Captivating Day 5 What If?: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days

Finding the original intent of Scripture and making good application to our everyday lives as we become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

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The Questions

1) How can we be certain not to carry out the desire of the flesh?

2) Why is Paul including the fact that he is giving the same warning he has already given?

3) How has the flesh and its desires been crucified?

Galatians 5:16-26

I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will certainly not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, 21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. I am warning you about these things—as I warned you before—that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. The law is not against such things. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

Original Intent

1) How can we be certain not to carry out the desire of the flesh?
We were made for freedom, yes? Don’t our hearts scream to be free? Don’t we ache to know that in our deepest core we are deeply and irrevocably loved?! The truth of the human condition is, regardless of how it may appear or feel, we have zero freedom. We are chained to a task master from the beginning of our existence, his name is Sin. He leads us one way, straight to Death. All the while, bound and held captive to evil darkness; a slave with no hope. Sin carries no love or affection for us, only cruel desire to steal, kill, and destroy. (John 10:10) Equally true is the reality of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit together forming the triune God who loves and delights and chose to radically sacrifice in order to bring us near. By the Father’s deep love, He sent the Son to die in our place, taking on our death, then coming back to life through the Spirit, followed by an act of unprecedented love, poured that same Spirit within the hearts of all who trust Him to rescue them for eternity. Gone are the chains of Sin! Eradicated is the consequence of Death! Unbounded is the endless love of a triune God who simply loves to love! Found only here is the freedom we dream of and the love we dare to crave as we are made alive by His Spirit working within us! Live in your freedom, Sister, and know that your chains are gone. You are loved and are now free to love others!

2) Why is Paul including the fact that he is giving the same warning he has already given?
Whenever something is repeated in Scripture within a passage, it is meant to underscore importance. This warning isn’t simply some words Paul threw together to make a point, this is life and death. This warning is intentionally strong, repeated, and warrants extremely close attention. “Those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God.”. Will not, friends!! That’s as point blank of a warning as it comes! If we refuse to submit to Christ, if we spurn His sacrifice on our behalf, if we merely know much about Him, but neglect to actually give Him our lives, we lose our lives. The kingdom of God is the fullness of life, it is the restoration between God and man that was broken as a result of sin, it is eternal security, and the enjoyment of love poured out over us from God instead of His wrath forever. The stakes could not be higher and the warning could not be stronger. The question Paul is begging the Galatians to wrestle with is, what are you pursuing? Either people are “practicing” (we might say “all in” or “fully committed”) following the Holy Spirit or they are “practicing” the deeds of the flesh. One leads to death forever, one leads to life forever.

3) How has the flesh and its desires been crucified?
When Paul penned his letter, his audience fully understood what crucifixion was and its purpose. The cross was intended for death, a cruel death at that. Crucifixion was a Roman form of punishment at the time, sending a resounding message of Rome’s power and authority. Anyone who heard or read of crucifixion would have known how brutal and final it was. Paul uses crucifixion language to paint a vivid picture for the permanence of death for the “old sin nature”. Crucifixion was the final word in Roman punishment; no one survived crucifixion. No one. Not even Jesus. He rose again, but crucifixion accomplished its goal in killing Jesus. (John 19:33) In the same way, no one who surrenders to Jesus will have an “old sin nature” that continues to live. Believers are tempted to go back and live as if they were trapped in the old sin nature, but the Old Nature has been completely crucified through Christ. Paul’s purpose is to teach the Galatian church, through the vivid imagery of crucifixion, that every believer no longer has a sin nature that controls them. The finality of its death is meant to be carried into everyday life. The old sin nature has already died and has no power over them because of Jesus’ sacrificial death in our place.

Everyday Application

1) How can we be certain not to carry out the desire of the flesh?
Oh Sisters, by the pen of Paul and the voice of the Spirit of the Living God, “You were called to freedom!” (verse 13) Freedom we could never earn, oh no, we are much too sinful for that! Freedom we could never have hoped to ever experience, so tightly bound by the grip of sin and death we were sentenced to Death for eternity. But God, Sisters, But God! (Ephesians 2:4) This God who holds all power, is fully just and righteous, and knows every ugly sin we have ever committed, chose to set us free. More so, because He knew we could never live a righteous life on our own, no matter how much we might want to, gave us the very gift of Himself by placing His Holy Spirit inside every one who believes that Jesus is the Christ that we might not carry out the desires of the flesh. There is the lynchpin to Christian living. Here is the secret to not living sin-wrecked, lust-filled lives. Submission to the Holy Spirit, given to everyone who trusts Jesus as Savior, unleashed through reading His Word, stands ready to empower and equip us to do the utterly impossible: live freely for righteousness, far from the grip of sin!

2) Why is Paul including the fact that he is giving the same warning he has already given?
The warning is attached to a lifestyle choice, so how can we tell which lifestyle we are “practicing”? We look at the results showing up in our lives and we look at what satisfies us most because our cravings are heavily influenced by the ruler of our lives, whether Christ or Self. What is it that most draws you in and characterizes your interactions? When your relationships are marked with argumentative statements, when anger is your continual “go to” emotion, when jealousy colors your everyday, and lust fills your daydreams and your search engine’s history, these are bright red warning flags, signaling a life given over to fleshly desires and running opposite of a life lived by the Spirit. Anything we crave that contradicts the life of the Spirit will eventually yield nothing but empty loss. Chasing these things and attempting to find satisfying life through them will be like chasing the wind; we will never find truly satisfying life. There is only one way to reach that goal, and it is through the cross. We find the deepest life, the kind of life we cannot lose, when we take up the cross of Christ, allowing our old sin nature to die there, and waking up to the fullness of life available to us precisely because Christ defeated death, lives victoriously forever, and has given His Spirit to let us live inside that victory!

3) How has the flesh and its desires been crucified?
Following Jesus means death. Not always a physical death preceded by intense persecution, though that certainly can be the case, rather we absolutely cannot follow Jesus if we refuse to put to death our old selves, our old flesh, and our own desires to rule our own lives. (Colossians 3:5) We are to put to death the “old self” (Romans 6:6), our sin nature before Jesus, at the cross where Jesus was killed on our behalf. “We are dead to sin and alive to Christ!” (Romans 6:11) Every day, we are to fight against our flesh, remembering we have been “crucified with Christ and (we) no longer live, but Christ lives within (us).” (Galatians 2:20) When the temptation rises in us to sin, Paul’s words should ring in our ears, “I have been crucified with Christ!” The old way of life is forever dead! We are now alive, made new and ready to walk in real life through the power of the Holy Spirit. Before Jesus, we didn’t have the power on our own to love God and love others, but now because of Jesus’ victory over death, we do! We don’t have to be rude, arrogant, prideful, lustful, jealous, or hurtful, instead, because our old nature has been crucified, we can love like Jesus loves us!

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Digging Deeper is for Everyone!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read it, and the verses around it,
several times
3) Write down your questions
as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you
other related verses!). (
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God
in your everyday!

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Why Dig Deeper?

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Study Tools

We love getting help while we study and is one of many excellent resources, providing the original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) with an English translation.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Discover “origin”, “definition” and hear the original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want more background? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

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