TODAY’S SCRIPTURE Galatians 2:20; 5:16-26
If you haven’t sung the Galatians 2:20 song at Vacation Bible School, then you haven’t lived. What powerful words from the apostle Paul! When Paul becomes a Jewish Christian, he knows he has to turn his back on everything he has lived for prior. As a Jew converting to Christ, he has to deny the sufficiency of the Law and trust in the sufficiency of Jesus. He dies to the Law by dying with Christ. He becomes a new person who is indwelt and guided by Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.
For Paul, this is not just a matter of doctrine to be cognitively affirmed; it is something to be lived. Dying with Christ entails living a crucified life. This is why Galatians 2:20 is so important for what Paul will write later in Galatians 5:16-26. Paul says, “And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:24). If you have been crucified with Christ, you have to live like it; however, this is not a pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps theology. Paul is very clear about how one lives the crucified life––by the power of Holy Spirit. Those who “walk by the Spirit” will not “gratify the desires of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16).
As Christians, it is a daily struggle to resist those works of the flesh that too often feel so natural. When someone wrongs us, it is easy to burst forth in anger. When our eyes see something tempting, it is easy to let our minds become impure. Our world is so polarized and it is easy to be part of divisions and dissensions. Yet, these are the very things that we are to crucify in the flesh by the power of the Spirit. This is the essence of dying with Christ and living the crucified life.
Today, I will…live the crucified life by allowing the Spirit to produce in me love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).