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What Does It Mean to Crucify the Flesh?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
May 26, 2021 6:30 am

What Does It Mean to Crucify the Flesh?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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May 26, 2021 6:30 am

Episode 714 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes


1. What does it mean to live in a “fallen” world?

2. How can we understand the relationship between predestination and free will?

3. Should Christians tithe from all forms of income?

4. In Galatians 5:24, Paul says that, “those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” How do we crucify the flesh with its passions and desires?

5. Is Jesus the same as the Father?

6. If John is the best of the prophets, why is it that the least in the kingdom of heaven are greater than him?

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In the book of Galatians, Paul says we should crucify the flesh passions and desires.

What does that mean? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of Core Christianity. Well, hi there. Welcome to the program. I'm Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. This is the radio show where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. And you can pick up your phone right now and call us for the next 25 minutes or so with your question. Here's the phone number. It's 833-The-Core.

That's 1-833-843-2673. You can also post your question on our Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter accounts. You can also watch us on YouTube live and send us a message that way. Or you can submit your question at

Well, first up today, here's a voicemail we received from one of our listeners. Yes, you answered a question the other day when a young lady called about racism. And I thought your answer was very eloquent. But in your answer, you mentioned something about quote unquote, the falling world. So I'm asking if you can define better or give us a definition of what you mean by the falling world. You mentioned the world that we live in as the falling world.

Thank you. Yeah, well, I was I was probably talking about the fact that we live in a fallen world per, you know, Genesis chapter three, where you have the sin of Adam there in the Garden of Eden, where you've had this this definitive break that has happened in the world, rebellion against God. And and so in Genesis chapter three, you know, one of the things we see is that the fall sin, the entrance of sin into the world did just affect Adam and Eve humanity.

It also affected everything around them, the creation. You know, you think about the curse on the serpent. You think about what God tells Adam.

He says in Genesis three seventeen, because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, you shall not eat of it. Cursed is the ground because of you in pain. You shall eat of it all the days of your life, thorns and thistles.

It shall bring forth for you and you shall eat the plants of the field. So it seems as if sin and the entrance of sin into the world has had this this effect on the entire creation. And that's why Paul in the Book of Romans is the whole creation groans.

It's groaning essentially for the restoration, for the new creation that we look forward to that we're already experiencing through faith in Jesus Christ now. But but it really when I was talking about that, I was speaking specifically about the effect of sin on the world in which we live. And with the question that we were answering there, specifically, we're talking about racism, racism as a sin, and one of the things that exists in the world because of the fall. And so, yeah, I mean, you really when you when you look at what the Bible says about sin and the entrance of sin in the world in Genesis chapter three, you have death, you have destruction, you have decay, you have all of these things. We also have hope because of Jesus and the promise of the new creation. And so thank you so much for that question, sister.

And hopefully that clears it up for you. You know, if you think about the ways the fall has affected us, one of those ways is relationally. And the fact that, you know, you see Adam and Eve in their shame, hiding from God, blaming each other, blaming the serpent. I mean, you see all these ramifications, which today we see it in our human relationships.

Yes. So let me just say this, because I was recently preaching on Genesis chapter three and the fall. And you see how we tend to deal with our own sin in ways that are just sort of insufficient.

I mean, there with Adam and Eve, you got them making these these sort of fig leaf coverings, trying to hide their nakedness, essentially. And then when when they're confronted by the Lord, when the Lord comes to them, you see them blame shifting. And aren't those two things that we often do when when we are confronted with our own sins in the holy presence of God? First, you know, we try to cover up that kind of thing. We try to hide even from Christian community, or we blame shift. We minimize instead of, you know, really repenting of our sins.

And you know what? I'm responsible for this. We like to point the finger. And so there's there's really that, you know, like Ecclesiastes says, nothing new under the sun.

These are the ways in which our first parents tried to deal with their sin and the ways in which we often try to deal with our sins instead of going to the Lord and being clothed by him instead and forgiven. That's what we need to do. Amen. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, you can call us right now at 833-THE-CORE. Our phone lines will be open for the next 20 minutes or so. 833-843-2673.

Let's go to Leanne in Garrett, Indiana. Leanne, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Yes. I was just wondering how you would explain God's sovereign predestination and men's own free will. It's a difficult one when you, you know, you have loved ones and friends that aren't saved and, you know, by God's grace that you have been.

And just wondering how that plays. So, you know, you're better able to understand it and equip to explain it to others when they're asking these questions. Yeah, Leanne, I really appreciate your question. And I mean, just the way that you asked the question, it shows how important this is, is we're talking to loved ones and maybe friends who aren't believers. I remember when I first started wrestling with the doctrine of God's sovereignty and asking some of these questions and thinking, well, if God predestines people for salvation, that kind of thing, well, what does that mean about my loved ones, you know, who don't know the Lord, family members who maybe don't believe in Jesus or reject the gospel?

And we all have people like that in our lives. And so this really, you know, strikes to the heart. What we have to do is we have to affirm what the Bible affirms and the Bible very clearly, you know, states that man is responsible for our actions, for our sins. We're all called to believe in Jesus Christ. God commands all people everywhere to repent. And so when we talk about the preaching of the gospel, we sometimes say that the gospel is to be preached promiscuously, that is to all people and that it's a real offer of salvation.

It's this promise. It's this hope that we have and that we can extend to others because we know what God says in his word, John three sixteen, for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son so that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. And yet at the same time, when you open up the Bible and you look at passages like Ephesians chapter one or Romans chapter nine, it makes it absolutely clear that God is sovereign in salvation, that it's only by the work of the Holy Spirit and the gift of faith. Paul talks about that in Ephesians chapter two, that anyone believes. And so you have this sort of tension, we might say, in scripture that sometimes people try to reconcile or say, well, you know, maybe we can water down the doctrine of God's sovereignty and exalt man's responsibility, that kind of thing.

But look, you have both. We're totally responsible according to the scriptures. And yet we know that God is sovereign, that he's using our will and even our freedom to accomplish his purposes. He does that. There's this wonderful passage in the book of Acts in Acts chapter four, where you have this prayer of Peter and it's really interesting because he talks about basically the crucifixion of Jesus and all of the terrible things that had happened to Jesus.

And then he says something really interesting. Let me just turn there to Acts chapter four, beginning in verse 27, it says, For truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. There's that word there, predestined. And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness. You have the sovereignty of God here, you know, is your hand predestining these things to take place, but then you also have responsibility, human responsibility.

Pontius Pilate, the Gentiles, the people of Israel, they're the ones who crucified the Lord of glory and they're going to be held responsible. And yet somehow God was, even through their choices that they were making, their free choices that they're responsible for, using those choices to accomplish his sovereign purposes. How that works exactly, Leanne, that's part of the great mystery, but we take comfort in the fact that the Lord is sovereign and yet we are responsible and that we're called, you're called, to share the love of Jesus with everyone as a real and genuine offer of hope, of salvation. And so thank you.

I'm sorry I couldn't totally probably unravel the mystery of God's sovereignty and human responsibility with that, but we just want to stick to what the scriptures say. Well, theologians have been trying to do that for centuries, Adriel, so I think you're kind of forgiven there. Yeah. Thanks, Bill.

All right. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Jason in Wichita, Kansas. Jason, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Yeah, I was just wondering, like, what it says about tithing exactly, like, is it, like, just income or would it be, what would you do with, like, a large sum of money you got from, like, a settlement court or something like that, would that be something that you would tithe from or if something a little confused about that? Yeah, yeah, no, this is an excellent question. So, you know, if you're giving a tithe to your church, is that just, you know, what you make, you know, in your nine-to-five job? What if you win the lotto? You know, do you need a tithe on your winning the lotto? And should you play the lotto?

Probably not. That's probably not a very good use of your money, but an excellent question. Now, the tithe in the Old Testament under the Old Covenant really was 10% of all sorts of it. It actually was quite a bit more than we often think of, and it was really this sort of temple tax. It was given for the sustaining of the priestly ministry in Israel, and so people would bring offerings, tithe, crops, all sorts of things to sustain the ministry there, the priesthood there.

And I think it was specifically, you know, a part of that Old Covenant administration. You do see examples of the tithe prior to the giving of the Mosaic Law, this idea of a tithe. You think of Abraham in the book of Genesis giving a tithe to Melchizedek, and so I actually encourage Christians to say, hey, that's a great way to be consistent in terms of cultivating a heart of generosity and giving to the work of the Lord, giving to the work of ministry and missions. Jesus said, where your treasure is, that's where your heart will be.

But I think as far as your question is concerned, Jason, there's quite a bit of freedom for us as believers, and this is what the Apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 9, verse 6. The point is this, whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for the Lord loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. That's what God wants us to abound in, is charity in good works. And then as far as, you know, as the Lord blesses you with income in whatever ways you get it, you know, being generous and cultivating that heart of generosity. And so I would say, yeah, as the Lord blesses you, it's such a joy for us as Christians to be able to cheerfully give back to the work of the Lord, to the work of ministry. It's one of the ways we align our hearts with the advancement of the gospel in the world today. And so I'm not gonna give you, you know, a law and say, yeah, you know, if you get a settlement or something like you have to do that, but I would say you pray and you say, Lord, help me in the way I use money to reflect your generosity, your goodness, how you've blessed me, and to cultivate that same generosity in my own heart to do good to others and to share. That's what we're called to.

And so may the Lord give you wisdom, Jason, and encourage you and cause you and everyone else, all of us, to grow as cheerful givers to the work of the Lord. You know, that actually happened to us and our family, Adriel. You want the lotto?

No. Oh, okay. What happened to us is my father-in-law was exposed to radiation during World War II, and so he passed away and his children received a settlement for that. And so we got that settlement and we said, well, of course, we're gonna tithe on this. And so we gave actually a portion to our church and a portion to some other ministries because we felt it was a, I mean, it was a terrible thing that happened, but we received that blessing.

So, you know, we wanted to be cheerful givers. This is Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. And by the way, we know that a lot of people right now are still dealing with the consequences of COVID-19. And maybe that's you or somebody in your family, or maybe you've been suffering in some other way. If that's the case, we have a wonderful resource that we'd like to offer you today. Yeah, this little book called Christ and Calamity, Grace and Gratitude in the Darkest Valley. We think that this will be a wonderful resource for you, especially as we've had to navigate these very difficult days in which we've been living with the pandemic, with a lot of attention in our country. I mean, this is the kind of book that I think will really encourage you and strengthen you in your faith and help you to think about what it looks like to walk with the Lord in those dark valleys. And so get a hold of this resource for you, especially if you're going through suffering right now.

I think this is a great resource for someone you know. Get a hold of this book. You can get your copy of Christ and Calamity today for a donation of any amount. Just head over to forward slash offers. You can also call us at 833-843-2673 for help getting that book or any one of our offers. That's 833-THE-CORE. You can also call that number right now if you have a question for Pastor Adriel. Our phone lines will be open for the next 10 minutes or so. So give us a call with your question about the Bible or the Christian life, 833-THE-CORE.

Let's go to a voicemail we received from one of our listeners named Mark. Yes, I'm calling to see in Galatians 5, the verse 24, as those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. How do we do that? Yeah, that's an excellent question.

The first thing I'll say is it's not something that we do. We don't crucify our own flesh. I think that this is a work of God first and foremost. In the language in Galatians chapter 5, actually I think there's a sort of baptismal background to this. First, earlier in chapter 2 verse 20, this is actually a really well-known verse in the book of Galatians. Chapter 2 verse 20, Paul said, I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. Now, again, he's saying, look, the crucifixion of my flesh is actually Christ's crucifixion. And since I'm united to Jesus Christ, I've been crucified with him. Now, the reason I said there's I think this sort of baptismal imagery in the background, the language here is because in the very next chapter in Galatians chapter 3, listen to what Paul says in verse 27, for as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

You see this? It's not something that you do to yourself. It's something that God has done to us when by faith and through baptism, he united us to his son Jesus in his death and resurrection. And that's actually the very same thing that the apostle Paul says later in another book in Romans chapter 6 verse 6. He says, we know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin, for one who has died has been set free from sin. So again, it's this language of being crucified with Jesus. And then a little bit earlier in Romans chapter 6, what did he talk about? He talks about baptism. Romans 6, 4, we were buried therefore with him by baptism into death in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the father, we too might walk in newness of life. Friends, this is so beautiful.

It's so wonderful. When we believe in Jesus and are baptized, this is a great picture of our union with Jesus in his death and resurrection, the crucifixion of our own flesh, the death of our own flesh, so that now we might walk in newness of life. And so it isn't something that you do.

And boy, I don't even know how we think about going about crucified. No, it's something that God has done to you, for you in Jesus, his son, when you were united to him by faith. So it's a finished work. It is a finished... Yeah. I mean, that's what Paul says.

This has happened. Now we want to live in light of that reality. So sometimes we talk about the imperatives and the indicatives. You have these commands in the scripture, these imperatives to go and do or act in a certain way, but they always flow out of the indicatives, the truth of who we are in Jesus Christ. You are, by faith in Jesus, dead to sin and alive to God. Now live like it. You've been baptized into his death and resurrection. Now walk in that new identity.

And that's exactly what we have here. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Brandon in Dixon, Tennessee. Brandon, what's your question for Adriel? Hey guys, thank you very, very much for taking my question. I appreciate you guys and all you do. Thanks.

All right. So my question is in Isaiah 9 and 6, where it gives attributes of, you know, the child that will be given to the world. And one of those attributes seems, or one of the listings that says everlasting father, coupling that with, I think it's John 14.9, where Jesus is talking to the disciples and he says, if you've seen me, then you've seen the father. Would that then suggest that I know Jesus is God, but also is Jesus then the father as well?

Man, Brandon, this is such a great question. And it's one actually that was very controversial in the days of the early church. There were a group of people that were saying, hey, you know, the father, the son, and the Holy Spirit are all the same person, just sort of revealing themselves in different ways and at different times, almost as if God, the one God is wearing these masks. You know, sometimes he appears as the father, sometimes he appears as the son, sometimes as the Holy Spirit.

It was sometimes referred to as modalism. And it was an ancient heresy that was rejected by the church. It's not the right understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity and certainly not, I would say, what the Bible says. Now, you do have this language in Isaiah 9, beginning in verse 6, where it says, to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder and his name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end. And I think right there, you know, it's not saying that Jesus is the father, the unbegotten one, the eternal father in that sense, you know, the first person of the Holy Trinity, but that Jesus is the one who cares for his people. And oftentimes, you know, here in particular, Brandon, what's being focused on is the kingship of Christ. And often in those days, the king was viewed as this great father to his people, a protector.

And so that's why you have that language there. It's not meant to confuse us or confuse the persons of the Trinity. It's meant to highlight Jesus's role as the great king of his people.

That's why it goes on to say, you know, the government is going to be upon his shoulders on the throne of David and over his kingdom to establish it and to uphold it. That's the focus here in Isaiah chapter nine. Now, you do also have the divine status of Christ being mentioned, you know, Mighty God there. And so this is one of the passages that we can go to to show that Jesus is God. But the fact of the matter is, is when you look at all of scripture together, and that's what we got to do, we have to understand individual passages in their context, and we got to synthesize everything as we're taking the whole Bible, all of God's revelation, it makes it absolutely clear that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are three distinct and separate persons, but that they're one God.

And the way we distinguish them is by those sort of what we refer to as their personal properties. The Father is unbegotten, you know, from all eternity. The Son is eternally begotten of the Father. He's the eternal Son of the Father. The Holy Spirit is eternally preceding, we might say, from the Father and the Son. Now, that's historically how the church has distinguished between the persons of the Holy Trinity. I know that there's, you know, there's a lot there.

We don't need to get into all of that. But the reality is just based on the teaching of scripture. You know, this is some of the language that they've used to help us distinguish. And it's so important that we do that because we're talking about God here. And if there's something that we don't want to get wrong, it's who God is. Amen. Yeah. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Doug in Central Illinois. Doug, what's your question for Pastor Adriel?

Yeah. John the Baptist, he was, Jesus said, who did you go out to see? And, you know, he was describing John as this great prophet. And then at the end of that phrase, and I forget where it is, I'm trying to find it.

I can't. He says, but he's the least in the kingdom. And I, that never made sense to me.

Yeah. You're referring to Matthew chapter 11. And there's a lot about John the Baptist here. Matthew chapter 11, verse 11. Truly I say to you, among those born of women, there has risen no one greater than John the Baptist, yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. And from the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence and the violent take it by force for all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come.

He who has ears to hear, let him hear. Now, one of the things that Jesus is emphasizing here is the unique role that John the Baptist had in his ministry. I mean, he's the one that Isaiah prophesied about in Isaiah chapter 40. Prepare ye the way of the Lord.

Comfort, comfort my people. John is coming as the last in line, if you will, of these great old covenant, old testament prophets. And he's heralding the promises of God's kingdom. When John the Baptist was preaching in the gospels, he says, repent. The kingdom of God is at hand.

It's here. The kingdom of heaven is breaking in on us, calling the people to repent. Jesus had the exact same message. And so he's sort of living on the brink, you know, the dawn of a new era, the promise of the new covenant and the coming of God's kingdom. And so Jesus is saying, look, John the Baptist was great, the last in line of these old covenant, old testament prophets, but something new is coming. The new covenant.

The kingdom of heaven is breaking in. And in that sense, because of this new reality, this new existence that we have as the people of God through the shed blood of Jesus, Jesus could say what he said there, the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. In other words, he's talking about what we get to enjoy now through his sacrificial work. Now, John the Baptist was a great herald of that. Now, just like all the prophets of old, you remember what John the Baptist said in the beginning of John's gospel, behold the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Well, Jesus did that. He took away the sin of the world so that we might have everlasting life.

And in him we rejoice. Thanks for listening to CORE Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, visit us at and click on offers in the menu bar or call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833-THE-CORE. When you contact us, please let us know how you've been encouraged by this program. And be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-12 20:41:35 / 2023-11-12 20:52:28 / 11

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