Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Even if you’ve been under a rock for the last 20 years, you’ve heard of Peter’s Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings movies. They’ve pulled in about $3 billion at the box office. This led to The Hobbit film series that brought in another $3 billion.
As The Lord of the Rings comes to a thrilling climax, Frodo Baggins destroys the Ring of Power. The towering Fortress of Sauron crashes to the ground. Mount Doom explodes, throwing red-hot lava everywhere.
At the end, it’s good to look back and think about all that’s happened. To sit down and replay the scenes of your life. To noodle over all you’ve been through. To remember all the things that have happened and been accomplished.
That’s exactly where Paul says the Galatians are. They once were far away from God, and not getting any closer. As a matter of fact, they were moving away from God at a breakneck pace.
But then they heard about all that Jesus did for them. Dying on the cross for them. His once-and-for-all sacrifice took care of all their sins: past, present, and future.
No more sacrifices. No more trying to pay for their own sins. It was over. Like Frodo, they could say, “It’s gone. It’s done.” But they didn’t do it. Jesus did. He paid it all, for all that would believe.
And when they accepted Jesus’ payment for their sins, they moved from darkness to light. They now belonged to Jesus Christ, never to be pulled away. Their eternal destiny was made certain.
But it didn’t end there. There was a result of their belonging to Jesus. Just as Jesus’ was crucified once for them, they crucified their passions and desires once.
There’s no way to have an ongoing crucifixion. Or to be crucified over and over. It’s done once and that’s it. Jesus was crucified once and then hung on the cross for the rest of his life.
When we come to Christ, we receive him and his payment for our sins. We become his adopted child once and for all time. He takes away our sin while we receive his righteousness. We are no longer our own, we’ve been bought with a price.
As we turn toward Jesus and receive his life, we turn away from the way we used to live. You can’t be looking in tow different directions at the same time. When we received the crucified Jesus, this crucifies our passions and desires at the same time.
You can’t have it both ways. When you turn towards Jesus you have to turn away from everyone else. Everything else. And this is what crucifies your passions and desires.
Now I know exactly what you’re thinking. “But Chet, I still struggle with sin in my life. My words, thoughts, actions, and attitudes are not perfect. So, how could my passions and desires be crucified once and for all? If they’re dead, why are they still around.
And that’s the point. Crucified doesn’t mean dead. Crucified means just that, crucified. Yes, in Jesus we’ve been nailed to the cross. We’re permanently stuck and can’t get down. Yes, death is coming, but it’s not here yet.
Until then, when we leave this life, we’re not going to be perfect. We’re going to struggle within ourselves and sin. We’re going to experience sin in our daily lives, and we’re going to hate it.
I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.
Romans 7:15 NLT
When this happens, we can either try harder or run to Jesus. We can get depressed or run to Jesus. We can become overwhelmed with guilt and shame, or we can run to Jesus. I hope you’ve picked up on the pattern.
Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 7:25 NLT
In the end, when we’ve come to the end of ourselves, Jesus is the answer. He’s our answer. He’s your answer.
 1 Corinthians 6:20