24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
Christ’s (v.24) — owned by Him, in contrast with those under the law
have crucified (v.24) — past tense — accomplished at salvation. We are exhorted to live in light of this fact (Colossians 3:1-5), but in our standing with God, we have died and are risen with Christ.
passions (v.24) — impulses, propensities
desires (v.24) — lusts, cravings
Christians crucified the evil nature with its affections and lusts, in the sense that when they put their faith in the Lord Jesus as Savior, they received the actual benefits of their identification with Christ in His death on the Cross, which benefits were only potential at the time He was crucified. The Christian’s identification with Christ in His death, resulted in the breaking of the power of the sinful nature over the life. This victory over sin which the Lord Jesus procured for us at the Cross, is made actual and operative in our lives as we yield to the Holy Spirit and trust Him for that victory. It is the Holy Spirit’s ministry that applies the salvation from the power of the sinful nature which God the Son procured at the Cross for us. Thus the Holy Spirit has a two-fold ministry in the saint, that of making actually operative in the life of the Christian, the victory over sin which the Lord Jesus procured for us at the Cross, and that of producing in the Christian’s experience, His fruit. But this He is only able to do in a full and rich measure as the saint puts himself definitely under the subjection to the Spirit. This initial act of faith in the Lord Jesus which resulted in the crucifixion (putting to death) of the affections and lusts of the totally depraved nature, is followed during the life of that Christian, by the free action of his liberated will in counting himself as having died to (having been separated from the power of) the evil nature with the result that he says NO to sin and stops yielding himself and his members to sin. — Wuest, page 161
if (v.25) — since we in fact … (the conditional particle of a fulfilled condition) — in view of the fact, seeing that
walk (v.25) — previously, daily life. Here, progressing toward a goal (Christ-likeness). To conduct one’s self rightly
become (v.26) — don’t develop the habit
conceited (v.26) — empty glory, any glory not centered on God and His grace
provoking (v.26) = calling forth, instigating others to do evil
There were two classes of Christians in the Galatian churches. One class thought that they had attained to freedom in the absolute sense, freedom from any restraint whatsoever. These were in danger of turning liberty into license. This class took pride in their fancied liberty from all restraint. The other class was composed of the more scrupulous and timid brethren. The former class would be tempted to dare the latter group to do things which the law forbids, insinuating that they were afraid to do them. The former class thus would be guilty of vain glory, empty pride, provoking the latter group to do things which it did not think right.
On the other hand, the latter group would be tempted to regard the spurious liberty of the former class as something to be desired, and thus would envy them their liberty, wishing that they felt the same way about their freedom. It is like the case of the strong Christian and the weak one who has scruples. Romans 14:1-15:3 and 1 Corinthians 8 deal with this subject. The strong Christian should bear the infirmities of the weak, Paul said. This would be the cure for the situation in the Galatian churches. — Wuest, pages 162-163