Galatians 5:16 - "I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh."
In our sermon text this morning [Matt 14:1-21] we have lived out before us these two choices. Walk in the flesh, or walk in the spirit. We can live like Herod and his family by the flesh, gratify the desires of our sinful hearts, and wind up with heads on platters. Or we can live like Jesus by the Spirit, denying our own desires to serve God and one another, and wind up with bread from heaven. When our sinful desires arise, we must crucify them. Rome crucified people as an extreme punishment for treason against Rome. We should go to all extremes to put down our sins as the highest treason against God. This can take various forms, not just the sins of the flesh variety that comes to mind with Herod’s dancing daughter. Notice the last verse in Galatians 5 highlights other forms of treason: conceit, provoking and envying others. Our desire to be recognized as important, godly, or smart must be crucified. Our designs on others to make that happen must be crucified.
Assurance of Forgiveness
Those who are only mildly concerned about their sin will not find forgiveness. Those who see this as a mental exercise are just going through motions, and receive a hollow, comfort-less, token forgiveness. But we are convinced of better things regarding you. By God’s grace, you have pried the sin from you, its claws ripping at your skin to hang on. You have thrown it to the floor and stomped on it, leaving it for God to dispose of. You have confessed your sin vigorously to the Lord.