Every True Believer

Take your Bible’s with me and turn again to Galatians 5. Guess what? We are almost done with Galatians 5. We’ve been in this chapter now for more than four months - most of that time I’ve been preaching about the fruit of the Spirit.
I’m going to preach from verses 24-25 this morning, but I want us to go ahead and read from verse 16-16.

”[This] I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.”

Like I said, I want us to focus on verses 25-26.

”[Gal 5:25-26 KJV] 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.”

Yesterday, I went to an Eagle Scout court of honor. One of Harold’s grandsons - Drew - became an Eagle Scout and they asked me to give an “invocation” and “benediction” at the ceremony.

To become an Eagle Scout is a pretty impressive feat for a boy. Some people have called it a PHD in boyhood. Since the beginning, only 2% of Boy Scouts earn the rank of Eagle Scout. It’s up to about 6% now, but it’s still very impressive.

So we watched as they did this long ceremony and pinned the eagle on Drew’s chest. And it was interesting, a big part of the ceremony was reminding Drew that now that he’s an Eagle Scout, he needs to live up to it. He will always be an Eagle Scout so he needs to act like an Eagle Scout.

Verse 24 in our text starts with an interesting phrase:

”and they that are Christ’s”

What that phrase means is “Every true believer.” It means every true Christian.

It’s a difficult phrase. Because listen - becoming a Christian is not like becoming an Eagle Scout. There are no merit badges. There are no service projects. There are no ranks to climb through. I mean, there are. But they are all impossible. The standard is sinless perfection and every single one of us has failed that test. None of us can get enough merit badges or do enough service to earn the rank of born again believer.

But the beautiful thing is we don’t have to. Christ did it for us. Ephesians 2:8-9 says:

”For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

Salvation is a free gift and the only requirement is faith. That is what this whole book of Galatians has been about. It’s been all about grace and how we receive salvation not because of our works and our merit but because of Christ’s merit. All He requires of us is faith.

But then, here it says

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

So what does that mean?

Well, this morning I want to give you four things from these verses that are true about every true believer. I think I’ll do two this morning and two tonight. I think when we are done you’ll understand these verses a lot better.

Let’s pray and we’ll jump right into that outline.

The first statement I want you to write down is this…

1. Every true believer belongs to Christ.

Notice the phrase again ”and they that are Christ’s.”

That phrase is a phrase of possession. A phrase of ownership.

My dad has this habit of writing his name on everything he owns. His shirts, his gloves, his tools. He even developed his own insignia (a duck inside a soup can), made stickers, and put it on everything. Motorcycle helmet - Duck Soup can. Hockey gloves - Duck Soup can. Circular saw - duck soup can. Everyone who picks up one of those things knows it belongs to my dad.

In much the same way - we have Christ’s name on us. We belong to Him.

Back in Galatians 3:13 it says

”Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law.”

1 Peter 1:18-19 says

”Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:”

We have been redeemed. But do you know what that word “redeemed” means? It means “purchased.”

Listen folks - if you are a believer this morning - you’ve been purchased. You’ve been bought. You belong to Jesus.

1 Corinthians 6:20 says this:

”For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.”

1 Corinthians 7:23 says:

”Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.”

We’ve been purchased. We belong to Jesus.

Now, what does that mean? I think it means two things:

First, it means we are his responsibility.

If we are possessed with Christ, then that means Christ takes ownership of us and we are His responsibility.

Think about this for a second, when you possess something, it is your responsibility to take care of it. You are liable for it.

Most of you here have a car. You own that car. Owning that car means you have to take care of it. You have to put gas in it. You have to change the oil. You have to fix it when it breaks down. If you are in an accident and hurt people with that car, you are liable for the damages.

Now think about this, because we are owned by Christ, we are his responsibility. It’s on Him to take care of us. It’s on Him to feed us. It’s on Him to protect us. It’s on Him to maintain us. We are His responsibility.

I can think of no better argument for what we call “the security of the believer” than this - we’ve been redeemed. We are Christ’s. We are His responsibility. If I know anything about the character of Jesus it is that He is trustworthy and He always takes care of His own.

So belonging to Jesus means we are His responsibility.

Second, it means we are at his disposal.

That’s the flip side of the ownership coin. When you own something, you can do what you want with it. If I want to use my table saw as a desk - it wouldn’t make any sense - but it’s mine and I can do what I want with it. I’m free to use it however I want.

Listen, if you are a true believer and you’ve been bought with a price, that means you have a new boss. You belong to Jesus now and because you belong to Jesus He should have some say in your life. He should at least have veto powers over your decisions.

Every true believer belongs to Jesus. That the first point from these verses. The second is..

2. Every true believer has had the power of their sin killed through the Cross.

The verse says:

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

When I first read that I thought? What does that mean? “Have crucified there flesh?”

I was thinking of this in terms of what I need to do. I read this as “I need to crucify my flesh.” But that isn’t what the verse says. It doesn’t say “they that are Christ’s must crucify the flesh”. It says they that are Christ have crucified the flesh.

Remember, when the Bible talks about the flesh. It’s not talking about our bodies. There is nothing inherently sinful about your body. It’s talking about our sin nature.

So what I think this verse is saying is that our sin nature was crucified when we became Christ’s.

Now, let me be real clear here. That doesn’t mean we are perfect. It doesn’t mean we never sin.

What it means is that when we trust Christ, our sin nature is effectively dead.

When Jesus died on the cross, He killed your sin. He died to save you from your sin. And he defeated your sin three ways:

  • First, he removed the penalty of sin. This is past tense. This happens immediately. When you are saved, you are redeemed. You have Christ’s record. You no longer have to fear God’s judgement of death and Hell. Jesus took the penalty of your sin on the cross.
  • Second, he removes the power of your sin.. This is present tense. When you are saved you get a new nature, you get the Holy Spirit living inside of you and you no longer have to serve sin anymore. Your sin nature is like an old boss - they might still be around but you don’t work for them anymore. You have to reckon yourselves dead to sin and alive to Christ.
  • Third, he is going to remove the presence of your sin. This is future tense. Someday we will be in heaven in glorified bodies that no longer have to deal with sin.

Remember, God sees the end from the beginning. It’s all present-tense to Him. So in God’s eyes, all of this, past, present and future has already happened. And all of it took place on the cross.

Now, here is how this effect us. Because of our relationship with Jesus. Because we are “one of His” because we are “Christs” we don’t have to serve sin and our sin nature anymore. We have the anecdote for our lusts, for our affections and for our flesh in the person of Jesus Christ.

Romans 6 talks a lot about this. It says:

”[Rom 6:6-8 KJV] 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with [him], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin. 8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:”

And it gives us this admonition:

Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Listen, because we are Christ’s we were on that cross with Him and we rose in new life with Him. I don’t understand that - but that is what Romans 6 teaches. So our sin nature was crucified on that cross.

And what that means in practice is this - we don’t have to serve sin anymore. We can reckon ourselves dead to sin and alive to Christ.

Look at just a few more verses here in Romans 6 and we’ll be done:

”[Rom 6:12-14 KJV] 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13 Neither yield ye your members [as] instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members [as] instruments of righteousness unto God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”

Listen, it’s simple. You don’t have to listen to the old man anymore. He’s not your boss anymore. He’s still trying to be, but He isn’t. So when he rears His ugly head and says “do this, live for this, you need this.” You can just say “Nope, I ain’t doing it. You aren’t my boss anymore.”

Friday afternoon me and Audrey went to the Lincoln Library in Springfield. I’d never been. It’s a pretty impressive museum. A big part of that museum was dedicated to the Emancipation Proclamation. The act that Abraham Lincoln wrote that freed all of the slaves.

Imagine being a slave - literally being owned by a cruel master and then being given your freedom. You are free. But the slave master is still around. What do you have to do? You have to tell that master he doesn’t own you anymore.

So every true believer belongs to Christ and every true believer has had the power of his sin destroyed on the cross.