And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. –Galatians 5:24-25
Verse 24 doesn’t speak of a Christian’s plan for victory as much as it speaks of a Christian’s secured victory in Jesus! Often we Christians project a defeated air when it comes to overcoming sin. It reminds me of a memorable boxing match. I may never forget having more than 20 guys crammed into my parents’ living room, pizza and hot wings in hand as we watched the preliminary fights leading up to Holyfield—Tyson II. We sat with anticipation, thinking that in the next few moments we could be watching the greatest boxing bout of our era. I still remember sitting stunned as I saw Tyson duck under the clinch and bite off the top of Holyfield’s ear. A few moments later, my buddies and I sat there incredulous—looking at the TV trying to figure out what we were watching. We heard the announcer read “Referee Mills Lane has disqualified Mike Tyson for biting Evander Holyfield on both of his ears.”
Apparently, Tyson, remembered being dominated in their first fight and came into this second fight with a defeated mindset. He took some serious hits in the first two rounds and decided he couldn’t win, so why not cheat?
It seems like there are more than a few professing Christians out there with a defeated mindset as well.
Could this be a result of their focus? Men have a tendency to focus on themselves, their abilities, their strength, and their record. If we are going into the ring with sin, we need a lot more than that. It makes sense to feel defeated if you are all you’ve got. However, this passage says “they that are Christ’s HAVE crucified the flesh.” Christian, you have been identified with Christ! At the moment of conversion, you were baptized by the Holy Spirit and partook of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection!
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.—Galatians 2:20
No, your sin nature is not gone, but it has been judged! Victory over your old appetites and desires is given to you in Christ’s death. So if you are climbing into the ring with sin and your eyes are on your record, you are right to feel defeated. Instead, remember Jesus’ record—your victory is secured! Now walk in the Spirit.