19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.26 Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.
Now Paul gives us a long list of the desires of our sinful nature. Some of the things in his list are things we could expect to be there, but there are a few things that might be surprising. Idolatry is one of them. We don’t have man-made idols of false gods today.- But an idol today in my life might be my image, or maybe money, or success. I’m surprised that quarreling in on the list. That doesn’t seem very sinful. But the interesting one to me is “sorcery.” I looked it up and in scripture, sorcery is equated with rebellion.
Then Paul lists the characteristics of a life traveling on the path led by the Holy Spirit. I’ve been working a lot on growing the fruit of “patience.” Which one are you working on?
But the part of this passage that really struck me was “nailing my sinful nature to the cross.” How do I nail the passions of the flesh to the cross of Christ? It seems clear to me that the more I am able to nail those passions to the cross, the more aware I will be of the Holy Spirit leading my life. So I am committed to 1.) slowing down; 2.) staying connected to the believers in my life, and 3.) resisting the tendency I have to isolate.
It also goes back to Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (NKJV). (That’s the version I memorized years ago.) That verse must become more of a reality with me . I need to see that Christ was crucified for ME. He took my place on that cross!