And those who belong to Christ Jesus (the Messiah) have crucified the flesh (the godless human nature) with its passions and appetites and desires. Galatians 5:24 (Amplified Bible)
Okay, that’s pretty tough. I admit. Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh? What does that mean?
Let’s break it down a little. This verse has two parts. The first part is “And those who belong to Christ Jesus (the Messiah)…” It is a statement that starts with a fact. Do you belong to Christ Jesus? Then God the Holy Spirit is talking about you in this verse.
What do you mean?
“I haven’t crucified the flesh with all of its passions, appetites and desires. How can this verse still be talking about me? Are you saying that because I still have passion and lust and desire then I don’t belong to Jesus? I still have all kinds of cravings and passions. All kinds of stuff that I don’t want to do run through my head everyday and get me all stirred up. I still want to hit people. I still want to curse them out.” On and on people go.
Whoa. Whoa, Bessie. Back the truck up.
Let’s stay with this first point for a minute. If you have received Jesus as your Lord and Savior, if you have received His forgiveness and cleansing of sin, then you belong to Him. Just as He is your Savior, you then belong to Him. Right?
Say this out loud right now, “I belong to Jesus.”
Since you belong to Him already and the first part of the verse is true about you then you can claim the second part of this verse as true about you also.
How do we know that you belong to Christ? In other words, how do we know that when you ask for forgiveness in the name of Jesus, the Father forgives you? The Word of God.
Because, if you say with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and have faith in your heart that God has made him come back from the dead, you will have salvation: For with the heart man has faith to get righteousness, and with the mouth he says that Jesus is Lord to get salvation. Romans 10:9-10 (Bible in Basic English)
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 (NASB–the Bible that Paul used)
My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world. 1 John 2:1-2 (NLT)
There are many others. The most famous is probably John 3:16:
For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. (NLT)
We believe these scriptures are true, correct? If we confess Jesus as our Lord and believe that God raised Him from the dead, we are saved. We will live eternally with Jesus. Those scriptures are true.
Let’s take it one step further. Is God’s Word true? Is God a liar? He bought and paid for you to be free from sin. Let’s look at another scripture.
We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus. Romans 6:6-11 (NLT) Emphasis mine
Do you belong to Him? Did Jesus die for you? Then consider yourself dead to the power of sin. In other words, sin doesn’t have any power over you to control you any longer.
“Are you saying…” *gulp* “… that we don’t have to sin any more?” No. I didn’t say it. God said it in His Word about you. If you choose to believe what His Word says about you, then you just made the first step to breaking addictions and strongholds in your life.
1. The Word of God is Final Authority in my life!
When you make the Word final authority, it means that the Word settles the situation. In other words, I am struggling about whether or not I should go up punch someone in the face. The Word of God says, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Then, according to the Word of God, I cannot go and punch them in the face. The love of Christ constrains me or holds me back. That would not be loving that person. Thus, sin has no power over me.
It is the same in regards to healing, for example.
- Exodus 15:26
- Romans 8:11
- 1 Peter 2:24
- Romans 8:2
- Galatians 3:13-14
- Isaiah 53:4-5
- Psalm 103:1-5
- Proverbs 4:20-22
All of these scriptures all say that I am healed. Now, I can say that God is a liar and refuse to believe Him and therefore exalt my body as my god. Or, I can choose to believe Him regardless of what I am feeling in my body. It is my choice.
This is where the rubber meets the road.
Is the Word of God final authority in my life? Am I guided and regulated by the Word or do I choose to believe whatever I want based on convenience? Most pick and choose what they believe based on the environment they were raised in, associations, and mentality. Some things in the Word of God are not comfortable. But it is the Word.
To really break free from addictions, you have to put the Word of God first.
It isn’t about a new program or pill. It isn’t about counseling or consoling. It is about you and the Word of God and what Jesus already did for you.
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32 (KJV)
The truth makes you free. But it must be the truth that you know. It can’t be the truth that your pastor knows or the preacher on TV. It can’t be the truth that your barber knows or the news media. It is the truth of the Word of God living on the inside of you that will cause you to walk free from the entanglements of addictions. The truth of what Jesus already did for you makes you free.
I’m not telling you what you must do. I can’t tell you to do anything. However, according to the Word of God, if you want to live free, this is the first step.
Submit yourselves therefore to God… James 4:7a (KJV)
By submitting yourself to the Word of God and making the Word final authority in your life, you are submitting yourself to God.
What other scriptures do you know that pertain to you and I being free from sin, the power of sin, and the devil?