Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. — Galatians 5:24-25 NLT
I find that many ‘Christians’ live antithetical lives in many facets of their lives. They live one way at work, one way with their buddies, another way with their families or at home, and still have another personality to take to church. What an exhausting life they must lead keeping all of these alter-egos intact! How can you say that you are saved and believe in Jesus Christ and live like the world lives? Of course, we then could argue whether these self-proclaimed ‘Christians’ have truly experienced a life-changing salvation or true repentance. But we all see it, the co-worker that behaves pristinely at work and goes home and gives their family hell. Or those who go out boozing and partying during the week but turn up to church stone-cold sober. Then there are the ones who watch shows (Uh-oh, I’m gonna step on toes here…) full of debauchery, satanic fantasy, murder, and hatred towards their friends & family. I’m speaking of the shows full of illicit sex, adultery, vampires, zombies, and horror. How can anyone who is truly sold out to God watch them? How can darkness co-mingle with light? How do they not have nightmares? … Actually, some have confessed to me that they do. Then they expect God’s peace? Christ said he would give us peace. If he left us the Holy Spirit, our comforter, our peace, aren’t we negating it by viewing these shows? The Bible says if we belong to Christ we have nailed our passions and desires to the cross, but if we are consuming garbage, aren’t we nailing Christ back to the Cross? I probably lost a few of you at this point, but for those who are brave enough to read on, the Bible puts it in plain text:
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2 NLT
It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on. This isn’t the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God’s kingdom. Galatians 5:19-21 The Message
You may be asking, “how is it possible to know the ways of God or to do what is right?” We cannot do it of our own will. Sure there are people in this world who are ‘godly’ who live nearly unblemished lives by the world’s standards. But there is nobody that is perfect and there is nobody who can know God’s ways without the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The only way we can live a truly Christ-centered life is to submit to the guidance of the Holy Spirit in our lives daily. It is a choice but the more we make that choice, it becomes a habit. It becomes our new nature. Christ said the Holy Spirit would lead us in truth. It is not sin-consciousness, but God-cognizance that will lead us into living a holier life. When we are not focused on the sins , but instead are focused on God, we have no desire to follow after sin. To know God more and better is to become more like Jesus and the example he set for us.
He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. John 14:17 NLT
He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit. Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. Romans 8:4-6 NLT (my emphases)