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Monday, June 27, 2011

I am Crucified with Christ


…I am crucified with Christ…

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.  (Gal 2:20 KJV)

(I live by the faith of the Son of God; meaning, not that faith which Christ, as man, had, but that of which he is the author and object, by which the just man lives; not upon it, for the believer does not live upon any of his graces, no, not upon faith, but by faith on Christ, the object; looking to him for pardon, righteousness, peace, joy, comfort, every supply of grace, and eternal salvation: which object is described as "the Son of God"; who is truly God, equal with his Father; so that he did not live upon a creature, or forsake the fountain of living waters, but upon the only begotten Son of God, who is full of grace and truth: of whom he further says, ) [1]

            What is the greatest thing that we as Christians should aspire to?  Is to be the best servant of God we can be?  Is it to become a soul-winner, a preacher, pastor, teacher?  What should be the greatest motivating factor of our walk?  What do you aspire to?  Here in Galatians, Paul gives, in this humble servant’s opinion, the answer to this question, simply, Christ living in me.  When we study the word of God, when we are searching the scriptures for they speak of Him, is it not this that we are truly searching for?  For to me, that is my goal, to be a place where my Lord can lay His head, to be His home.  Now, in all fairness, this is my personal goal.  What yours might be is between the Lord and you.  This is not an attempt to make you seek my vision of what a Christian should be, for as scripture says “…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling…” (Philippians 2:12) [2]  No, rather, the purpose of this exposition , as it is in all of my talks with you, is to present you with a hopefully thought provoking perspective from which to view scripture in.  The best any teacher or expositor of the Word of God can do for anyone is:
·         (1) Rightly divide the word of God  ([2 Timothy 2:15]   Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.) [3]
§         (2)  Impart the whole counsel of the Word of God  ([Acts 20:26-27]  26 Wherefore I testify unto you this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. 27 For I shrank not from declaring unto you the whole counsel of God.) [4]
·         (3)Allow the Word of God and the Holy Spirit to do the work in the hearer’s heart 
(Isaiah 55:11  So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.) [5]

As we approach God’s word, it is for you to decide how what you hear applies to your walk with God.  I hope that what you hear from me is always the Holy Spirit, but let’s be honest.  What I am is a collection of thoughts and perceptions that have been played throughout my life, and whether I like it or not, I will allow some of my biases into whatever I do.  It is because of this that I always couch my words with this caveat: test me, test my words by the Word of God, and by the Holy Spirit.  It is not my intention to mislead or introduce “the gospel according to Dave”.  What I do want is spirited debate and discussion on God’s word.  He gave us a mind with the ability to think and reason.  Yes, sometimes our thoughts and reasons may have been off the hook, but by the grace of God He has changed that, Amen?  This is always a good place to start with any speaker.  God’s word is too precious to trust to anyone’s interpretation other than the Holy Ghost, so always go to Him first; He’ll never let you down.

            So, why teach?  Well for one reason, the subject matter is so compelling:
·         2 Timothy 3:16-17  16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.  [6]

For another reason:


Ephesians 3:17-19  17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. [7]

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s look at Gal 2:20.

Galatians 2:20  20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. [8]

Galatians 2:20 20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I that live, but Christ living in me: and that life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith which is in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me. [9]

Here we have two different versions of the same verse, one from the venerated King James and one from the American Standard.  As in the beginning of this lesson, we saw how John Gill describes this faith:

(I live by the faith of the Son of God; meaning, not that faith which Christ, as man, had, but that of which he is the author and object, by which the just man lives; not upon it, for the believer does not live upon any of his graces, no, not upon faith, but by faith on Christ, the object; looking to him for pardon, righteousness, peace, joy, comfort, every supply of grace, and eternal salvation: which object is described as "the Son of God"; who is truly God, equal with his Father; so that he did not live upon a creature, or forsake the fountain of living waters, but upon the only begotten Son of God, who is full of grace and truth: of whom he further says, ) [10]
 
Gill says this faith that our lives are lived in is not the faith that Christ had, but faith in Christ.  Here is where my job comes in at.  I’m not pretending to be a great theologian or scholar, just somebody who asks a different sort of question:  Why not Christ’s faith?  If truly Jesus Christ is our all in all, if He is truly the author and architect of our salvation, then truly all we have is of Him, by Him, through Him, in Him.  This I have to believe, for what can I add to the work that Christ accomplished on the Cross?  There is absolutely nothing that I bring to the table of my Lord except my decision to believe, and my friends, God gives even this to me!  For it is God who first calls us to follow Him.

Mark 1:14-20  14 Now after John was delivered up, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, 15 and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe in the gospel. 16 And passing along by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net in the sea; for they were fishers. 17 And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. 18 And straightway they left the nets, and followed him. 19 And going on a little further, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the boat mending the nets. 20 And straightway he called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went after him. [11]

And it is only through Christ that we can come to the Father at all:

John 14:6  6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by me. [12]

God’s word says that we do not seek Him:

Isaiah 64:7  And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee; for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us by means of our iniquities. [13]

Hosea 7:7   They are all hot as an oven, and devour their judges; all their kings are fallen: there is none among them that calleth unto me. [14]

Matthew 15:8  8 ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth,  And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. [15]

So how can we get the Lord to draw unto us?

Psalm 145:18 The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. [16]

In truth.  And what is the truth?  That I can do nothing apart from Him, that all good things come from Him:

James 1:17   Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. [17]

Now comes my conclusion (and I speak as a man) that all things come from God, through Christ, by the power of the Holy Ghost.  So whose faith do I live in?  Mine, or Christ’s?  Oh, the wonder of it all!  If we were to look at ourselves as truly having nothing of good derived from anything that we can do or say, if we believe that all things come from Him, then our faith, the faith that we are to exercise, the faith that we grow, the faith that exists within in, the saving faith that we all yearn for- is Christ’s.  What power, what revelation. 
Let me give you another translation of God’s word:

Gal 2:20  When the Messiah was executed on the stake as a criminal, I was too; so that my proud ego no longer lives.  But Messiah lives in me, and the life I now live in my body I live by the same trusting faithfulness that the Son of God had, who loved me and gave himself up for me. [18]

The same faith that Jesus Had…  Can we do that?  Can we live by the same faith of Christ, that all consuming faith that enabled Him to go to the cross, and bear all of mankind’s sins?  The faith of Jesus healed the sick, raised the dead, cast out demons, let Him walk on water…  This faith in and of the Father was what Christ has promised to us, his followers, for He said that:

John 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. [19]

How many Christians today live by this faith, the faith of Christ?  Oh we have faith in Him, but do we have the faith of Him?  This is the question I want to pose to you all today, that we take God out of the box we so like to place Him in and begin to see Christ through different eyes.  He said repeatedly that those who have eyes to see, see!  When we look toward Christ, we must begin to look at Him in all that He said, not just the little things that we feel we can believe in.  Believe in the faith of Christ!  Believe with the faith of Christ!  All that we experience should be through the life that He now lives in us.  It is this belief, that the Son of God actually resides within us that should be our greatest hope, our greatest motivation, our greatest commitment to achieve.  To let the King of Kings have a home within me is to free me from any pathetic attempts on my part to continue to strive in this world.  For if I give the Lord a home to live in, what can’t He accomplish?  It is no longer I that live, but Christ that lives in me, and it is His faith that works the miracles, not mine.  I want Him to be at home in me, to have free rein and accomplish that which He wishes.  The only way I do this, (and speaking here for myself) is to look at God’s word in a different way, to begin to see that the power of His word exists in my yielding to Christ completely and not shackling Him to a finite understanding.  I have to see things in His word like in Gal 2:20, that it is Christ’s faith that carries me through, that it is His life being lived, that I am truly crucified with Him, and it is He, really He that lives, and not me. 

            I pose these questions to you to engage you in a broader view of scripture, not one of your interpretation, or mine, but to see that the Holy Ghost can and will give us the meat we so desire.  All we have to do is open our eyes. 
May God richly bless you this day.


[1] Gill, John  “Exposition on the Whole Bible”, e-sword, ver. 7.77, Ó2000-2005, Rick Myers
[2] Darby, J. N., 1890 Darby Bible, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1995.
[3] The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769.
[4] 1901 American Standard Version, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1994.
[5] The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.
[6] The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769.
[7] The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769.
[8] The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769.
[9] 1901 American Standard Version, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1994.
[10] Gill, John  “Exposition on the Whole Bible”, e-sword, ver. 7.77, Ó2000-2005, Rick Myers
[11] 1901 American Standard Version, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1994.
[12] 1901 American Standard Version, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1994.
[13] 1901 American Standard Version, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1994.
[14] Darby, J. N., 1890 Darby Bible, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1995.
[15] The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.
[16] The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769.
[17] The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769.
[18] Stern, David H., Complete Jewish Bible, Ó1998 by David H. Stern, Jewish New Testament Publications, Inc.
[19] The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769.