a wonderful day for considering what we are willing to give up.
“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
What a beautiful statement Paul makes here. What are we willing to give up to belong to Christ? If we are going to “nail the passions and desires of [our] sinful nature to His cross,” we probably need to look at what, exactly, constitutes our “sinful nature.”
Let’s face the reality of the situation: Many of us have grown quite comfortable with that sinful nature. So comfortable, in fact, that in many cases, we don’t even recognize some of our behavior as being sinful. So much sin has been legitimized in society and has been thrust upon us as “our right” or “legal behavior” that many of us fail to realize that simply because man says something is permissible doesn’t mean that God agrees.
Take profanity, for instance. There was a time when profanity was not allowed on television. Time, lawsuits, challenges and the relaxing of standards has changed all of that and profanity, from the ‘mild’ to the ‘wild’ is available for all to hear, to learn and to repeat. If it’s on TV it must be ok, right? Wrong! While society’s position on profanity has changed, God’s position is the same today as it was yesterday, and as it will be tomorrow: “It’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth.” (Matthew 15:11 NLT). And, writing to the Colossians, Paul said, “But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander and filthy language from your lips.” (Colossians 3:8 NIV).
Are we ready to nail profanity to the cross? How about all those other things on Paul’s list? Are we ready to give them up as well and nail them to the cross? Do we allow pornography into our lives because society has accepted it? Do we commit adultery because “everyone else does?”
To nail the passions and desires of our sinful natures to the cross of Christ, we must be willing to give up the things that we do, the things that we say and the thoughts that we have that occur as a result of those passions and desires.
It is important to note that being a Christian is not a one way street. It is not just about what we are willing to give up. It is also about the things we are able to receive as a result of giving up our sinful passions and desires. After we have stripped ourselves of sin all that is left is to “Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like Him.” (Colossians 3:10 NLT).
And that is worth our giving up a lot of things that are worthless!
Taken from “TODAY IS….A Gift From God”, (C) 2013 Tony Casson