Crucified With Christ

         The following is my response to an excellent comment made by a reader and follower of this blog, which can be found after my previous article, The Cost of Grace. I have reprinted it here, as my response has become a post:

         “One of my most frequently-used counseling themes is Galatians 2:20, being crucified with Christ, in combination with Galatians 5:16-end of chapter. If we walk in the spirit, we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. It’s such a powerful passage, and we are without excuse if we really believe that walking in the Spirit will be a walk in the park.

         “I’m thinking of doing Galatians next, after I finish Matthew, but I’m almost afraid to dig into it. I KNOW I’ll be convicted and humbled!”

         Thanks for the comment! Right you are.

         As a possible microcosm of the entire NT, Galatians is like that. As another way to express being crucified with Christ, it is the idea that we learn the right way to do things—HIS way—and then proceed to do the right thing, no matter the cost.

         The Lord Jesus is unique among all teachers of all time in that He not only taught the truth and proper behavior, but demonstrated it as well regardless of cost.

         One may wonder, “Why must there be such a cost?” The answer to that is complex but boils down to the idea of what may be termed a global multi-perspective mindset in which there exists multiple belief systems and methods of “right” living that are often so engrained most people will never depart from them, even after being presented with the real Gospel.

         Hence, the Lord comes along teaching and demonstrating truth and it instantly reveals all the false renditions of truth for what they are. This makes people who hold traditional false viewpoints uncomfortable, convicted, and edgy, but not necessarily so much to do anything about it until a certain mob mentality forms which they can blend into and then strike back.

         When such things are institutionalized and culturalized, it’s attending groupthink attacks the purveyors of truth, often small groups and mere individuals, and perceives them as malcontents and deviants. No one was and is perceived this way more than the Lord Jesus, who is Truth incarnate and also the greatest Prophet who ever lived.

         Being crucified with Christ means in part that a real Christian will willingly suffer attack and persecution just as the Lord did by adopting, believing in, and standing up for His truth against all the various forms of untruth on the planet, but primarily by standing up for Him, loving Him, and being loyal to Him.

         “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.” [Galatians 2:20-21] [1]

         If this can be said about the Law of Moses by a believer and practitioner of the Law of Moses (the apostle Paul), then it can and must certainly be said of all religions and belief systems which oppose the teachings of Jesus, and most especially false forms of Christianity.

         Also, it must be noted that it is impossible to be a real Christian without receiving the actual living presence of the Lord Jesus. This is not some spacey mystical nonsense or religious quackery, as so many unreal Christians prescribe to, but the Lord Himself dwelling within one’s earthly tabernacle in actual spiritual form. Without His presence there will be an impossible row to hoe and it is sad that so many faux believers believe they can live the life commanded by God without God, but instead through religious principles and practices which make one nothing more than a bigger fake than before one’s “conversion.”

         And as always, there is great comfort in numbers. But part of the testing that takes place for real believers will be spending time alone to both defend the truth and stand for it without the benefit of an emboldening surrounding group. Most want no part of such a test and therefore have no way of passing it. The Lord, Paul, and all the early believers were thought to be fools in the eyes of the world. They spent time alone with no apparent defense often betrayed and rejected.

         This does and must go with the territory. If we are to truly stand with the Lord and live according to His Word, He must remove all false props except that which appears as a counter-intuitive prop—the cross.

         © 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

RELATED CONTENT:

Galatians Relations (Part 1)

Galatians Relations (Part 2)

Posted on October 12, 2014, in Current Events and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Well, I’m very honored to have inspired that 🙂

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  2. Did you know, by the way, that our word for extreme pain, “excruciating” pain, comes from the same root word as for crucify, crucifx, cruciform, etc. In other words, the pain that comes out of the cross.

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  3. What you have described is a case of “dilution pollution.” It’s what happens when one strays from a personal encounter with the WORD and chooses instead to accept someone’s or some group of believer’s idea of “right living” that causes the degradation (pollution) of the true gospel.

    Even “Believers” can become carriers of diluted information, (wittingly or unwittingly) infecting those with whom they come in contact. Many miss out on experiencing His indwelling presence, founded on His ultimate work of Love on the Cross. It is a cross we must gladly bear with Christ without wavering….without shirking his mission, without flinching. We must give up all for the sake of Christ Jesus as He gave His all for us.

    Still, there are of course consequences of short-comings that must be “lived out” by Faith in the light of His presence in our life. In the words of the well-known hymn, I’ve Been Crucified with Christ, Nevertheless I Live; Yet Not I But Christ Liveth in Me (From Galatians 2:20). Be Blessed my friend.

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    • Thanks Don. Very well said.

      This diluting of the real Gospel, and even transforming it into other gospels—fake gospels—is truly a spiritual pandemic, and it causes all believers or prospective believers to be all the more careful of being infected with that which appears real and true but is actually as false as the devil is evil.

      The proponents of false gospels work for the devil and worship the devil whether they know it or not or acknowledge it or not, and will fight for him as well if need be. As I said before, one’s first clue regarding such people is their clear violations of the Golden Rule.

      Real Christians understand that carrying one’s cross is an ongoing thing and if done properly it will destroy all spiritual and religious pride, which then makes one immune to the disease of sin and the ever-present false teachings of false gospels. It is why embracing the cross appears counter-intuitive to the non-spiritual mind.

      Such a mind does not understand the cure for deception and instead of crucifying the flesh that makes one a spiritual dunderhead, it embraces and coddles the sinful human nature, and props it up as something pure, good, and right. This, in its most advanced form, results in world-class Phariseeism, which fake Christians have become the best and brightest at rendering.

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  4. “Also, it must be noted that it is impossible to be a real Christian without receiving the actual living presence of the Lord Jesus. This is not some spacey mystical nonsense or religious quackery, as so many unreal Christians prescribe to, but the Lord Himself dwelling within one’s earthly tabernacle in actual spiritual form. Without His presence there will be an impossible row to hoe and it is sad that so many faux believers believe they can live the life commanded by God without God, but instead through religious principles and practices which make one nothing more than a bigger fake than before one’s ‘conversion.'”

    The above paragraph reminds me of what Philip Yancey wrote about Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy in his book THE JESUS I NEVER KNEW. In a nutshell, Yancey wrote that Dostoyevsky understood grace, but Tolstoy didn’t.

    “Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky”
    https://hitchhikeamerica.wordpress.com/2012/09/26/tolstoy-and-dostoyevsky-philip-yancey/

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    • Thanks Tim. Grace can be tricky depending on condition of heart and level of faith. It also makes it harder to understand grace if one is beset by religious dogma et al. The woman who was guilty of adultery was a good test case, in that the Lord decided not to punish her according to the Law, or apparently according to the Law, in that the Law clearly stated a certain procedure but the Lord saw something else. What He saw was a repentant heart. He was the only one in the proper spiritual condition to throw any stones but He instead let her go based on her repentance and His grace, but told her to never do it again, which makes her not doing it again conditional for the current divine undeserved favor she received. To go out and do it again would mean she had no respect for the grace she would need and would not receive it again.

      Liked by 1 person

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