Security: in a world full of threats we truly need it.
Each night I make my rounds to lock all doors, make sure the garage door is down and ensure our vehicles are locked. While these aren’t threat-proof measures to take, they help me and my family feel a little more secure at night.
We take measures to secure our money. Our children and grandchildren. Our health.
But what of our souls? What about the threats within?
As we’ve been examining the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit, we’ve seen that there’s a true war happening within. How can we truly know the outcome? In the meantime, where does our security come from in the midst of the inner war? Let’s turn to our text today for the answer.
 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (ESV)
Getting to the Heart:
Let’s consider the strong security we have in God by the following three points.
- Freedom from the law. As you may have seen at the end of verse 23, we’re told that those who exhibit the fruit of the Spirit have no law against them. What does this mean? Well, the law of God is perfect and pure, and by the law God regulates our actions, determining what is right and wrong. But beyond this is the tendency that all human beings have to submit to laws in order to prove their worth or importance. The Holy Spirit has freed us from that treadmill of following laws to prove our worth to God, others or ourselves. We are free now to live life in the Spirit. But how can the Spirit do this?
- We belong to the Christ Jesus. The Lord Jesus has taken on Himself all our record of sins, and He was punished for our sake. Further, every record of right and purity and good that He accomplished now belongs to us. Jesus has so identified with His people that everything He has belongs to them, and everything His people have and still experience is His and His experience too. We have a gracious Savior who took our wicked record and gave us His perfect record. That’s why no law can touch us – nothing may condemn us now.
- We have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. On the one hand, this means that Jesus crucified on the cross dealt a death blow to our flesh. When someone believes this good news, it unites that person to Jesus, and their flesh is crucified once for all. On the other hand, this verb “have crucified” indicates an action that was done but that still has ongoing effects. That means each day we still have a responsibility to crucify our flesh, with particular focus on the passions (or controlling lusts we have) and desires (literally “over-desires,” things we want that are good but become defiling because we want them too much or in the wrong way). This does not mean abusing or punishing your body! That would do no good. We daily crucify those passions and over-desires by asking “What is it I think I need in order to feel fulfilled?” “What is my reason for thinking I need that so badly?” Knowing that we are free in Jesus Christ, we can then confess our wrong desires with freedom to Jesus, confess our wrong motives for wanting that thing, and ask Him to help us see Him as the Lover of our souls no matter what, the great Delight of our hearts, the Superior Satisfaction over all passions and over-desires. Then walk in the Spirit, seeking ways to grow and please the Lord, trusting in the Spirit’s power to change us each day.
Let’s talk it over:
- What steps do you take in everyday life to feel safe or secure?
- Considering those three points of security that the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit provide us, how could you express them as personal statements to better help you meditate on and remember them? For example, “I belong to Jesus Christ now, and He belongs to me.“
Our gracious Lord and Savior, thank You for saving us and helping us in the daily battle against the flesh. You are so faithful to us, choosing to unite Yourself to us forever, even now in the midst of this battle of the Spirit vs. the flesh. Help us by Your Spirit to daily crucify our over-desires for things that otherwise are good but that we would in our flesh manipulate and twist. Help us to identify motives behind those desires so we may repent and turn again to see You in Your glory and beauty, remembering the fruit of the Spirit that is found fully in You. You are our delight and joy, Lover of our souls and best friend we have. Amen.
Worship in Song: