“I have been crucified with Christ.
It is no longer I who live, but Christ
who lives in me. And the life I now live
in the flesh I live by faith in the
Son of God, who loved me
and gave himself for me.”
“I have been crucified with Christ….” Past tense, meaning it is already an accomplished fact. But many followers/believers try to crucify themselves through “Dying daily” and constantly battling impulses and unholy desires by pretending they are dead to them, working to be crucified with Christ. The harder a person tries, the more they fall in frustration and shame.
Lynn Hiles in Unforced Rhythms of Grace says, “In the new covenant Jesus did not die so I would not have to. He died because I did have to. He was God’s method of getting rid of who I was in Adam. He did not just die for me, he died as me! I was crucified with Christ. If I will feed on this Lamb and His death, it will empower me to leave all of the bondage of Egypt behind me.”
If your version of gospel, religion, or Christianity is exhausting and keeps you in perpetual bondage…. it’s not right. Jesus died to complete our salvation. Our part in the equation is faith in what Christ has already done. Faith in the finished work of Christ flows us into rivers of love, communion, baptism, and self-control. Those sacraments do not get degraded into a humanistic checklist, but an opportunity to know God through worship that comes naturally because of the love God has shown us.
God did everything necessary to save you completely. Richard Smith rightly proclaimed to me in a sweltering cab ride up the mountains of Nepal, “Aaron, the gospel is Jesus plus nothing!” Let your life and faith flow from the finished work of God. Jesus was crucified for you to live.
By Aaron F. Jeffers