Fridays are for Flavel and Fishing. John Flavel was a puritan minister and author living from 1627–1691. In his second volume of his works by Banner of Truth, in sermon twenty-seven, he deals with the issue of the mortification of sin using Galatians 5:24. He notes in this text which reads in our modern version, “And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” that this text emphasizes mortification as a sort of crucifixion.
Perhaps most importantly, Flavel regards this matter as part of what makes salvation so “narrow” in Matthew 7:13–14 Jesus said, “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
Crucifixion is set forth as the means because it is a slow death. Flavel writes that “corruption in believers, like the Canaanites in the land of Israel, are left to prove and to exercise the people of God, to keep us watching and praying, mourning and believing; yea, wondering and admiring at the riches of pardoning and preserving mercy all our days” (374).
This crucifying of the flesh with its passions and desires can only be done by the Spirit of God. This is the context of Galatians 5:24. The apostle is marking the point that only the Spirit of God can crucify sin. No mere human or tradition can produce such a thing, save the New Covenant of God which is equivocated with the theological covenant of grace.
God has put within us this principle: to love Him and to hate sin.
Now for fishing. This past week there were some fish caught on the pier called “false albacore” or “little tunny.” They differ from another type of fish that is called bonito. They look very similar. I read one jokingly say that the way you can tell the difference is put your finger in its mouth, one has teeth, the other doesn’t (not recommended!). A better way is to look at the markings. The false albacore (tunny) has horizontal squiggly markings on it, and the bonito has straight lines crossed with vertical (see https://journal.amberjack.com/2016/09/false-albacore-vs-bonito-whats-the-difference/). You want the second one below.