosen the word “killed,” but he used the word crucified because it speaks of at least three things:
1) It reminds us of what Jesus did for us on the cross.
2) It reminds us that we are called to take up our cross and follow Him.
3) It reminds us that our flesh must be dealt with decisively.
James Montgomery Boice rightly points out:
“The verb is in the active voice and points rather to what the believer has himself done and must continue to regard as being done.” (Boice & Wood, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Galatians/Ephesians, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI, 1996, p.91)
Paul’s logic in having victory over the flesh, as hard as it is to do, is to constantly reckon the flesh to be crucified.
’56 / ’79 Egg Harbor Township NJ