Nailing Our Sinful Nature To His Cross
Galatians 5:24 Paul reminds us what we’ve done once we embrace the Fruits of the Spirit.
“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.”
Galatians 5:24 NLT
Galatians 5:22-23 is a favorite part of this epistle for many Christians, with Paul describing the “Fruits of the Spirit” — love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The verse today follows the Fruits of the Spirit, with Paul’s writing about what those who have been born again in Christ have done — “nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.”
God wants us to nail our fleshly passions and desires to His cross, to control our flesh under the sentence of eternal separation from Him. Paul chose his words wisely in this verse. Rather than using the word “killed”, he used crucified to remind us of what Jesus did for us on the cross, that we are called (as stated in Matthew 16:24) to take up our cross and follow Him, that death of the flesh (both in terms of physical death and putting our sin to death) can be very painful, and that we must deal with our worldly sin without indecision.
Anglican theologian John Stott elaborated on this verse, saying:
“Please notice that the ‘crucifixion’ of the flesh described here is something that is done not to us but by us… Galatians 5:24 does not teach the same truth as Galatians 2:20 or Romans 6:6. In those verses we are told that by faith-union with Christ ‘we have been crucified with him’. But here it is we who have taken action.”1
In Jesus, we can live beyond the passions and desires of our flesh. If we are “those who belong to Jesus Christ”, we belong to Him and not the world, ourselves, or our passions and desires.
Heaven On Wheels Daily Prayer:
Father in Heaven, I thank You that the cross has broken the power of sin over my life. By faith, I can now walk in truth and spirit. I thank You that I’m identified with Christ through my faith, giving me the power to crucify the flesh and nail my sin to the cross. AMEN.
Stott, John R.W. "The Message of Galatians" (The Bible Speaks Today) (Leicester, England: Inter-Varsity Press, 1986)