“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.” (Gal. 2:20)
This is a very popular verse among preachers and Bible class teachers. It may even be one of your personal favorites, it is one of mine. Let’s consider its parts or steps one at a time, keeping in mind the previous verse which set the stage for this one. Paul will in verse 20 explain how he died to the law so that he could live to God.
- “I have been crucified with Christ.” Paul is undertaking an explanation of the true gospel’s transforming power. In speaking of the death to the cross he is also explaining how the new birth, which is key to the true gospel takes place. It begins with crucifixion, a form of death suffered by Jesus. This death is a self-death, just as Jesus gave up his own life on the tree. In order to be born again, we must first die. To be saved by Jesus’s gospel, we must have the old man of sin nailed to our cross, sharing in the crucifixion of our savior, experiencing a new birth. In order to be born again, we must first die. We must have the old man of sin nailed to our cross as we share in Jesus’s crucifixion.
- “It is no longer I that live.” In the act of being crucified, the Christian kills the old man of fleshly desire and life control. That old man of sin is no more, he is now dead. But something must take the old man’s place. Empty spaces must be filled as Jesus once pointed out to the disciples after casting out a demon. Paul is recognizing that his crucifixion removed the evil and he could not stay empty. Something had to move in to live where once the old man of sin lived. That someone is Jesus and when we release the old man through death, Jesus takes his place and we become new in Him.
- “But Christ who lives in me.” The old man of sin is gone, crucified but a new man comes in its place. That new man is Jesus. In the old state, Paul is a man of sin but in Jesus, he is the new man of life in Christ. That old man is gone. The lost man is gone. The man under Adam’s penalty of sin is gone. Paul is now a new person, completely different because he is filled with Jesus and the Holy Spirit of God. Paul is new in every sense of the word. He was of the old Adam, now he is of the new Adam. The old Adam brought death, the new Adam brings life.
Task for Today: First, we have to determine our state of existence as we are either living under the first Adam or the second. We either are dead in sin or dead from sin. That is important to know. Have you been crucified with Christ? Did you also die on the cross of self? Did you willingly go to death as Jesus did? Secondly, are you still living or is Christ living in you? That you can determine by the way you walk and talk. Are you walking and talking like the old man of sin or the new man of grace? When you died to sin were you buried into the death of Jesus? When you were immersed in the water of baptism you buried the old man then and there. When you came out of the water you were resurrected to new life, the new man in Jesus. This baptism had nothing to do with outward cleansing. It had everything to do with a soul cleansing by the blood of the Lamb. If you have died and been buried and now walk in newness of life are you conscious that Jesus is living in you, directing your walk. He is your light to walk by. All things are made new in Jesus.