Summary: A sermon examining the battle between the flesh and the Spirit
Nail It To The Cross
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(The introduction to this sermon was inspired by Dr. Adrian Rogers sermon Nailed To The Cross from Colossians chapter 2)
There was a certain custom in ancient Rome, when someone was convicted of a crime and sentenced to prison, they would nail a placard or a "certificate of debt" to his prison door. That certificate of death would contain the crime that had been committed and the number of years, months and days that the individual was to remain in prison. When that person had served his time his certificate of debt was marked paid in full. It would then be taken to the judge, to be notarized. That individual would keep his certificate of debt with him at all times. If someone were to accuse him of that crime he could then take out the "certificate of debt" and prove that he had already paid for his crime.
If a man was guilty of a capital offense the authorities would take the offense that he had committed and place it on a placard and then nail it to the cross above his head. This is familiar to us because of Jesus' crucifixion. Matthew 27:37 And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS. - Pilate allowed Jesus to be crucified because He had rebelled against Caesar and claimed to be King.
Criminals were crucified in public view so the citizens would see these people suffer and die in pain, agony and anguish upon the cross. And when the citizens saw that placard nailed above their head containing the crime that had been committed, the people would say "I will never do that because I don't want to face the same fate"
There were several things that we nailed to that cross at Calvary:
1) Obviously our Savior was nailed to that cross!
2) That placard containing the title "King of the Jews" was nailed to that cross!
3) God's Law was nailed to that cross! - Colossians 2:13-14 Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins.14 He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. - This "handwriting of ordinances",(the Law) from God’s point of view, was nailed to the cross
4) Our sins were nailed to that cross! - Romans 6:6 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.
The people thought Jesus was dying for sins against Caesar, but Jesus was dying for our sins! We should have been on that cross with the 10 Commandments nailed above our head! But God sent His only Son to take our place - 2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
This illustrates an overriding theme throughout Galatians. Paul had been combating the false teachings of the Judaizers who were trying to add to the work of Jesus at Calvary. That Law that the Judaizers promoted with such zeal had been nailed to the cross with Jesus! Though that was the case, many of the believers at Galatia had begun to revert to the ceremonies and rituals of the Law. In Paul's words they had returned to the bondage that they had been delivered from.
Chances are pretty good that some of you are in a similar situation. You have been born again, your sins have been forgiven and you have been washed in the precious blood of Jesus. But for some reason things aren't like they were before, something seems to be missing.
- Maybe you find yourself giving in to temptations.
- Maybe you are seeing less and less of the "fruits of the Spirit" in your life.
- Maybe you are seeing more and more of the "works of the flesh" in your life.
- Maybe you are just not as close to the Lord are you were in the past.
- Maybe you are consumed with guilt and shame.
I want to look at these few verses in Galatians 5 and see how you can return to a place of victory. Notice how our selected text is translated in the NLT - 5:24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to His cross and crucified them there.
* I ask you to join me as we consider this thought "Nail It To The Cross"
* The Whisnants sing a song with the same title. Listen to a portion of the lyrics:
" Is there something in your heart - between you and the Lord"