They That Are of Christ

Earl E. Robertsonion
Xenia, Ohio

The matter of identification is of great importance regarding one's life with Christ. The person who has not come to recognize this fact has not deliberated long on his or her relationship to the Lord. Inspiration says, "And they that are of Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with the passions and the lusts thereof" (Gal. 5:24). This passage sets forth a total commitment of one's self to the Lord as having taken place in his obedience to the gospel (Col. 3: 1-10). This new life and new relationship should be easily recognized. This new life that one takes on in his baptism into Christ (Gal. 3:26, 27; Rom. 6:1-5), must be an exemplification of the Lord's own life (Rom. 8:29). The life of Jesus is so different from the lives of common men; and the lives of those "that are of Christ" are just as different! Our power is seen in that we are different! Our affections are on things above, not on things on the earth.

Crucified The Flesh

The word crucify is used here in a metaphorical sense, implying great pain in the destruction of the flesh-fleshly appetites. The fact that it is a crucifixion definitely shows the power of the flesh to be destroyed. The lower nature (flesh) can no longer dominate the man; the spirit must buffet, or bruise, the body and make it his slave (I Cor. 9:27). Death by crucifixion is very hard, and this word is used by the Holy Spirit in the New Testament to describe the death of Jesus. His death was horrible and the pain extremely excruciating, just as described by the Psalmist (Psa. 22:11-19). The word stauroo (crucify) is used forty-six times in the Greek Testament, and with the exception of about two times it is used to tell of Jesus' death. Paul emphasizes in Galatians 6:14 that a crucifixion had taken place of himself to the world and the world to him and that by the cross of Christ. They were dead to each other; all fellowship and intercourse had ceased! The fleshly things -- things of the world -- were nauseating and vexing rather than enthralling. He was CRUCIFIED to such. He had mortified the deeds of the body (Rom. 8:13). He did this that he might live! He knew the law of sowing and reaping (Gal. 6:7, 8).

With Passions And Lusts

To crucify the flesh (the deeds of the body), the passions and lusts must be destroyed. The passions here are "of inward state, an affection, passion" says Thayer, p. 472. It is that which leads to sin, "sinful passions" (Rom. 7:5). Such passions must not be cultivated, but rather subdued. The lust here is the desire, craving or longing for that which is forbidden: the craving for unclean intercourse. We must note however, that when the word lust is used, it does not always have a bad objective. I would suppose that each time it is used in the English language, it denotes a bad purpose. It is used in a bad light in Galatians 5:24; however, it is used in a good sense by Jesus in Luke 99 * I r, O"A b Paul in Philippians 1: 23 and I Thessalonians 2:17.

Demands of Ownership

The fact that through gospel obedience one is purchased by the blood of Christ (I Cor. 6:20, 7:23, 2 Pet. 2:1; Acts 20:28), he naturally assumes new ways of living. Things take on a new perspective (2 Cor. 5:17). His allegiance now is to Christ his Lord and Saviour. Consequently, he cannot afford to:

  1. Love the world. John says, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the, eyes and the vainglory of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world." (I John 2:1517)
  2. Have friendship with the world. James says, "Ye adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore would be a friend of the world maketh himself an enemy of God." (James 4:4)
  3. Be conformed to the world. The Romans were told, "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." (Rom. 12:2)
  4. Be spotted with the world. James says, "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep, himself unspotted from the world." (James 1:27)

This world is in darkness and lieth in wickedness, (Col. 1:13; Eph. 6:12; 1 John 5:19). Christians are the light of the world (Matt. 5:14). Jesus is the true light (I John 1:7-9), and they that are of Christ shine as lights in the world (Phil. 2:15). Woe be unto that disciple who has named the name of Christ but has not departed from iniquity that his life may shine for the cause of righteousness (2 Tim. 2:19).

TRUTH MAGAZINE, XV: 33, pp. 12-13
June 24, 1971