Gal. 2:20 - I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (KJV)
Many things have been written about this verse on CB and the Christian world. This translation is chosen for a very specific reason. I and we too often speak and think of Christ and the crucifixion in past tense. Something done two thousand years ago allowing us to now consider ourselves dead to sin and alive to righteousness.
The Lord is very specifically making a point of this truth present tense. At this very moment, are we crucified in Christ whatever we are doing or encounter? Is my heart, thoughts, and life given completely to this notion … I am crucified and dead? Resurrected life in relationships, health, finances, or any arena first requires death on Calvary.
My tendency is to avoid at all costs death and pick the path of comfort. Surely God intends His children to have joy, peace, and blessing?
I Pet. 1:5 - 8 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue …knowledge …self-control … perseverance … godliness … brotherly kindness …love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (NJKV)
The Lord distinctly says the business of crucified lives is happening today. The question confronting you and me is it chosen every day, always? How easy to fall prey viewing the holy scripture in past tense. Not so among the persecuted church. They realize any moment prison or death wait.
In communist China, real trust and being heard is only granted in many circles after three years in jail for Jesus. Believers in the former Soviet Union do not speak of persecution because they view it is as common as the sun rising. Men telling wives and children after arrested, if they hear their family was hung for not renouncing faith in Jesus. Their hearts will be extremely pleased.
One man told visiting missionaries their persecuted experience in the USSR was for US churches to worship freely. How do you "wrap your head" around this kind of thinking??? The shame is how unfamiliar this life and thinking is to me. Looking at a song written on this verse, do I believe these true?
- Must die today to be made alive? Not a prayer said years ago with all now well and good.
- The cross of Christ asks no more than can be given? Death and life are by His strength.
- Called to die daily? The mark of a true disciple.
- Hung to the cross is for God's glory and really sets free?
- Glory in the power of the cross, counting all loss?
- Identify with the suffering and death of Christ today. Believing anything less renders it vain?
- Only by His daily resurrection power am I made alive?
Before resurrected life is realized eternally or in any area of life; crucifixion is first required. The question before us; if Christ is worth everything is willingness present to live as though dead today, in all things? Not just words but life and action?
Held to the cross today. Do we believe nailed to Christ's cross is our only way to experience genuine freedom? Is it difficult beyond our ability, absolutely? Jesus said the way is narrow, difficult, and few find. Christ asked the cup to pass from Him but submitted to death to make life possible for all.
God's same empowerment of Jesus which allowed Him willingly to hang on the cross. This power by His Spirit is available for you and me in everything, at all times. We now die to self and Christ lives both in and through us. The crucified life means we truly no longer are our own.
Matt. 16:24, 25 - “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it." (NKJV)
Crucified with Christ - Phillips, Craig & Dean
Attributions: King James Version (KJV) Public Domain
New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 Thomas Nelson
Bold, Emphasis, - Mine