And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.Galatians 5:24(KJV)
We were placed into the body of Christ the moment that by faith we trusted Jesus for salvation.. and all who would one day come to place their trust in His finished work at Calvary were crucified with Christ. As spiritual members of Christ's spiritual body we can honestly say with Paul: “I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I that live, but the life of Christ that lives in me.'
Christ's death on the cross paid the price for our sins, but the old sin nature, which is the birthright of all who are born into the human race, was also crucified with Christ. Indeed all who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. All the lusts of the flesh; the lusts of the eye and the prideful pursuits of all who will one day make up the complete body of Christ were crucified with Christ on the cross, 2000 years ago - and now must be kept in the place of death.
At one time we were dead in our sins and at enmity with God. Before our salvation we were among those that exhibited the evil works of the flesh - some of which are listed in verses 19-21 and include:- sexual immorality; moral impurity; promiscuity; idolatry, sorcery; hatred; strife; jealousy; outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions; dissensions; factions; envy; drunkenness; carousing; and other ungodly actions.
At the moment of our conversion to Christ when we moved from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light.. our fleshly lusts with their passions and desires were nailed to the cross of Christ. And because we have a new nature in Christ.. we do not need to respond to the persuasive pull of the old sin nature, but rather.. we are called to exercise our new life in Christ - by faith, so that we may grow in grace and in a knowledge of our Lord.
We were identified with His sacrificial death by faith and we can be identified with His perfect life by faith, when we walk in spirit and truth and keep the old sin nature nailed to the cross - moment by moment and day by day.
Having been crucified with Christ we are to keep our fleshly passion nailed to the cross.. This does not mean self-crucifixion or self-mortification. This is not achieved by our own efforts and training, It is not attained by self-effort and self-reliance, but by letting the life of Christ grow and develop within.. as we submit to the Holy Spirit and look to Jesus for our sufficiency and strength.
The moment that we are saved we have the potential to live godly in Christ Jesus.. for the flesh with all its passion and desires is crucified. This does not mean that the sin nature is eradicated or rendered inactive, but it does mean that in Christ we have the potential to live godly in Christ Jesus and to develop the fruit of righteousness, by grace through faith.
All our sin was 1) judged at the cross (the penalty for sin was paid) and 2) our sin nature was crucified with Christ (the power of sin was broken). Throughout our Christian life we are to keep that old sin nature nailed to the cross and live our life through the new nature that we received from our resurrected Lord at salvation. BUT - if and when we do transgress, we are to quickly acknowledge our sin and make sure that our old sin nature is firmly nailed back on the cross - for victory has been provided for all who are in Christ Jesus. All we need to do is to appropriate His new life in us.. all we need to do is to take hold of what is already ours in Christ and live our lives in His strength.. as unto the Lord
Heavenly Father, thank You that I am identified with Christ by faith and that in Him I have been crucified with Christ. Thank You that the cross broke the power of sin in my life and that by faith I am enabled to walk in spirit and truth. May I bear the fruit of righteousness to Your praise and glory in Jesus name I pray, AMEN.