Summary: Paul wrote to the Roman believers that they needed to be crucified with Christ. We today must also experience this crucifixion of self will, and sinful desires.
The Road to Being Crucified with Christ
Context: Romans 6:1-23
Text: Romans 6:5-8
In this passage, Paul is instructing the Christians at Rome into a deeper walk with God. In verses 5-8 he tells them that in the Christian life there comes a time when each person must follow Christ and be crucified with Him. He is speaking of a time when each believer must become dead to sinful and selfish desires.
If we are to pattern our lives after Christ we must follow Him down that road to the cross and be crucified. Committed sins were forgiven at the time of Salvation. But Paul is speaking here of the nature of sin that we were born with. Here he calls it the “old man.” It is also referred to as the carnal nature of sin. That is the part of us that must be crucified with Christ.
Let us examine carefully to road that Jesus followed to His death. This is the road after which Paul is telling us we need to pattern our crucifixion of the carnal flesh.
1. A willingness to forgive others. (Luke 23:34) Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” He was taking on our sins and the sins of the whole world. In our case we are putting off our sins and transferring them over to Christ. Jesus cried out “Father forgive them” in reference to his enemies who had nailed Him to the cross. The first step we must take is to confess to God any unforgiveness that may be lurking in the heart. We must confess to God any hidden attitudes of our heart.
2. A willingness to witness. As Jesus hung on the cross, he expressed His love and offered His salvation to the dying thief at his side. He witnessed to him in two ways.
a. His calmness in adverse circumstances
b. His words
We must be willing to share God’s love in both of these ways to a lost world.
3. There was a willingness to sever all human ties.
As he hung there on the cross, he remembered his mother. He had the power to come down from the cross and could have done so for the sake of His mother. Instead he placed the beloved disciple in charge of her care.
At the time of our crucifixion we must have be willing to serve God no matter what our family thinks or does. We must be willing to go alone if our best friends will not follow along. Jesus said, “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:37)
Any resistance to complete obedience to God must be nailed to the cross and die.
4. A realization of the darkness and wickedness of all sin.
As Jesus hung on the cross the sky became dark for three hours. All the sins of the world were being laid upon Him at this time. At the end of the three hours he expressed the separation He felt from the father as a result of these sins. He cried out “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” He experienced the weight of the sins of the whole world and the separation from God that results from sin.
In order for us to be crucified with Christ, we must see sin as God sees it. No sin is acceptable in God’s sight. In his book, The Holy Way, Dale Yocum says, “If we are truly to hunger and thirst after righteousness, we must have a vision of the darkness of sin.”
5. A cry of thirst. Jesus cried out for thirst as He hung on the cross. In Matthew 5:6 Jesus said, “Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.” The seeker after God must have an unquenchable thirst after His righteousness. Again quoting Dale Yocum, “If one is to possess the righteousness of Christ, he must have such desire of heart that he is willing to surrender every lesser treasure for this supreme one. No casual or passing interest will suffice!”
6. The conclusion of human struggle. Jesus willfully laid down His life for our salvation. Unlike the criminals of the day who were crucified, Jesus’ death was a victorious moment for him. As he was dying, he gathered his strength and declared, “It is finished!” This was the end of the struggle. He had successfully passed through the garden, the mocking, the whipping, the torture. Now he was finished with the struggle. He had completed the will of the Father. He had accomplished His purpose in coming to the world. “He had been terrified and exhausted, assaulted and bemeaned, forsaken and ridiculed, but He had not failed! He had reached the journey’s end!” The seeker after God must come to this same place—the place where the struggle with self is over. This is the place where we know we have done everything God has asked of us. We have surrendered to him our lives, will, family, possessions—everything we claim as our own. Here the struggle is over.