CRUCIFYING THE FLESH – THE MARK OF A REAL CHRISTIAN
“And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” [Gal 5:24,25]
If they that be Christ’s have crucified the flesh, then the number of real Christians is very small. It is true, if all that SEEM TO BE meek, humble, and heavenly, might pass for Christians, the number would be great; but if no more must: be accounted Christians, than those who crucify the flesh, with its affections and lusts, O how small is the number!
For, O how many be there under the Christian name, that pamper and indulge their lusts, that secretly hate all that faithfully reprove them, and really approve none but such as feed their lusts, by praising and admiring them? How many there are that make provision for the flesh to fulfill its lusts, who cannot endure to have their corruptions crossed? How many are there that seem very meek and humble, until an occasion be given them to stir up their passion, and then you shall see in what degree they are mortified: the flint is a cold stone, till it be struck, and then it is all fiery.
I know the best of Christians are mortified but in part; and strong corruptions are oftentimes found in very eminent Christians; but – they love them not so well as to purvey (supply and provide) for them; to protect, defend, and countenance them; nor dare they secretly hate such as faithfully reprove them: as many thousands that go under the name of Christians do. Upon the account of mortification it is said, “Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and FEW there be that find it.” [Matt 7:14]
“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” [Heb 12:14]