Summary: One of the most beautiful confessions of faith ever made was made by the apostle Paul in Galatians 2:20. Paul encapsulates salvation and our Christian life in one verse.
Crucified with Christ
One of the most beautiful confessions of faith ever made was made by the apostle Paul in Galatians 2:20. Paul encapsulates salvation and our Christian life in one verse. There that zealous servant of Jesus Christ was led of the Holy Spirit to write: "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."
These words were written by God not just so we might understand what he was saying nor even to understand what Paul may have meant, But it was given by the Holy Spirit that you and I might claim it as our own. It is to be ingraved upon our hearts by the Holy Spirit.
For you children of God, if by grace you belong personally to Jesus Christ, these words are not merely letters upon a page. But they are the rejoicing of your heart: "I am crucified with Christ nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me."
Concerning what is written here, Paul is declaring that our righteousness is only by faith in Jesus Christ. Throughout the ages men have said, “If this is true it makes Jesus the teacher of sin.” The objection is this: If men are justified solely by Christ and not by their own works done in harmony with the law, then they will be careless. A Christ who provides complete, indestructible righteousness with God is a Christ who teaches men then to live in sin. To which the apostle Paul, and we with him, respond: "God forbid! That is not so."
Paul says, in verse 19 of Galatians 2, "For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God." That is, through the
law I am shown how my best works are polluted in sin, so that I am dead to the law as a way of salvation, in order that I might be alive unto God.
God’s Word teaches, then, that those who are made righteous by Jesus Christ must also be made alive unto God, that those who are forgiven in the blood are also renewed by the blood. Those who have been given a part in Christ, those who have been forgiven of God and made righteous in His work, must and do live by faith in Him, in a life of thankfulness to the One who has loved and saved them.
And Paul makes this most personal: "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me."
I. Let’s Consider Paul’s Confession:
What Paul is saying is, “When Christ was crucified I was also crucified.” Paul wrote to the church at Rome. “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him,” Here we have some insight on taking up our cross. We are to be dead to this world and to sin and alive unto God.
Jesus Christ was nailed to a cross with spikes suspended between heaven and earth. He said, “If I be lifted up I’ll draw all men to me.”
It was approximately 33 AD. In the town called Jerusalem He underwent a phoney trial and was taken out to a little knoll and there they laid him out on a cruel rugged cross and began to drive huge spikes in his hands and his feet.
The cross was dragged to a hole that had been dug and lifted up and dropped into the hole. The impact would have almost ripped him from the spikes. When the cross was dropped it must have caused pain in every part of his body.
His back was already raw from the beating he had received with the cat o nine tails. The rubbing against the rough lumber would have been excrusiating. His hands and his feet must have screamed with the pain.
He had been awake all night and mistreated by slaps a cruel crown of thorns and a beating that had killed a many man. All of this and then he was crucified. We have a high view of the cross because our Lord died upon it. But in that Paul’s day it was akin to the hanging scaffold or the electric chair.
Paul says, “I am crucified with Christ.” What does he mean? Paul did not feel the pain of the crucifixion. But he is saying in some way
Jesus represented me there. He took my place is what Paul is saying. Most churches have quit preaching about the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ. They declare Christ died for the world but the word teaches me that Christ died for the church.