When a person puts their faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation that person spiritually participates in the Lord Jesus’ crucifixion and His victory over sin and death. Paul makes this very clear in Galatians 2 when he writes, “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 delivered Himself up for me,” (v.20 NASB). In this passage, Paul is talking about our sanctification. Our sanctification is the growth in holiness which is the responsibility of every person who has been declared righteous by the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. The word “crucified” in the Greek language is in perfect tense, which denotes a past completed action that leaves a present finished result. This fleshy life is not all that I am if I am a child of God. Paul uses the word “crucified” to show his identity with Jesus at the cross that is now a past fact. The spiritual benefits are now a present reality in Paul’s life. This is also true for anyone who is truly been born again by the Spirit of God. The question that we ask is are we living this reality of having been crucified with Christ and allowing Christ to live through us? The old self has been crucified with Jesus and we no longer owe it any allegiance. We have died to the penalty of the law which should also lead to the death of self as the dominating control of our old nature. The old nature had its power broken by the cross of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit now indwells us.
As a result of what Jesus Christ has done for us, we are no longer to live a self-centered life, but rather a new life of service through the Lord Jesus Christ. Our salvation is brought about by our identification with Christ and the new life that results from knowing Him and following Him. I attended an excellent seminar this past week at Keswick entitled, “Grace or Race”. The speaker, who was an African-American pastor from outside of Camden, shared that as children of God we should not be defining our identity by our race, but rather by the grace of having been born again into God’s family. It is when we lose our identity in the Lord Jesus Christ that we actually see how God is able to take even bad things in our lives or maybe in our history to bring about new life and salvation. When we identify with Christ, we become involved in living for Jesus. The speaker shared that anything outside of our identity in Christ is a distraction. He encouraged us to “just walk in grace and not to walk as Christian victims, but to walk as Christian victors”.
Part of the reason I believe we have so much gender dysfunction and so much racial tension today is that our world and even Christians have lost view of what it means to be a child of God, redeemed through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Many people identify themselves as Democrats or Republicans, but as Christians, the only true identity that we should have is as a child of God. Those who put their trust in Joe Biden or Donald Trump are going to be seriously disappointed. We should not be seeking to win arguments, but rather to win souls. Once we find our true identity in Christ, He can set us free from all those things that would be distractions that would keep us from fully serving Him out of a heart of love and grace. The manifestation of Christ’s love as seen on the cross should show us and direct us how we can more fully serve the Lord Jesus in a world that deeply needs Him. Won’t you join me in finding your identity and fellowship in the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ?
Serving the King,
Pastor Rich Sivo