Identified or Simply Interested?
I have been crucified with Christ… —Galatians 2:20
The inescapable spiritual need each of us has is the need to sign the death certificate of our sin nature. I must take my emotional opinions and intellectual beliefs and be willing to turn them into a moral verdict against the nature of sin; that is, against any claim I have to my right to myself. Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ….” He did not say, “I have made a determination to imitate Jesus Christ,” or, “I will really make an effort to follow Him” —but— “I have been identified with Him in His death.” Once I reach this moral decision and act on it, all that Christ accomplished for me on the Cross is accomplished in me. My unrestrained commitment of myself to God gives the Holy Spirit the opportunity to grant to me the holiness of Jesus Christ.
“…it is no longer I who live….” My individuality remains, but my primary motivation for living and the nature that rules me are radically changed. I have the same human body, but the old satanic right to myself has been destroyed.
“…and the life which I now live in the flesh,” not the life which I long to live or even pray that I live, but the life I now live in my mortal flesh— the life which others can see, “I live by faith in the Son of God….” This faith was not Paul’s own faith in Jesus Christ, but the faith the Son God had given to him (see Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,). It is no longer a faith in faith, but a faith that transcends all imaginable limits— a faith that comes only from the Son of God.
Ed added I find it sad that Satan has deceived so many to miss the significance of the word "been" crucified. For all true disciples it has already happened! Having my sin nature to death (no longer a slave to sin) and being given the gift of Their agape nature to dwell in my mortal body via the gift of the Holy Spirit is gives me the absolute power to stop sinning right now. How many professing Christians have been deceived into believing that is impossible while still here.
Make no mistake I am not saying as disciples we cannot put our old man back on (move away from the light) and sin. But scripture (1John2:10, 2Peter1:10)makes it absolutely clear that if we are agape loving God, Jesus Christ and our fellow brothers and sisters there is nothing in us that will cause us to stumble(sin).