You Were Crucified and Are Alive in Christ
Wednesday, June 29, 2022
This is the Most Powerful Statement of Your Identity in Christ. Being crucified with Christ emphasizes our union with Him and His death on our behalf and He is now our life! Galatians 2:20-21. Let’s take a close look at these verses, very familiar, well-known verses, phrase by phrase, “I have been crucified with Christ.” The only other place where that particular verb is used is in Romans 6:6 “the old man has been crucified with Christ.”
This is a most important and powerful statement of our new identity in Christ. Jesus took every person in the human race with Him to the cross. He died for, on behalf of, and in the place of every human being who has, is, and will exist. “He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.” (II Cor. 5:15). All that I was, as an old unregenerate man, died on the cross with Jesus.
Where were you and I when Jesus died on the cross? In Christ. When he died, I died. I have been crucified with Christ. “It is no longer I who lives” Those who observe me will see the same exterior person they have always known, but the real me of my spiritual identity has radically changed. When I became a Christ-one in spiritual regeneration, the “old man” (Rom. 6:6) died and now I am a “new man” (Eph. 4:24), a “new creature” in Christ (II Cor. 5:17).
That old identity has been put to death, the life that now functions in me is the life of the Lord Jesus Christ who lives in me. I am a new creature. If any man is in Christ, he's a new creature. The old is passed away and behold all has become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17).
“But Christ lives in me.” My new spiritual identity is formed by the presence of the risen and living Lord Jesus living in my spirit. “If any person does not have the Spirit of Christ, that person is none of His” (Rom. 8:9). I now participate in the mystery of the ages, “which is Christ in me, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27).
This is the bottom line of the gospel – Christ in you. That's what Paul says in Colossians chapter 1 when he says, this is the mystery. “Christ in you, the hope of glory” and Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 13:5 “do you not recognize that Jesus Christ is in you unless you believed in vain.” He speaks of our new spiritual identity which is the spiritual indwelling presence of Jesus living in us “who” now affects our behavior. That's why Paul goes on in the 20th verse and says, “The life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God” I still live as a human being in the flesh. The life by which I live is Christ’s life, and I allow that life to be lived out through me and as me, by faith I live by faith, my receptivity of His activity – in the son of God. I now have the dynamic (the power) to live unto God because I have the presence of the life of Jesus Christ in me and the life which I now live in the flesh in this human body.
Notice: Verse 21 “I do not nullify the grace of God.” There's a double negative there and what happens when you have a double negative? it makes a positive and the positive is Paul says, I live by the grace of God, “By Grace” – the free flow of the activity of God, consistent with his character. That's the Christian life.
He says, “I don't nullify,” I don't set aside the grace of God. It's the legalists that do that. They think that they're going to live the Christian life by what they do and what they think. They're the ones that set aside the grace of God. Paul says, I understand the grace of God and righteousness does not come through the law measuring up to performance standards. He says in verse 21 if your Christian life was based on performance then Christ died needlessly. Why? Because the death of Jesus Christ was absolutely essential to take the death consequences of our unrighteousness so that in His resurrection, He might invest us with His righteousness in us. If legalistic performance do's and dont's can constitute righteousness before God, then the death of Jesus wasn't needed. If man's works can in anyway work righteousness, then the work of Christ is in vain.
In conclusion, listen to how the Message Bible describes these verses: “What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work. So, I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man. Christ’s life showed me how and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that. Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God’s grace. If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily.”
Galatians 2:20 becomes true about you when you receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. At that moment you entered into your death and resurrection with Christ. His death became your death, and His resurrection became your resurrection life. You have been raised to walk in newness of life. Galatians 2:20 is Paul’s invitation for you to experience Life As God Intended today and every day.