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.
In writing this verse Paul is stating what should be true in the life of all believers. This should not be seen as an unattainable hope, but as the norm of all Christians. This is not something to strive for but something that we should accept in essence, but the life that is lived by most believers is not the life that God wants us to live. The Christian life should be a crucified life – until it is no longer I – but Christ.
To have Christ living in me and I in Him is what the Christian life is all about. It is a mirror of the life that flows between the Lord Jesus Christ and the Father, Just as You are in Me and I am in You, were the words that fell from His lips. We are to be in the same union with Christ as Jesus is with His heavenly Father.
Many see this as heady heights of Christianity – reserved for the very few. Yet in fact, this is the normal life that the Spirit desires that all believers attain. This is the standard Christian life, that Paul outlines in so many of his epistles. It is not the high level of Christianity, but the only level that we should all reach.
Christ went to the cross not only to die for our sins – but to die unto SIN. His blood not only to paid the price FOR sin but it also broke the power OF sin in us. Many do not appreciate that Christ’s cross dealt with more than forgiven sins. The shed blood of Christ also gave us victory over the power of sin in our life,
Because we are the progeny of fallen Adam, we are imputed with his sin nature, we were 'in Adam' when he sinned, and so his sin nature is credited to all humanity. Adam passed on the old sin nature to every subsequent member of the human race.
As born-again believers, the death of Christ broke the power of sin in our lives. We were 'in Christ' when He died and so His righteousness is imputed to us. Christ not only paid the price for our sins but He also broke sin’s power within our life.
Christ died FOR us – He died as our substitute – He paid the full price for all our sins. We died WITH Christ – we are identified with Him – He broke the power of sin in us. Substitutionary truths are linked with our birth from above – we are saved by grace. Identification truths are linked with growth in the Christian life – we grow by grace.
When Christ died as our substitute – it was by grace. All we had to do was believe. Our identification with Christ is also by grace – and all we have to do is believe it. God has so designed salvation that it had nothing to do with our merit or works. We are saved by grace, which is the gift of God – and all we do is believe. Our Christian life is also designed such that our works can contribute nothing. We are to live by grace, as a gift of God – and we simply believe it to be true.
Christ died instead of us for our forgiveness – He lives instead of us for our deliverance. When we start to see the significance of the fuller cross – it produces liberty in life. Because Christ died as the willing victim – death has no more dominion over Him. Because our identification is with Christ – sin shall no more have dominion over us. 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.
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