Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Galatians 5:24

Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
New American Standard Version

Adam Clarke Commentary

And they that are Christ's - All genuine Christians have crucified the flesh - are so far from obeying its dictates and acting under its influence, that they have crucified their sensual appetites; they have nailed them to the cross of Christ, where they have expired with him; hence, says St. Paul, Romans 6:6, our old man - the flesh, with its affections and lusts, is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. By which we see that God has fully designed to save all who believe in Christ from all sin, whether outward or inward, with all the affections, παθημασι, irregular passions, and lusts, επιθυμιαις, disorderly wishes and desires. All that a man may feel contrary to love and purity; and all that he may desire contrary to moderation and that self-denial peculiar to the Christian character.

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These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Galatians 5:24". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/galatians-5.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And they that are Christ‘s - All who are true Christians.

Have crucified the flesh - The corrupt passions of the soul have been put to death; that is, destroyed. They are as though they were dead, and have no power over us; see the note at Galatians 2:20.

With the affections - Margin, “Passions.” All corrupt desires.

And lusts - See the note at Romans 1:24.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Galatians 5:24". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/galatians-5.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Galatians 5:24

And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

On the marks which distinguish a real Christian

Thus those that are Christ’s are occasionally characterized as born of the Spirit; walking in the Spirit; the children of God; the elect of God; the doers of the law; the heirs of the kingdom of heaven. Those that are not Christ’s are described as walking in the flesh; fulfilling the lusts of the flesh; the children of this world; the unfruitful hearers of the law; the servants of Satan; the heirs of damnation. Let me now endeavour to assist you in judging whether you are living to Christ, or to the flesh, by setting before you some of the scriptural tests, which distinguish from a corrupt and unregenerate world those who belong to the Lord Jesus.

I. To crucify the flesh with its affections and lusts, is, in the first place, to make it the business of life to overcome, through the ever present grace of God, the evil dispositions and desires of human nature; and to abstain from the evil actions to which those dispositions and desires would lead. And on what principle are you thus to crucify the flesh? You are to crucify it for the sake of Jesus Christ. You are to abhor and renounce sin because it was the occasion of His sufferings. From love and gratitude to your Redeemer for the unspeakable kindness which He has shown towards yourself, you are to forsake whatever is displeasing in His sight.

II. Have you therefore resolved, through the grace of God, to renounce the indulgence of sinful inclinations and practices? Have you thus taken the first step towards living unto Christ? What then is the second? “Cease to do evil” saith the prophet. What is his next injunction? “Learn to do well.”

III. The characteristics which have hitherto been proposed as tests, by which you may be assisted in forming a judgment whether at present you belong to Christ, have principally been deduced from your proceedings as to the government of unhallowed inclinations and desires, and from your tempers and conduct as exercised towards man. Not that the frame of your heart towards God has been thrown into the background. Love to God through Christ has been assumed as the basis of self-government, and of love to man. From that root must spring every ramification of duty. The disposition, however, of your soul as to subjects more immediately and closely spiritual than those which have been specified is the least dubitable of all the tokens to which you can resort for insight into your actual state. Does the current of your thoughts, when, unchecked by impediments, it selects a course for itself, flow towards God and your Redeemer?

IV. Direct your attention to the objects, which, when the affection of the Apostle Paul for his converts expatiated in calling down blessings upon them, uniformly presented themselves to his thoughts (Ephesians 1:16-18; Ephesians 3:16-19; Philippians 1:9-11; Colossians 1:9-11).

1. If you are not Christ’s, what are your hopes? Do you flatter yourself that the Scriptures may prove not to be the word of inspiration? Or do you assume the promises of God as true, and regard His threatenings as empty terrors? Or do you think that Christ, when He comes, will make you an exception to the general rule, and distinguish you by unexampled mercy in spite of your disobedience? Behold the thin and hollow ice on which you propose to cross the gulf of everlasting destruction!

2. If you are already a true Christian; foster the good seed sown in your heart, that the Divine planter may preserve it from being overwhelmed by surrounding tares, and may nourish it unto timely and plentiful maturity. Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Thomas Gisborne.)

Crucifixion of the flesh

Men who believe in Jesus become purer, holier, better. They are saved from living as they used to live--saved from licentiousness, dishonesty, drunkenness, selfishness, and any other sin they may have lived in. They are different men. There is a change in their heart and soul, conduct and conversation.

I. The reception of Jesus Christ by faith is, in itself, an avowal that we have crucified the flesh, with the affections and lusts. Christ died in our room and stead. By faith we regard ourselves as dead with Him.

II. As a matter of fact, the reception of Christ is attended with the crucifixion of sin. Every truly converted man is a proof of this.

III. The reception of Jesus Christ into the heart by simple faith is calculated to crucify the flesh.

1. The believer has seen the evil of sin. It is a deicide--a killing of God.

2. He has seen in the death of Christ an amazing instance of the great grace of God.

3. He has had a view of the justice of God.

4. He has seen the amazing love of Jesus. How, then, can he go on grieving and offending Him?

IV. The Holy Spirit is with the Gospel, and where He is Holiness must be promoted. Wherever Jesus Christ is preached, there is present One sublime in rank and high in degree--the ever-blessed Spirit of God. He takes of the things of Christ, and shows them unto men. His power changes the current of men’s desires, making them crucify the flesh and its affections, and love things holy, just, and true. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

The believer crucifying his sins

When I believed that Jesus was the Christ, and rested my soul in Him, I felt in my heart from that moment an intense hatred to sin of every kind. I had loved sin before, some sins particularly, but those sins became from that moment the most obnoxious to me, and, though the propensity to them was still there, yet the love of them was clean gone; and when I at any time transgressed I felt an inward grief and horror at myself for doing the things which aforetime I had allowed and even enjoyed. My relish for sin was gone. The things I once loved I abhorred and blushed to think of. Then I began to search out my sins. I see now a parallel between my experience in reference to sin, and the details of the crucifixion of Christ. They sent Judas into the garden to search for our great Substitute, and just in that way I began to search for sin, even for that which lay concealed amid the thick darkness of my soul. I was ignorant, and did not know sin to be sin, for it was night in my soul; but, being stirred up to destroy the evil, my repenting spirit borrowed lanterns and torches, and went out as against a thief. I searched the garden of my heart through and through, with an intense ardour to find out every sin; and I brought God to help me, saying, “Search me, O God, and try me, and know my ways;” nor did I cease till I had spied out my secret transgressions. This inward search is one of my most constant occupations; I patrol my nature through and through to try and arrest these felons, these abhorred sins, that they may be crucified with Christ. O ye in whom iniquity lurks under cover of your spiritual ignorance, arouse yourselves to a strict scrutiny of your nature, and no longer endure that your hearts should be the lurking-places of evil. I remember when I found my sin. When I found it I seized it, and I dragged it off to the judgment-seat. Ah, my brethren, you know when that occurred to you, and how stern was the judgment which conscience gave forth. I sat in judgment on myself. I took my sin to one court, and to another. I looked at it as before men, and trembled to think that the badness of my example might have ruined other men’s souls. I looked at my sin as before God, and I abhorred myself in dust and ashes. My sin was as red as crimson in His sight and in mine also. I judged my sin and I condemned it--condemned it as a felon to a felon’s death. I heard a voice within me which, Pilate-like, pleaded for it “I will chastise him and let him go; let it be a little put to shame; let not the wrong deed be done quite so often; let the lust be curbed and kept under.” But, ah, my soul said, “Let it be crucified! Let it be crucified!” and nothing could shake my heart from this intent, that I would slay all the murderers of Christ if possible, and let not one of them escape; for my soul hated them with a deadly hatred, and would fain nail them all to the tree. I remember, too, how I began to see the shame of sin. As my Lord was spitted upon, and mocked, and despitefully used, so did my soul begin to pour contempt upon all the pride of sin, to scorn its promises of pleasure, and to accuse it of a thousand crimes. It had deceived me, it had led me into ruin, it had well-nigh destroyed me; and I despised it, and poured contempt upon its briberies, and all it offered of sweetness and of pleasure. O sin, how shameful a thing didst thou appear to be! I saw all that is base, mean, and contemptible, concentrated in thee. My heart scourged sin by repentance, smote it with rebukes, and buffeted it with self-denials. Then was it made a reproach and a scorn. But this sufficed not--sin must die. My heart mourned for what sin had done, and I was resolved to avenge my Lord’s death upon myself. So I led forth my sins to the place of crucifixion. They would fain have escaped, but the power of God prevented them, and like a guard of soldiery, conducted them to the gibbet of mortification. The hand of the Lord was present, and His all-revealing spirit stripped my sin as Christ was stripped; setting it before mine eyes, even my secret sin in the light of His countenance. Oh, what a spectacle it was as I gazed upon it! I had looked before upon its dainty apparel, and the colours with which it had bedizened itself, to make it look as fair as Jezebel when she painted her face; but now I saw its nakedness and horror, and I was well-nigh ready to despair; but my spirit bore me up, for I knew that I was forgiven, and I said, “Christ Jesus has pardoned me, for I have believed in Him; and I will put the flesh to death, by crucifying it on His Cross.” The driving of the nails I do remember, and how the flesh struggled to maintain its liberty. One, two, three, four, the nails went in, and fastened the accursed thing to the wood with Christ, so that it could neither run nor rule; and now, glory be to God, though my sin is not dead, it is crucified, and must eventually die. It hangs up there; I can see it bleeding out its life. Sometimes it struggles to get down, and tries to wrench away the nails, for it would fain go after vanity; but the sacred nails hold it too fast, it is in the grasp of death, and it cannot escape. Alas, it dies a lingering death, attended with much pain and struggling: still it dies, and soon its heart shall be pierced through with the spear of the love of Christ, and it shall utterly expire. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

Self-denial the duty of Christians

1. What is meant by being Christ’s? To be Christ’s is to accept of and have an interest in Christ, as He is offered and proposed in the gospel. Now Christ is offered and held forth to every particular person that expects to be saved by Him under three offices--

2. In the next place we are to see what is meant by “the flesh, and the affections and lusts.” In the meantime by flesh we are to understand the whole entire body of sin and corruption, that inbred proneness in our nature to all evil, in one word expressed by “concupiscence,” usually called by the schoolmen “fomes”; that fuel or combustible matter in the soul, that is apt to be fired by every temptation; the womb that conceives and brings forth all actual impurities, styled in the next words, “affections and lusts.”

I. To show why this vitiosity and corrupt habit of nature comes to have this denomination of “flesh.”

1. Because of its situation and place, which is principally in the flesh. Here it is placed, here it is enthroned. Concupiscence itself follows the crasis and temperature of the body; as we know the liquor for the present receives the figure of the vessel into which it is infused.

2. The vitiosity of our nature is called “flesh,” because of its close, inseparable nearness to the soul. There is an intimate conjunction and union between the soul and sin; and the intimacy o! their coherence is the cause of the intimacy of their friendship. The nearness between these two, our soul and our corruption, is so great, that it arises to a kind of identity; hence to deny and conquer our sin is, in Scripture language, to deny ourselves, implying that sin adheres so dose to us, that it is a kind of second self.

3. A third reason why the vitiosity of our nature is called “flesh” is because of its dearness to us. And this founded upon the former, for vicinity is one cause of love. Now there is nothing that we prosecute with a more affectionate tenderness than our flesh; for, as the apostle says (Ephesians 5:29), “No mail ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it.” Nay, take a survey of all the arts, the trades, and the most prized inventions in the world, and you will find ten to four found out and employed either to please or adorn the flesh. It is for this that the artificer labours and the merchant ventures; and we compass sea and land ten times oftener to make a gallant than to make a proselyte. Justly therefore upon this account also does the Spirit express our sin by the name of “flesh,” for this has an equal share in our love.

Now what has been hitherto discoursed of may, by way of inference, suggest these things to our consideration.

1. The deplorable estate of fallen man, whose condition is now such that he carries his plague about him, and wears it something nearer to him than his shirt; that he encloses a viper in his bowels, feeds and maintains, and is passionately fond of his mortal enemy; and what is the greatest misery of all, has it not in his power to be otherwise. He has a body that is not so much the instrument, or servant, as the dungeon of his soul: and sin holds him by such bonds of pleasure so strong, so suitable to his perverted and diseased inclinations, that his ruin is presented to him as his interest, and nothing gratifies, delights, or wins upon him, but that which dishonours his Maker, and certainly destroys himself.

2. The next thing offered from hence to cur thoughts is the great difficulty of the duty of mortification. This is a greater work than men are aware of. It is indeed the killing of an enemy, but of such an enemy as a man thinks his friend, and loves as his child; and-how hard it is to put the knife to the throat of an Isaac is easily imaginable. What! part with that that came into the world with me, and has ever since lived and conversed with me, that continually lies down and rises up with me, that has even incorporated itself into my nature, seized all my appetites, and possessed all my faculties, so that it is the centre and principle of all my pleasures, and that which gives a relish and a quickness to every object! This is a hard saying, and a harder undertaking. He must be a good orator that should persuade a man to stick daggers and needles in his flesh, to strip, his bones, and in a manner to tear his nature over his eyes; yet to mortify a sin is something like it. But alas! it would go near to nonplus the most artificial persuader, to bring a man to part with the covering of his body; but how much more with the vestment of his soul!

3. In the third and last place, this declares to us the mean and sordid employment of every sinner. He serves the flesh, that is, he is a drudge and a scavanger to the most inferior part of his nature.

II. What is imported by the crucifixion of the flesh.

1. The reason of the use of the term here. It is used by way of allusion to Christ, of whose behaviour and sufferings every Christian is to be a living copy and representation. Christ will have His death an example to excite, as well as a sacrifice to save; and there is no passage in His life and death but is intended for our instruction, as well as our salvation.

2. The full force and significance of it. Crucifying therefore, as it is here applied to the corruption and depraved sinful disposition of our nature, imports these four things--

3. The means for enabling us to perform this duty. Two I shall mention as conducible to this crucifixion of the flesh, with its affections and lusts.

Of the nature, principle, and necessity of mortification

Here is what St. Paul says to these Galatians. You all profess yourselves to be members of Christ, to be followers of Him; but how incongruous are these practices to such a profession? Is this the fruit of the dove-like spirit of Christ?

1. The subject of the proposition, they that are Christ’s, viz., true Christians, real members of Christ; such as truly belong to Christ, such as have given themselves up to be governed by Him, and are, indeed, acted by His spirit; such, all such persons (for the indefinite is equipollent to an universal), all such, and none but such.

2. The predicate; they have crucified the flesh, with the affections and lusts. But he chooses in this place to call it crucifixion, to show, not only the conformity there is betwixt the death of Christ and the death of sin, in respect of shame, pain, and lingering slowness, but to denote also the principle, means, and instrument of mortification, viz., the death, or cross of Jesus Christ, in the virtue whereof believers do mortify the corruptions of their flesh, the great arguments and persuasives to mortification being drawn from the sufferings of Christ for sin. The observation followeth: That a saving interest in Christ may be regularly and strongly inferred and concluded from the mortification of the flesh, with its affections and lusts.

I. What the mortification, or crucifixion of sin, imports. And for clearness sake I shall speak to it, both negatively and positively, showing you what is not intended, and what is principally aimed at, by the Spirit of God in this expression.

1. Negatively.

2. Positively.

II. Why this work of the Spirit is expressed by crucifying,

1. The death of the cross was a painful death, and the mortification of sin is very painful work (Matthew 25:29).

2. The death of the cross was universally painful. Every member, every sense, every sinew, every nerve was the seat and subject of tormenting pain. So is it in the mortification of sin. ‘Tis not this or that particular member or act, but the whole body of sin that is to be destroyed (Romans 6:6).

3. The death of the cross was a slow and lingering death, denying unto them that suffered it, the favour of a quick dispatch. Just so it is in the death of sin, though the Spirit of God be mortifying it day by day.

4. The death of the cross was a very opprobrious and shameful death. They that died upon the cross were loaded with ignominy. The crimes for which they died were exposed to the public view. After this manner dieth sin, a very shameful and ignominious death. Every true believer draws up a charge against it in every prayer, aggravates and condemns it in every confession, bewails the evil of it with multitudes of tears and groans, making sin as vile and odious as they can find words to express it, though not so vile as it is in its own nature.

5. In a word, the death of the cross was not a natural, but a violent, death. Such also is the death of sin. Sin dies not of its own accord, as Nature dieth in old men, in whom the balsamum radicale, or radical moisture, is consumed, for if the Spirit of God did not kill it, it would live to eternity in the souls of men.

III. Why all that are in Christ must be so crucified or mortified unto sin.

1. From the inconsistency and contrariety that there is betwixt Christ and unmortified lust (Galatians 5:17).

2. The necessity of mortification appears, from the necessity of conformity betwixt Christ the head and all the members of His mystical body, for how incongruous and uncomely would it be to see a holy, heavenly Christ leading a company of unclean, carnal, and sensual members? (Matthew 11:29). “Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly.”

3. The necesity of crucifying the flesh appears from the method of salvation, as it is stated in the gospel.

4. The whole stream and current of the gospel puts us under the necessity of mortification. Gospel-precepts have respect unto this (Colossians 3:5; 1 Peter 1:15). Gospel-presidents have respect unto this (Hebrews 12:1). Gospel-threatenings are written for this end, and do all press mortification in a thundering dialect (Romans 8:13; Romans 1:18). The promises of the gospel are written designedly to promote it (2 Corinthians 7:1). But in vain are all these precepts, presidents, threatenings, and promises written in the Scripture, except mortification be the daily study and practice of professors.

5. Mortification is the very scope and aim of our regeneration, and the infusion of the principles of grace (Galatians 5:25). In vain were the habits of grace planted if the fruits of holiness and mortification be not produced; yea, mortification is not only the design and aim, but it is a special part, even the one-half of our sanctification.

6. If mortification be not the daily practice and endeavour of believers, then the way to heaven no way answers to Christ’s description of it in the gospel.

IV. In the next place we are to inquire into the true principle of mortification. ‘Tis true there are many ways attempted by men for the mortification of sin, and many rules laid down to guide men in that great work, some of which are very trifling and impertinent things. But I shall lay down this as a sure conclusion that the sanctifying Spirit is the only effectual principle of mortification, and without Him no resolutions, vows, abstinences, castigations of the body, or any other external endeavours can ever avail to the mortification of one sin. This work of mortification is peculiar to the Spirit of God (Romans 8:13; Galatians 5:17), and the Spirit becomes a principle of mortification in believers two ways, namely--

1. By the implantation of contrary habits.

2. By assisting those implanted habits in all the times of need.

V. The last query to be satisfied is, how mortification of sin solidly evinceth the soul’s interest in Christ; and this it doth divers ways, affording the mortified soul many sound evidences thereof. As evidence--

1. Whatsoever evidences the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of God in us must needs be evidential of a saving interest in Christ, as hath been fully proved before; but the mortification doth plainly evidence the indwelling of the Spirit of God, for it can proceed from no other principle.

2. That which proves a soul to be under the covenant of grace evidently proves its interest in Christ, for Christ is the head of that covenant, and none but sound believers are under the blessings and promises of it. But mortification of sin is a sound evidence of the soul’s being under the covenant of grace, as is plain from those words of the apostle in Romans 6:12-14.

3. That which is the fruit and evidence of saving faith must needs be a good evidence of our interest in Christ, but mortification of sin is the fruit and evidence of saving faith (Acts 15:9; 1 John 5:4).

4. In a word, there is an intimate and indissoluble connection betwixt the mortification of sin and the life of grace (Romans 6:11). And the life of Christ must needs involve a saving interest in Christ.

Application:

1. For information.

2. For exhortation.

3. For direction.

(i.) Consider the evil that is in sin, and how terrible the appearances of God will one day be against those that obey it in the lust thereof (Romans 1:18; 1 Thessalonians 1:7-9).

(ii.) Think what it cost the Lord Jesus Christ to expiate the guilt of sin by the suffering the wrath of the great and terrible God for it in our room. The meditations of a crucified Christ are very crucifying meditations unto sin (Galatians 6:14).

(iii.) Consider what a grief and wound the sins of believers are to the Spirit of God (Ephesians 4:30).

(iv.) Consider with yourselves that no real good, either of profit or pleasure, can result from sin. If they do repent, the pleasure of sin will be turned into the gall of asps here; if they do not repent, it will terminate in everlasting howlings hereafter. That’s a smart question, Romans 6:21.

(v.) Consider what the damned suffer for those sins which the devil now tempteth you to commit.

(vi.) Bethink yourselves what inexcusable hypocrisy it will be in you to indulge yourselves in the private satisfaction of your lusts under a contrary profession of religion. You are a people that profess holiness, and professedly own yourselves to be under the government and dominion of Christ. And must the worthy name of Christ be only used to cloak and cover your lusts and corruptions, which are so hateful to Him? God forbid.

(vii.) Consider with yourselves what hard things some Christians have chosen to endure and suffer, rather than they would defile themselves with guilt; and shall every small temptation ensnare and take your souls? (Bishop Hacker.)

The Cross a reality in our life

I. What is it to be “of Christ Jesus”?

1. We must become His in His own way--the way which He appointed when He left the world, and commanded that all nations were to become His disciples by being baptized into the name of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

2. Those who name the name of Christ are His by profession. This is, as it were, subscribing with our hand unto the Lord, and naming ourselves, or having our name named, in the same breath as the Name of God.

3. It is the living faith of the baptized disciple, which proves him to be a Christian, a member of Christ, not merely by virtue of his baptismal adoption (though that is a gift unspeakably great), not merely because of his profession (though it is an honour to him beyond all words, to be allowed a place in the ranks of the glorious Church as it moves on after the Great Commander), not only this, but a member of Christ, “in word, in manner of life, in love, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).

II. Let us not deceive ourselves, even as we listen to such “exceeding great and precious promises.” They are meant to brace us to action, not to lull us into security. They should not make us say, “All is well with me, for I am Christ’s,” but should rather set us upon earnestly considering our ways and proving our own selves. And the test is no ideal or visionary one. No, indeed, it is most practical: “have crucified the flesh.” It is not merely that the soul flies high, while the body grovels in the dust, intent on earthly things and passing enjoyments. The body also is being fought with, conquered, mortified. I must be ever, says the Christian, putting to death this rebel body which is at enmity with God, ever, by His grace, keeping under my body and bringing it into subjection, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake.

III. It is not the destruction of the body we are to aim at, but its purification for the Lord--its consecration, as it were, upon the Cross, to Him who died thereon--its being devoted to God, by means of the conquest of whatever is sinful therein, and through its union, even here, with the glorious Body. “The passions and the lusts thereof.” We speak of passion as an active habit; but it is really, as the term implies, a state of suffering; and we know this well enough; for we know, e.g., that he whom we call a passionate man suffers much more himself than those with whom he is angry. Our passions and our lusts then--the lusts and passions of the body--must be crucified, because the body, from our baptism onwards, belongs to Christ crucified, and the lusts which war in our members are ever striving to alienate us from Him. But when we recollect that we are really His--His who actually, and not only in a figure, was put to death in the flesh--we make it our daily aim to imitate Him, at whatever pain and trial to ourselves. (Canon G. E. Jelf.)

We must forsake sin

I once heard of two men who, under the influence of liquor, came down one night to where their boat was tied; they wanted to return home, so they got in and began to row. When the grey dawn of morning broke, behold, they had never loosed the mooring line, or raised the anchor. And that’s just the way with many who are striving to enter the kingdom of heaven. They cannot believe, because they are tied to this world. Cut the cord! Cut the cord! Set yourselves free from the clogging weight of earthly things, and you will soon go on toward heaven. (D. L. Moody.)

Crucifying the flesh

This suggests the story of the old lady whose daughter’s tooth ached. She sent for a doctor. He came and pulled out a pair of big old-fashioned forceps. “The old lady screamed out, “Don’t put them things in my daughter’s mouth: pull it with your fingers!” That would be nice if it could be done. But hear me. Do you know the terms on which God will carry you through this world and safely to heaven? Lay down those things that are hurting you, and take up those other things that will help you, and you will have His help in time and in eternity. (Samuel Jones.)

Crucifying the flesh

I. What is to re crucified?

1. What the “flesh” is may be known by its works (verses 19-21).

2. But it is not the works, but the worker that is to be crucified. From whence, then, do these evils proceed?

II. What is meant by crucifying it? In physical crucifixion there are three stages. So in moral.

1. The old Adam is arraigned, found guilty, sentenced, and visited with all the marks of hatred and contempt, But this is not enough (Romans 7:14; Romans 7:21-24).

2. The old Adam is actually nailed to the cross, and dying--but this is only “being crucified”; the flesh still lives and pleads hard.

3. The old Adam dies. When this stage is reached, a glorious power is acquired over self and sin. (Luke H. Wiseman, M. A.)

Moral crucifixion

Correspondent with Christ’s.

I. Painful.

II. Ignominious.

III. Lingering.

IV. Surely fatal. (J. Hughes.)

The Christian’s Calvary

I. The flesh is generally the old man which regeneration does not kill, that must be treated as an interior enemy, having a spiritual body of sin, that must be pierced through without remorse, and Christian men must use every sacred effort to hasten its death.

II. It must be denied every gratification. “If thine enemy thirst, feed him,” etc. must not hold good here. “Make no provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” If it hunger and thirst for old solaces, we must not gratify it. The least favour gives the dying enemy strength; and if it be habitually nourished, it will gather power to wrench its members from the cross, and come down and save itself, to the loss of the soul that was unfaithful to its trust.

III. It must be afflicted, smitten, and opposed in its every movement. “Mortify, therefore, your members.”

1. The affection that passively waits for the solicitations of sin, always ready to be courted by temptation, must be bound to the cross, that it may weaken and languish and die; more or less slowly, but with a certain decline, sinking towards the torpor and death which the voice of no charmer can awaken.

2. The lusts which actually go out in quest of sinful indulgence must be kept firm to the Cross that they may not seek their prey. (W. B. Pope, D. D.)

The gospel the guarantee of morality

I. The reception of Jesus Christ by faith is, in itself, an avowal that we have crucified that flesh, etc.

II. As a matter of fact the reception of Christ is attended with the crucifixion of sin.

III. The reception of Christ into the heart by simple faith is calculated to crucify the flesh. The man who has received Christ--

1. Has seen the evil of sin.

2. Has seen the death of Christ. An amazing instance of the grace and justice of God.

3. Has seen the infinite love of Jesus; and, therefore, he has been led to hate, renounce, and pursue sin to the death.

IV. The Holy Ghost is with the gospel, and where He is holiness must be promoted. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

Crucifying the flesh

Five persons were studying what were the best means to mortify sin; one said, to meditate on death; the second, to meditate on judgment; the third, to meditate on the joys of heaven; the fourth, on the torments of hell: the fifth, on the blood and sufferings of Jesus; and certainly the last is the choicest and strongest motive of all. (T. Brooks.)

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Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Galatians 5:24". The Biblical Illustrator. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/galatians-5.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And they that are of Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with the passions and lusts thereof.

Continuing to walk in the Spirit, centering and continuing the thoughts and meditations of the heart upon the teachings of the Lord, actively seeking to maintain identity with the mind of Christ, consciousness of the indwelling Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - these things will indeed "crucify" the lusts and evil imaginations which feed them. This is possible only in the spiritual religion of Christ Jesus, free from the externals and attractive allurements of spectacular Judaism, the same being the blessed "freedom in Christ."

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Galatians 5:24". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/galatians-5.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And they that are Christ's,.... Not all as yet that are secretly so, who are chosen in him, and by him, are given by the Father to him in covenant, and whom he has purchased by his blood, and considers as his people, his sheep, and his children, though as yet they are not called by his grace; of these, as yet, what follows cannot be said, and therefore must mean such as are openly Christ's, whom he has laid hold on as his own in the effectual calling, who have his Spirit as a spirit of regeneration and sanctification, who have truly believed in Christ, and have given up themselves unto him.

have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts: by the flesh is meant, not the natural body to be macerated and afflicted with fastings, watchings, &c. but the corruption of nature, the old man and carnal heart. The Vulgate Latin version reads, "their own flesh"; and so do the Syriac and Ethiopic versions; their concern lying with their own, and not with the corruptions, affections, and lusts of others. By "the affections and lusts" are intended, not the natural affections and passions of the soul, and the desires of it; but its vile and inordinate affections, its corrupt inclinations, evil desires, and deceitful lusts; all which are "crucified" first "with Christ", as the Arabic version reads; see Romans 6:6 and which are so abolished, done away, and destroyed, by the sacrifice of Christ, that the damning power of them over his people is entirely gone. And in consequence of this crucifixion of the body of sin, with Christ upon the cross, when he finished and made an end of it, sin, with its passions and lusts, is crucified by the Spirit of God in regeneration and sanctification; so that it loses its governing power, and has not the dominion it had before: not but that the flesh, or corrupt nature, with its evil affections, and carnal lusts, are still in being, and are alive; as a person fastened to a cross may be alive, though he cannot act and move as before, being under restraints, so the old man, though crucified, and under the restraints of mighty grace, and cannot reign and govern as before, yet is alive, and acts, and operates, and oftentimes has great sway and influence; but whereas he is deprived of his reigning power, he is said to be crucified: and though this act is ascribed to them that are Christ's, yet not as done by them in their own strength, who are not able to grapple with one corruption, but as under the influence of the grace of Christ, and through the power of his Spirit; see Romans 8:13.

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Gill, John. "Commentary on Galatians 5:24". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/galatians-5.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

The oldest manuscripts read, “They that are of Christ Jesus”; they that belong to Christ Jesus; being “led by (His) Spirit” (Galatians 5:18).

have crucified the flesh — They nailed it to the cross once for all when they became Christ‘s, on believing and being baptized (Romans 6:3, Romans 6:4): they keep it now in a state of crucifixion (Romans 6:6): so that the Spirit can produce in them, comparatively uninterrupted by it, “the fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22). “Man, by faith, is dead to the former standing point of a sinful life, and rises to a new life (Galatians 5:25) of communion with Christ (Colossians 3:3). The act by which they have crucified the flesh with its lust, is already accomplished ideally in principle. But the practice, or outward conformation of the life, must harmonize with the tendency given to the inward life” (Galatians 5:25) [Neander]. We are to be executioners, dealing cruelly with the body of sin, which has caused the acting of all cruelties on Christ‘s body.

with the affections — Translate, “with its passions.” Thus they are dead to the law‘s condemning power, which is only for the fleshly, and their lusts (Galatians 5:23).

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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Galatians 5:24". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/galatians-5.html. 1871-8.

Martin Luther's Commentary on Galatians

And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
True believers are no hypocrites. They crucify the flesh with its evil desires and lusts. Inasmuch as they have not altogether put off the sinful flesh they are inclined to sin. They do not fear or love God as they should. They are likely to be provoked to anger, to envy, to impatience, to carnal lust, and other emotions. But they will not do the things to which the flesh incites them. They crucify the flesh with its evil desires and lusts by fasting and exercise and, above all, by a walk in the Spirit.

To resist the flesh in this manner is to nail it to the Cross. Although the flesh is still alive it cannot very well act upon its desires because it is bound and nailed to the Cross.

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Luther, Martin. "Commentary on Galatians 5:24". "Martin Luther's Commentary on Galatians". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/mlg/galatians-5.html. Zondervan. Gand Rapids, MI. 1939.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Crucified the flesh (την σαρκα εσταυρωσανtēn sarka estaurōsan). Definite event, first aorist active indicative of σταυροωstauroō as in Galatians 2:19 (mystical union with Christ). Paul uses σαρχsarx here in the same sense as in Galatians 5:16, Galatians 5:17, Galatians 5:19, “the force in men that makes for evil” (Burton).

With (συνsun). “Together with,” emphasizing “the completeness of the extermination of this evil force” and the guarantee of victory over one‘s passions and dispositions toward evil.

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
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Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Galatians 5:24". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/galatians-5.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

They that are Christ's ( οἱ δὲ τοῦ Χριστοῦ )

The best texts add Ἱησοῦ theythat are of Christ Jesus. Belong to him. The exact phrase only here. But see 1 Corinthians 1:12; 1 Corinthians 3:23; 1 Corinthians 15:23; 2 Corinthians 10:7, Galatians 3:29.

Have crucified the flesh ( τὴν σάρκα ἐσταύρωσαν )

The phrase only here. Comp. Galatians 2:20; Galatians 6:14; Romans 6:6. The line of thought as regards death to sin is the same as in Romans 6:2-7, Romans 6:11; as regards death to the law, the same as in Romans 7:1-6.

Affections ( παθήμασιν )

Better, passions. Often sufferings, as Romans 8:18; 2 Corinthians 1:5, 2 Corinthians 1:6, 2 Corinthians 1:7; Philemon 3:10; Hebrews 2:9. Often of Christ's sufferings. Comp. passions of sins, Romans 7:5(see on motions ). olxx, where we find πάθος in both senses, but mostly sufferings. Πάθος also in N.T., but rarely and PoSee Romans 1:26; Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:5: always of evil desires.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Galatians 5:24". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/galatians-5.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

And they that are Christ's — True believers in him. Have thus crucified the flesh - Nailed it, as it were, to a cross whence it has no power to break loose, but is continually weaker and weaker.

With its affections and desires — All its evil passions, appetites, and inclinations.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Galatians 5:24". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/galatians-5.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Но те, которые Христовы. Эту фразу апостол добавляет, чтобы показать: избавление относится ко всем христианам, поелику все они отреклись от плоти. Одновременно он учит галатов, каковой должна быть жизнь истинного христианина, дабы те не лживо исповедовали себя христианами. Словом «распяли» апостол хочет сказать, что умерщвление плоти есть следствие креста Христова. Ибо это дело не человека – по благодати Божией прививаемся мы ко смерти Христовой, дабы больше не жить для самих себя. Рим.6:5. Итак, мы тогда пользуемся правами сынов Божиих, когда погребены со Христом в отречении от самих себя и умерщвлении ветхого человека. И не потому, что плоть наша уже умерла, но потому, что она перестала царствовать и должна уступать Духу. Плоть и похоть означают здесь корень и происходящий из него плод. Ибо плоть есть порочность извращенной природы, откуда рождается всякое зло. Отсюда явствует, сколь сильно повредит членам тела Христова, ежели они до сих пор будут оставаться под законом. Ведь все возрожденные Духом Христовым от него освобождены.

 

 

 

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Galatians 5:24". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/galatians-5.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

Ver. 24. And they that are Christ’s] When Christ came in the flesh, we crucified him; when he comes into our hearts, he crucifies us.

Have crucified the flesh] To crucify is not absolutely and outright to kill; crucifixion is a lingering death, no member being free from pain. If then we so repent of sin (as that which crucified Christ), we so pierce the old man, that we are sure he will die of it, though he be not presently dead, this is mortification. Those beasts, Daniel 7:12, had their dominion taken away, and yet their lives were prolonged for a season.

With the affections] Sinful sudden passions.

And lusts] More deeply rooted in our natures, and so not so easily overcome.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Galatians 5:24". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/galatians-5.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Galatians 5:24. They that are Christ's These are the same with those who are led by the Spirit, Galatians 5:18 and are opposed to those who live after the flesh; Romans 8:13, where it is said, conformably to what we find here, they through the Spirit mortify the deeds of the body. That principle in us, whence spring vicious inclinations and actions, is sometimes called the flesh, sometimes the old man: the subduing and mortifying of this evil principle, so that the force and power wherewith it used to rule in us is extinguished, the Apostle, by a very engaging accommodation to the death of our Saviour, calls crucifying the flesh; and in Romans 6:6 crucifying the old man. It is likewise called mortifying the members which are on the earth, Colossians 3:5. See also Colossians 2:11.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Galatians 5:24". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/galatians-5.html. 1801-1803.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

They that are Christ's; that is, they that are truly his followers, and sincere disciples, they have crucified, that is, subdued, and in some degree mortified and put to death, their fleshly corruptions, their carnal lusts, and sinful affections and passions. They did, by baptism, engage themselves to die unto sin; and the regenerate have done it in some measure: that have crucified the flesh; yet we must not understand this of a total, plenary, and final crucifixion, but inchoative only; and they are said to have done it, because they are daily doing of it, in proposito, voto, et eonatu, in resolution, in desire, and endeavour.

And by affections, we are not to understand natural, fixion, is not to be understood a total extinction of sin, but a deposing of it from its regency and dominion in the soul of the sinner; yet as death surely, though slowly, follows crucifixion, so likewise doth sin live in a believer a dying life, and dies a lingering, but a certain death; They that are Christ's have crucified the flesh, with the affections and lusts.

Learn hence, 1. That there are a peculiar people which are Christ's, that have special interest in him, union and communion with him; They that are Christ's, not by an external profession only, but by an internal implantation into him by faith.

Learn, 2. That all such as thus have an interest in Christ, are daily crucifying the flesh with its affections and lusts. The death of sin is here compared to our Saviour's crucifixion;

1.To show the conformity there is betwixt the death of sin, and the death of Christ. Did Christ die a painful, shameful, lingering, and accursed, death? So dies sin in the soul of a believer. There is a gradual weakening of the power of sin in him; sin is dying, as he, but it is a long time a-dying.

2.To denote the principal mean and instrument of our mortification, namely, the death of Christ; by virtue whereof believers do crucify their corrupt affections; the great arguments to mortification being drawn from the sufferings of Christ for sin.

Learn, 3. That the work of mortification, (called here, tropically, a crucifixion,) strikes not only at all sin, but at the root of all sins; it spares none, neither the flesh, nor any of its affections and lusts, do escape; root and branches, head and members; the old man is crucified, and the body of sin destroyed, and the axe of mortification laid to the root of every sin and sinful affection. In this manner do they that are Christ's crucify the flesh, with its affections and lusts.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Galatians 5:24". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/galatians-5.html. 1700-1703.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

24.] Further confirmation of this last result, and transition to the exhortations of Galatians 5:25-26. But (contrast, the one universal choice of Christians, in distinction from the two catalogues) they who are Christ’s crucified (when they became Christ’s,—at their baptism, see Romans 6:2; not so well, ‘have crucified,’ as E. V.) the flesh, with its passions and its desires,—and therefore are entirely severed from and dead to the law, which is for the fleshly, and those passions and desires—on which last he founds,—

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Galatians 5:24". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/galatians-5.html. 1863-1878.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

Galatians 5:24. After Paul has in Galatians 5:17 explained his exhortation given in Galatians 5:16, and recommended compliance with it on account of its blessed results (Galatians 5:18-23), he now shows (continuing his discourse by the transitional δέ) how this compliance—the walking in the Spirit—has its ground and motive in the specific nature of the Christian; if the Christian has crucified his flesh, and consequently lives through the Spirit, his walk also must follow the Spirit.

τὴν σάρκα ἐσταύρωσαν] not: they crucify their flesh (Luther and others; also Matthies); but: they have crucified it, namely, when they became believers and received baptism, whereby they entered into moral fellowship with the death of Jesus (see on Galatians 2:19, Galatians 6:14; Romans 6:3; Romans 7:4) by becoming νεκροὶ τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ (Romans 6:11). The symbolical idea: “to have crucified the flesh,” expresses, therefore, the having renounced all fellowship of life with sin, the seat of which is the flesh ( σάρξ); so that, just as Christ has been objectively crucified, by means of entering into the fellowship of this death on the cross the Christian has subjectively—in the moral consciousness of faith—crucified the σάρξ, that is, has rendered it entirely void of life and efficacy, by means of faith as the new element of life to which he has been transferred. To the Christians ideally viewed, as here, this ethical crucifixion of the flesh is something which has taken place (comp. Romans 6:2 ff.), but in reality it is also something now taking place and continuous (Romans 8:13; Colossians 3:5). The latter circumstance, however, in this passage, where Paul looks upon the matter as completed at conversion and the life thenceforth led as ζῆν πνεύματι (Galatians 5:25; comp. Galatians 2:20), is not to be conceived (with Bengel and Schott) as standing alongside of that ideal relation,—an interpretation which the historical aorist unconditionally forbids.

σὺν τοῖς παθήμ. κ. ταῖς ἐπιθυμ.] together with the affections (see on Romans 7:5) and lusts, which, brought about by the power of sin instigated by the prohibitions of the law (Romans 7:8), have their seat in and take their rise from the σάρξ, the corporeo-psychical nature of man, which is antagonistic to God; hence they must, if the σάρξ is crucified through fellowship with the death of the Lord, be necessarily crucified with it, and could not remain alive. Comp. on Galatians 5:17; Romans 7:14 ff. The ἐπιθυμίαι are the more special sinful lusts and desires, in which the παθήματα display their activity and take their definite shapes. Romans 7:5; Romans 7:8. The affections excite the feelings, and hence arise ἐπιθυμίαι, in which their definite expressions manifest themselves; τῇ γὰρ ἐπὶ τὸν θυμὸν ἰούσῃ δυνάμει δῆλον ὅτι τοῦτο ἐκλήθη τὸ ὄνομα, Plat. Crat. p. 419 D. Comp. 1 Thessalonians 4:5.

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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Galatians 5:24". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/galatians-5.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Galatians 5:24. οἱ δὲ τοῦ χριστοῦ, Moreover they who are Christ’s) He resumes the proposition laid down at Galatians 5:18.— τὴν σάρκα, the flesh) of which Galatians 5:19-20.— ἐσταύρωσαν, have crucified) They do so with Christ, Romans 6:6, by having received baptism and faith. They have it crucified at present [they have the flesh now in a state of crucifixion]. Supply, and the Spirit is strong within them. This is included in Galatians 5:24 from Galatians 5:22.— παθήμασι, with the passions) The lusts spring from the passions, and are nourished by them. The affections and appetites both deserve the same punishment as the flesh. [The passions are those that are violent, boisterous, and outrageous. The lusts, on the contrary, calmly seek after what is calculated to minister food to the senses.—V. g.]

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Galatians 5:24". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/galatians-5.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations
on the Holy Bible

They that are Christ’s; those who are ingrafted into Christ by faith, united to him, and so his members;

have crucified the flesh; by virtue of a power derived from the cross of Christ, have got their unregenerate part in a great measure mortified;

with the affections and lusts; with the inordinate desires, affections, and passions of it: not that they have wholly put off these, (they are men still), but the inordinateness of them is corrected, mortified, and subdued.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Galatians 5:24". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/galatians-5.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

распяли плоть Это одно из четырех мест, где говорится о распятии не в связи со Христом (ср. 2:20; 6:14; Рим. 6:6). Здесь Павел говорит, что плоть была распята, но в верующем все еще бушует духовная борьба (см. пояснения к Рим. 7:14-25). Павел вспоминает крест Христа, на котором произошла смерть плоти и окончилась ее власть над верующими (Рим. 6:1-11). Христиане должны ждать своего прославления, после которого они окончательно избавятся от своей неискупленной человеческой природы (Рим. 8:23), но они могут угодить Богу в этом мире, поступая по Духу.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Galatians 5:24". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/galatians-5.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Have crucified the flesh; have, through grace, overcome the reigning power of sin, and are now habitually weakening and destroying its influence.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Galatians 5:24". "Family Bible New Testament". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/galatians-5.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

John Eadie's Commentary on Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians and Philippians

Galatians 5:24. οἱ δὲ τοῦ χριστοῦ [ ᾿ιησοῦb τὴν σάρκα ἐσταύρωσαν—“Now they who are Christ's crucified the flesh.” The Received Text is found in D, F, G, L, in the Latin versions, and in many of the versions and fathers. On the other hand, τοῦ χριστοῦ ᾿ιησοῦ is found in A, B, C, א(the last adding also τοῦ κυρίου, which has been erased), and in some of the versions, as the Ethiopic and Coptic, and in Cyril and Augustine. The order is indeed unusual. The testimony of these old codices is, however, of great weight. Where a similar phrase occurs, as in Acts 17:3, Ephesians 3:1, there are also various readings, as might be expected. The δέ is not resumptive of Galatians 5:18 (Bengel), nor yet of Galatians 5:16 (De Wette), nor is it for γάρ (Beza). It introduces a new or contrasted view of the subject. The works of the flesh, when the flesh is unchecked, exclude from heaven, but the fruit of the Spirit has no law against it. The Spirit indeed is lusted against by the flesh; and he adds, “now,” or “but they who belong to Christ [Jesus] crucified the flesh,” and the Spirit has therefore unresisted predominance. Hofmann also connects it closely with the previous verse, and with τοιούτων as masculine. Chrysostom inserts a question: they might object, “And who is such a man as this?” this verse being the answer to the objecting interrogation.

The genitive τοῦ χριστοῦ [ ᾿ιησοῦb is that of possession: they belong to Him as bought by Him, delivered by Him, and possessed by Him, through His Spirit producing such fruit. “Christ liveth in me.” They who are Christ's cannot but be characterized by the fruit of the Spirit, for they crucified the flesh,-not “have crucified” (Luther, Matthies, Schott), the aorist referring to an indefinite past time, when the action was done. The action is described and then dismissed (Ellicott). That the effects of the crucifixion still remained, is indeed very plain, but the aorist does not say so; it puts it only as a single and separate fact. Donaldson, p. 411. Nor does it mean quae fieri soleant-such a meaning assigned to the aorist is wrong-vulgo putatur. Wex, Soph. Antig. vol. i. p. 326. The flesh is not the flesh of Christ, as Origen and some of the fathers supposed, meaning, either because our bodies are members of Christ, and therefore one with Him, or corporea scripturae intelligentia quae nunc caro Christi appellatur; or, as jerome gives it, Crucifixit Christi carnem, qui non juxta carnem historiae militat, sed spiritum allegoriae sequitur praeviantem. The flesh was crucified once for all when they believed, and it remains dead; it has lost its living mastery through a violent and painful death. They were crucified with Christ in a somewhat different sense, when with Him and in His death they died to the law. The apostle says, “I have been crucified with Christ;” but that I includes more than the σάρξ, which was also nailed to the cross. See under Galatians 2:20. But here it is said that they crucified the flesh, their old unrenewed nature: when they believed and were converted, they inflicted death upon it. Colossians 3:5; Romans 6:6. In and through union with Christ, believers themselves die to the law and escape its penalty; but at the same time the flesh is also crucified, its supremacy is overthrown. Thus justification and sanctification are alike secured to believers through their union with Christ in His sufferings and death.

σὺν τοῖς παθήμασι καὶ ταῖς ἐπιθυμίαις—“along with the passions and lusts.” See under Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:5; Romans 6:5; Romans 7:5. παθήματα, allied to πάθος, are mental states more passive in character, and ἐπιθυμίαι are desires more active in pursuit, in reference to all those spheres of forbidden gratification to which the θυμός is ever prompting. It has attached to it such epithets as κακή, Colossians 3:5, σαρκικαί, 1 Peter 2:11; and such genitives as τῆς ἀπάτης, Ephesians 4:22, φθορᾶς, 2 Peter 1:4. Trench, Synon. p. 161, 2d ser.

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Eadie, John. "Commentary on Galatians 5:24". John Eadie's Commentary on Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/jec/galatians-5.html.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘For those who are of Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires’.

Inevitably, we come back to the cross, for that is the centre of all God’s working. We live like this because we have been crucified with Christ, and thus we have died to sin. In intent we have therefore put to death our earthly uncontrolled passions and desires, for this is what coming to the cross and receiving forgiveness involves. Now as we live, we live lives guided by the Spirit through His word, and these things will come under control. We will daily become more like Him, being changed from glory into glory (2 Corinthians 3:18), until we are made like Him, when we shall see Him as He is (1 John 3:2).

Paul makes quite clear here that this is not an open option. If we are ‘of Christ Jesus’, if we have been born of the Spirit, if we have come to the crucified One to receive forgiveness, if He now lives within us, we have, in intent, crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. We have said that it deserves to die. And the proof of this will be that we will live like it.

But let us not pretend that this is easy. It is a lifetime commitment. The flesh does not go away. He who has a strong sex-drive still has a strong sex-drive when he is converted. He who has a bad temper still has a bad temper. Much of our behaviour pattern is governed by chemicals in the brain, and these determine much of our behaviour and go on after we have become Christians (and if those chemicals go wrong people can behave in ways that they cannot help but which seem appalling, for their minds become distorted. And sadly this can happen to Christians). Thus different people face different problems from the flesh. But for most of us the final choice is ours. It is we who must finally decide.

Thus we constantly need the Spirit’s leading and empowering, and we still need to flee from situations where we may be tempted beyond what we can control. The Spirit guides us to this too. And thank God we always have available the fountain opened for sin and uncleanness, so that when we stumble we may be cleansed and continue as though we had not sinned, and we are ever able to look to the cross and remember that these tendencies that grieve us so much have been crucified with Christ and will one day be no more.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Galatians 5:24". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/galatians-5.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The Christian has crucified the flesh in the sense that when he or she trusted Christ God broke the domination of his or her sinful nature. While we still have a sinful human nature, it does not control us as it did before we trusted in Christ (cf. Romans 6:6-7). Paul said we, not God, have crucified it. We did this when we trusted in Jesus Christ as our Savior (cf. Galatians 2:20). Therefore it is inconsistent for us to return to the flesh. "Passions" (Gr. pathemata, cf. Romans 7:5) are the outward expression of inner "desires" (Gr. epithymiai, cf. Galatians 5:16). In another sense we need to continually crucify the flesh by choosing to yield to the Spirit ( Galatians 5:16; Galatians 5:18; Galatians 5:25; Romans 8:13; Colossians 3:5).

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Galatians 5:24". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/galatians-5.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Galatians 5:24. Now they that are of Christ Jesus did crucify the flesh with its passions and lusts. Union with Christ is a complete separation from sin; hence the baptismal formula of renunciation of the flesh, the world, and the devil, and devotion to the service of Christ Conversion is death of the old man and birth of the new. ‘Passions’ are passive, ‘lusts’ active, vices. The destruction of the old man of sin is an imitation of the crucifixion, as the birth of the new man of righteousness corresponds to the resurrection of Christ (comp. Galatians 2:20; Galatians 6:14; Romans 6:4-6; Colossians 3:5). The Greek aorist represents this ethical and subjective crucifixion as an act accomplished in the past at the time of conversion and baptism (comp. Galatians 3:27); but in the nature of the case it is continued from day to day, as long as sin and temptation remain.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Galatians 5:24". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/galatians-5.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Galatians 5:24. . The Apostle has already traced back his own spiritual life to the fellowship with the crucifixion of Christ, which he had undergone at his conversion (Galatians 2:20). He assumes that his converts have likewise crucified the will of the flesh—not, however (as the previous context shows), that that will is already dead, but that the spirit has by one decisive victory asserted its complete supremacy in all true Christians, and so given an earnest of its entire triumph in the end.— . This word departs here from its usual meaning, sufferings, and expresses inward emotions, as in Romans 7:5. Greek philosophers applied in like manner to denote active impulses of passion.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Galatians 5:24". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/galatians-5.html. 1897-1910.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Galatians 5:24. And they that are Christ’s — Who are true believers in him, and therefore possessed of union with him, and shall be finally owned as belonging to him; have crucified the flesh — Have doomed it to a certain death, like the body of one that is nailed to a cross, and left to expire upon it; with the affections and lusts — All its evil passions, appetites, and inclinations. The word affections, or passions, as παθηματα should rather be rendered, as distinguished from the lusts of the flesh, are pride, self-will, discontent, anger, malice, envy, revenge. “This is a beautiful and affecting allusion to our Lord’s sufferings on the cross. The restraining of our fleshly lusts may be very painful to us, as the word crucify implies. But the same word, by putting us in mind of Christ’s suffering much greater pain for us, touches all the generous feelings of the heart, and excites us, from gratitude to him, to disregard the pain which so necessary a duty may occasion to us.”

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Galatians 5:24". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/galatians-5.html. 1857.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Christ"s. Most texts add "Jesus".

with. Greek. sun, App-104.

affections = passions. See Romans 7:5.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Galatians 5:24". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/galatians-5.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

And - Greek, 'But.' There is no law against love, etc. But Christians crucify the flesh, which is contrary to the Spirit, whose fruit love is; therefore they are led by the Spirit, and yield its fruit, and are not under the law. A B C 'Aleph (') read 'They that are of Christ Jesus' - i:e., belong to Christ Jesus: 'led by (His) Spirit' (Galatians 5:18).

Have crucified, [aorist, estaurosan (G4717), 'crucified'] the flesh. They nailed it to the cross once for all when they became Christ's (Romans 6:3-4). They keep it now in a state of crucifixion (Romans 6:6); so that the Spirit can produce in them, comparatively uninterrupted by it, "the fruit of the Spirit" (Galatians 5:22). 'Man, by faith, is dead to the former standing-point of sin, and rises to a new life of communion with Christ (Colossians 3:3). The act by which they crucified the flesh with its lust is already accomplished in principle; but the outward confirmation of the life must harmonize with the tendency given to the inward life' (Galatians 5:25) (Neander). We are to be executioners of the body of sin, which caused the acting of all cruelties on Christ's body.

With the affections, [ tois (Greek #3588) patheemasin (Greek #3804)] - 'with its passions.' Thus they are dead to the law's condemning power, which is only for the fleshly and their lusts (Galatians 5:23).

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Galatians 5:24". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/galatians-5.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(24) But such things are just what the Christian would do. He will have nothing to make him act differently. He will not need to be taught peaceableness, goodness, or self-control, for the impulses which run counter to these are dead within him: they were killed at the moment when he gave himself up wholly to a crucified Saviour.

And.—Better, How, or But; introducing a summary conclusion from what has gone before, applying it to the Christian.

They that are Christ’s.—The reading of the oldest MSS. is, they that are of Christ Jesus. The Messianic character of the Christian scheme is put forward prominently: “they that belong to Jesus, the Messiah.”

Have crucified the flesh.—Strictly, crucified: viz., in their baptism. A full comment on this expression is afforded by Romans 6:2-14, where see Notes. The relation into which the Christian is brought with Christ is such as to neutralise and deaden all the sensual impulses within him; and inasmuch as the central point in that relation is the crucifixion: inasmuch, further, as crucifixion is death, and the Christian is bound to make the death of his Master his own, so far as relates to sin, he is said not merely to “kill” but to “crucify” the flesh, with its evil appetites and passions.

Affections and lusts.—Passions and desires. “Affections” are passive—susceptibility to evil impressions; “lusts” active—desire for that which is forbidden.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Galatians 5:24". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/galatians-5.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
they
3:29; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 3:23; 15:23; 2 Corinthians 10:7
crucified
16-18,20; 6:14; Romans 6:6; 8:13; 13:14; 1 Peter 2:11
affections
or, passions.
Reciprocal: Leviticus 7:5 - GeneralNumbers 4:23 - to perform the service;  Malachi 3:17 - they shall;  Malachi 4:4 - the law;  Matthew 5:29 - pluck;  Matthew 7:13 - at;  Matthew 26:41 - the spirit;  Mark 8:34 - take;  Mark 9:41 - because;  Mark 9:43 - if;  John 3:6 - born of the flesh;  Romans 6:12 - in the lusts;  Romans 7:5 - in the flesh;  Romans 7:18 - in my;  Galatians 2:20 - crucified;  Colossians 3:5 - Mortify;  Titus 2:12 - denying;  1 Peter 4:1 - for;  1 John 2:16 - the lust of the flesh

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Galatians 5:24". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/galatians-5.html.

Stanley Derickson - Notes on Selected Books

And they that are Christ"s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

We have crucified the flesh - when - at the cross when we met Christ - we are no longer under the law, nor under the flesh, nor under the Devil"s dominion. We are free in all aspects of life.

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Derickson, Stanley. "Commentary on Galatians 5:24". "Stanley Derickson - Notes on Selected Books". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/sdn/galatians-5.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

24.They that are Christ’s—Who once gave themselves over to him, as you, Galatians, once did.

Have crucified—The Greek aorist crucified, (without the have,) that is, when you became Christ’s. And having so done we are bound not to let the flesh, with its affections and lusts, revive again and produce works. And in the next verse he shows how.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Galatians 5:24". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/galatians-5.html. 1874-1909.

The Bible Study New Testament

24. Have put to death. The New birth of waste and the Spirit (John 3:5)marks the dividing line between the world and the church. In dying with Christ and being buried in the liquid grave (Romans 6:3-4; Colossians 2:12)you have put to death and crucified with Christ the evil side of human nature. Your love to Christ and your loyalty to him, will not allow you to follow the evil desires of your human nature!

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Galatians 5:24". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/galatians-5.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

24.And they that are Christ’s. He adds this, in order to show that all Christians have renounced the flesh, and therefore enjoy freedom. While he makes this statement, the apostle reminds the Galatians what true Christianity is, so far as relates to the life, and thus guards them against a false profession of Christianity. The word crucified is employed to point out that the mortification of the flesh is the effect of the cross of Christ. This work does not belong to man. By the grace of Christ

“we have been planted together in the likeness of his death” (Romans 6:5,)

that we no longer might live unto ourselves. If we are buried with Christ, by true self-denial, and by the destruction of the old man, we shall then enjoy the privilege of the sons of God. The flesh is not yet indeed entirely destroyed; but it has no right to exercise dominion, and ought to yield to the Spirit. The flesh and itslusts are a figure of speech of exactly the same import with the tree and its fruits. The flesh itself is the depravity of corrupt nature, from which all evil actions proceed. (Matthew 15:19; Mark 7:21.) Hence it follows, that the members of Christ have cause to complain, if they are still held to be in bondage to the law, from which all who have been regenerated by his Spirit are set free.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Galatians 5:24". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/galatians-5.html. 1840-57.