Galatians 5:24 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Galatians 5:24, NIV: "Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires."

Galatians 5:24, ESV: "And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires."

Galatians 5:24, KJV: "And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts."

Galatians 5:24, NASB: "Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires."

Galatians 5:24, NLT: "Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there."

Galatians 5:24, CSB: "Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires."

What does Galatians 5:24 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul has strongly argued that we are saved by faith alone, and that our works are helpless in obtaining salvation (Galatians 3:22–29). Paul not only taught that this meant we were saved solely on the basis of faith, but that true salvation could not be lost due to our works, either (Ephesians 4:30; Romans 8:38–39). Those who disagreed with Paul's teaching that in Christ, we are fully forgiven and justified by God, often raised an objection: Without the threat of punishment by God, why would anyone avoid sin? Why would people choose to do what is right?

Paul's answer, in part, is found here. Those who truly understand what it means to trust in Christ's death on the cross to pay for their sins understand how destructive their sins truly are. After all, our sins were the reason we stood condemned to die by the curse of the law. That's why Paul writes that those who belong to Christ gave up trying to defeat their sin on their own. Instead, with gratitude, we performed a kind an execution of our sinful desires when we trusted Christ to die for them. We gave up the right to keep holding on to our sin and indulging in it and enjoying it.

There's a fine line here, though. In most cases, those who trust in Christ do not immediately and completely lose our desire or instinct to do sinful things. The "want" to sin is not entirely gone. Paul has written, though, that two significant things do change when we are saved. First, by definition, we recognize that sin is eternally fatal. By trusting in Christ, we reject sin as a path leading to death. Second, God gives us the power in His Spirit to win the battle against our sinful desires (Galatians 5:16–17).

We may sometimes still give in to our desire to sin, but Christians are no longer people controlled by our sin. We have agreed sin is worthless, and we have declared, in Christ, our intention to move, with Him, away from sin using God's power.