Christian maturity does not happen by default
Believers tend to assume that growing up is the norm
Actually, if you look at the world or the kingdom, you inevitably come to the conclusion that most people never mature. In fact, it is rare for a person to even desire maturity. If you look at entertainment, you can almost use that dogmatic word never. All you find in the movies or on TV is people led around by their physical desires: lust, rage, greed, and so on.
The truth is that we must consciously realize that we are no free from sin (Romans 6) and that we no longer are bound, enslaved, or trapped by the flesh and its lusts. Here in Galatians, Paul gives us practical instruction.
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. [NLT]
The works of the flesh must be killed. Will power won’t work, nor will the law. There is no power in the law—assassination is required. We must hang our immaturity on the cross and let it die. We are set free to do this because of what Jesus did and our new life from above when we are reborn.
This is what Jesus did on the cross. This is why Romans 6:3–10 is so crucial to our understanding of what living as a believer means in reality. Jesus already crucified our sinful lusts. All we have to do is accept what He did for us. Of course, we might have to do a few times until it “takes” and becomes reality in our lives. 😉
If we live by the Spirit, let’s walk by the Spirit.
Part of the message of Romans 6 is that we died and we only live by the power of the Holy Spirit. Because that is true, we also need to consciously follow the leading of the same Holy Spirit.
How many Christians actually do this? Not many. You must decide and give permission for the spirit to lead you. He is a gentleman and will not force himself upon you. You must ask for his lead and guidance. Without that, walking in the spirit is impossible.
Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, or jealous.
Obviously, there is a lot of arguing and squabbling goin’ on in Galatia [see verse 15]. We’ll not know what until we meet, but Paul’s trying to calm them down. For me it just sounds like church—and that should not be.