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Crucifying the Flesh

Crucifying the Flesh

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Galatians v. 24.

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

Galatians v. 24.

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

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 24, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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CRUCIFYIG THE FLESHBY ROBERT WALKER Galatians v. 24.And they that are Christ's have crucified the fleshwith the affections and lusts.O man, who hath experienced the deceitfulness of his own heart, will think the suhject of this text impro-per for the present occasion. It is true this day is setapart for thanksgiving; antl with the highest pleasurewould 1 enter on the delightful theme of divine loveand condescension, which shall employ the praises of the redeemed through endless ages. But a solicitousconcern, that your joy may be well founded, hath in-duced me to propose to you a strict examination of your-selves, whether you have indeed an interest in him,through whom all favour and good will to sinners isconveyed. The text furnisheth us with an infalliblerule to direct our judgment in this inquiry. " Theythat are Christ's," not all who are called by his name,but they who are united to him, as the branches areunited to the vine, who are governed by his Spirit, andhave a right to the benefits of his purchase, are distin-guished by this attainment, " They have crucified theflesh with the alfections and lusts.*'In discoursing on these words, I propose.First, To show what is meant by crucifying the flesh,with the alfections aud lusts.SERMO LI. say
Secondly. To show, that it is the distinguishins; cha-racter anti the real attainment of all who are Christ's, tocrucify the flesh, with the affections and lusts. And thento conclude with an improvement suited to the occasionof our present meetins;.I BEGI with incpjirins; what is meant hy "crucifyingthe flesh, with the affections and lusts.'' By " the flesh,"we are to understand the corrupt nature of man ; and by*^ the affections and lusts, those depraved appetiteswhich maintain their power within us, until the renew-iui; grace of God implant in us those seeds of holiness,by which the image ol'God is formed in our soul. Whenman came first from the hands of his Maker, his reason,pure and uncorrupted, was the governing principle of his mind. But by transgressing the original command-ment, and eating the forbidden fruit, in compliance witha mean corporeal appetite, the sensitive part of his na-ture obtained that dominion or predominancy which itstill maintains in every unrenewed man. Accordingly,we find our natural condition opposed in Scripture, toour regenerated state, under the metaphorical expres-sions of jlesh and spirit. " That which is born of theflesh is flesh ; and that which is born of the Spirit isspirit." The meaning is plainly this : the temper anddispositions which we bring with us into the world byordinary generation, are, since the fall, carnal and de-praved ; whereas the temper and dispositions which wcreceive by the regeneration of the Holy Ghost, are, liketheir original, spiritual and holy. The same idea is ex-pressed in the 17th verse of this chapter ; where it issaid, '^ the flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spiritagainst the flesh ; and these two are contrary the one tothe other." It appears, then, that by the ^' flesh, wKlithe affections and lusts," we are to understand the cor»228 SERMO LI.
lupt state of man's mind since the first transgression, andall those depraved dispositions and affections which na-turally flow from the corrupt principle, and which in-cline us to seek happiness from earthly things, indepen-dent of God. We learn too what is meant by " crucify-ing the lusts and affections of the flesh ;" namely, thatthis natural depravity of mind is subdued ; that the car-nal principle, like a crucified malefactor, languishes anddecays; until, by degrees, gracious or renewed habitsare formed in us, which at last obtain the full possessionof our minds.What hath been said may suflBce to give a plain andintelligible explanation of the terms in the text ; and topursue the metaphor farther, would neither be profitableto you nor agreeable to myself. The words thus explain-ed give us a very distinguishing character of a true Chris-tian. He is one who, by the grace of God, hath obtainedthe victory over his corrupt appetites and inclinations.He is in a great measure rescued from the ruins of thefall, and is no longer a servant of sin, that he shouldobey it in the lusts thereof. " He hath put off, concern-ing the former conversation, the old man, which is cor-rupt according to the deceitful lusts; and being renewedin the spirit of his miud, hath put on the new man, whichafter God is created in righteousness and true holiness." — " The law of the spirit of life, which is in Christ Je-sus, hath made him free from the law of sin and death."Conscience, long dethroned by imperious passions, hathreassumed its authority ; and all the faculties of his mind,purified and exalted, unite in the pursuit of spiritual en- joyments.And now, my brethren, let me entreat you to stopyour ears for a little against tlie suggestions of self-love,and let conscience bear testimony, wheliier you have

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