A Christian is “crucified” with Christ—yet by Him we’re able to live! Being crucified with Christ means more than simply dying with Him. It means that, in a spiritual way, we now imitate His death ourself. A special reference to His cross is involved here. Christ bore our sins in His body on the cross, where He destroyed our sins, putting an end to them. The result is that the world is now crucified unto us, and we’re crucified unto the world. Christ now lives in, controls and gives life to our life, because He’s our crucified, risen Redeemer—the resurrection and the life!
But the old natural man in us isn’t what now lives. It’s not the aspect of our human personality which comes from the earth. It’s the aspect now formed in us by Christ’s Spirit. Christ isn’t just the One who creates and maintains spiritual life—He’s the life itself. We’ve set our old life aside, and He has now been formed in our soul and lives in our heart. Life and holiness have been planted into us. We have therefore been brought to new life. And, due to the Spirit of Christ operating in us, it has become like Him.
We didn’t accomplish this by ourselves, but by the Holy Spirit. God created man to be a place His Spirit can live in. Our new holy life and behavior didn’t come about from what we ourselves perform. It isn’t correct to say that it’s ourself, since the way we act no longer follows the way we naturally lean. Our new life and conduct have brought us change and rejuvenation, so that we’ve become a new creature. They’ve also brought forth new longings and tendencies in us. So we can now live spiritually. We’re no longer the person we were before—we’ve been turned into a “new man,” a new creation in Christ! (“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17). The new man we’ve become now lives by faith in Christ, looking to Him for everything.
We want to walk with Christ in a new life, with God’s law (the Ten Commandments) etched right on our heart, not on tablets of stone. We’ve been shown, by Christ’s death on the cross, that following the law doesn’t provide any hope of being saved. It isn’t the law that gives life—the law takes it away. Law can’t live inside us to give us the life of God. It’s true that Christ both lives and moves in those believing in Him, but we also now live and move, not as a person aware of ourself, but “in Him.” We’re dead to the law, yet we’re living to God!
We have become able to kill the urging of sin inside us through the power of the Cross and what goes with it. We can bring it all to an inactive state resembling death. We don’t live to our old corrupt nature anymore, since we’re now dead to sin, which has therefore lost the power to condemn us. We’re able to live in a new manner that’s more authentic than we ever were able to in the past.
Now Christ lives in us, and has become the soul of our soul enabling us to live to God. The faith of God’s Son has given us this new life when we believe He was our sacrifice for sin. This doesn’t pertain to spiritual things we’ve brought about on our own, or our natural life—it concerns Christ, who has come to live inside of us. It’s our faith in Christ that ties our soul to Him. We are now capable of living a righteous life that isn’t of ourself, but of Him.
Our natural mortal life in this world continues on. But it’s currently as an earthen vessel holding the heavenly treasure of the life of Christ. We’re flesh of His flesh and bone of His bone. He now lives in us and has transfigured our body into a temple of the Holy Spirit. We receive from Him all the spiritual food necessary to our body. By His Spirit, we’ve been combined into one in Him, and no longer exist separate from Him anymore. Life from Christ is now able to flow into the most distant reaches of our soul, where all our actions, words and personality come from. Since we’ve been united to Him, we’ve become one with Him. All our living principles and actions spring from Him, along with all the comforts and intimate fellowship of life in the Spirit. So complete was the Apostle Paul’s identification with Christ, that his own personality became one with Christ’s personality, like the union of the vine and branch. (“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me.” John 15:4).
“I am crucified with Christ” (Galatians 2:20). What is a true Christian life? Christ living inside us while we live in Him. It only takes an act of simple faith in Him to continue to be united with Him. When we walk day by day as a true child of God, we’re not living the Christian life at all if we’re still following any other kind of life. The life we are to be living and enjoying right now is only in and through Him. And, because of our union with Him, we can expect glory in the future!