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Yet Not I, But Christ
By David A. DePra
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives 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)
When you read this passage from Galatians, does it ever make you wonder why most Christians have no clue as to what Paul is talking about? Paul is talking about Jesus Christ living in and through him. He is talking about living by the faith OF not merely by faith IN the Son of God. Christianity is CHRIST IN US, the hope of glory. This passage describes what ought to be happening because Christ is in us. It is a description of the Truth that stands behind living in Christ.
Obviously, God wants for every believer what Paul experienced. So what is the key? Paul gives the key. He tells us right up front what makes the experience in Christ described in this verse possible. He says, "I am crucified with Christ."
You will note that Paul did NOT say that Christ was crucified FOR him. Paul knew that and taught that. Indeed, what Paul does teach in this verse is based on it. Paul is describing the impact that Christ crucified FOR us ought to have UPON us: We have to now be crucified WITH Christ.
But how? We know that if we are saved that in a very real sense we have been crucified with Christ. But Paul is talking about the reality of that being worked out. He says, "The life that I now live ." There has to be a way in which all of this Truth is translated into LIFE LIVED. Or, to put it another way, if we have Christ in us, then what does it take in order for Christ to be living in us and through us? Paul says the starting place is, "I am crucified with Christ."
Justification by Faith
One of the great Truths of the Christian faith is, "Justification by faith." This Truth states that if we put our faith in Christ, then all of His righteousness is IMPUTED to us. And all of our sin is IMPUTED to Him. This doctrine is based on the death of Christ which PAID for all sin. This is wonderful. But if you examine just that much, and ONLY that much, it speaks only of the LEGAL aspect of the Truth. This alone does nothing to put Christ IN ME, let alone make it possible for Christ to live through me.
It is a fact that if God merely IMPUTED to us the righteousness of Christ if that is ALL that He does for our salvation that this alone does nothing to change us. Yes, it takes away the penalty FOR sin, but it does nothing to deliver us from SIN ITSELF. And as mentioned, it certainly does nothing to give us NEW LIFE IN CHRIST. If all there is to salvation is a legal justification by faith, then God has imputed a legal righteousness to those who have no possibility of righteousness in them. Something is wrong here.
Now, dont misunderstand. We do NOT have any righteousness in us. But what Im saying is that if we limit salvation to merely a legal imputation of righteousness then even AFTER we are saved, and even AFTER we are legally declared righteous, we would still have NO righteous in us. That puts God in the position of declaring righteous those who are no more righteous after salvation than they were before He declared them as such. This would mean God is lying. He is calling righteous those who are NOT.
Of course, someone is liable to say that even after salvation even after God declares us righteous that we are not righteous in ourselves. That is it is all BECAUSE of Christ that any of this is possible. Sure. I know that. But really, this leads me to the whole point. Salvation in the Bible is NOT limited to a legal imputation of righteousness unto those who believe. Indeed, there is a greater reality BEHIND why God is able to justly declare those who believe to be righteous. The reason God is able to justly and truthfully declare you and I righteous is because Christianity is Christ in us we have Righteousness Himself dwelling IN US.
What I am saying is that, yes, God IMPUTES to us the righteousness of Christ. But the reason He is able to justly do so is because He IMPARTS to us Christ Himself. Christ in us is OUR righteousness. He is the only righteousness we have. So you see, God is actually telling the Truth. When He declares us righteous, it is more than a legal classification. It is a living reality. Christ is in us. He is righteous. And we are baptized INTO Him. Thus, we are imparted with His righteousness.
I am not yet talking about sanctification or living the Christian life. I am simply stating the fact that Gods legal imputation of the righteousness of Christ is based upon the living impartation of Christ Himself. Paul was very clear that any righteousness he had was that of Jesus Christ. He was very clear that any LIFE he had was the life of Christ. This is why he said, "Yet not I, but Christ." We might expand that to say, "Yet not our righteousness, but Christs righteousness." We have LIFE IN HIM and in His life is His righteousness. This is more than legal. It is the definition of what it means to be a new creation in Christ Jesus. We are ONE with Him in spirit and thus, all that He is has been both imputed and imparted to us.
So we see that, "justification by faith," is more than just a legal justification. But we also see that this requires more than just a legal faith. It is easy to academically place your faith in a doctrine or in a fact. It is easy to say, "I believe God has declared me righteous." But it is much more to say, as Paul said, "Christ lives in me, and the life that I know live I live by the faith of the Son of God." Christianity is a life lived from out of Christ. This requires a living and on-going faith in Christ NOW.
Faith Solely in Christ
As noted, Galatians 2:20 has a starting place. That place is, "I am crucified with Christ." But from a practical standpoint, what this requires is faith that is solely in Christ and in nothing else. It requires, as is taught all through Galatians, that all faith in ourselves, in our working, in our works, and in our righteousness, be crucified. This is the work of the Cross. And it is, in large part, what Paul means when he says, "I am crucified with Christ." Paul is saying, "Everything about me that I might have used to work righteousness must die in Christ crucified."
I realize that we are all in some process of learning faith. But despite the diluted faith that we all seem to have, the goal of God is clear: Faith that is solely upon Christ. This is what makes Galatians 2:20 possible, and it is really what makes possible all that God has for us in Christ. It is therefore what God is seeking to bring to pass in our experience that our entire faith might be entirely in Christ.
Perhaps the most fundamental Christian Truth is the one that states that upon CHRIST ALONE do we stand before God. Many Christians will tell you that this is the Truth, and they would be right. But as is the case so often, once we have the Truth settled, the question then becomes, "Do we believe it?"
What does it mean to BELIEVE or, in this case, what does it mean to believe that in Christ alone we stand before God? Well, certainly we must start by believing it as a fact. We must see and believe that this Truth is found in the Bible. But that is only the beginning. From that point, God wants to take this Truth God wants to take every Truth and bring us into conformity with it. He wants it to live in us, and He wants us to live in it. Or, to put it another way, God wants to take the Truth and MAKE US TRUE. If God does that, then we will be walking in absolute fellowship and harmony with Him in THE LIGHT.
Now, of course, all of this is really just another way of saying that God wants us to see and know Jesus Christ. And then, He wants Christ to live through us. If you think about that, to see and know Jesus would equal seeing and knowing the Truth as it pertains to all things in this life. And to have Christ live through you would absolutely require that you be TRUE TO GOD so that the life of Christ Christ is the Living Truth so that the life of Christ could be manifested through your will and your conduct.
Paul said, "Nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ lives through me." (Gal. 2:20) Well, Christ never lives through us by, "by-passing," our will. No. But this presents a big problem. Christ lives only TRUTH. Yet there is so much about us that is UNTRUE that is not according to the Truth. Therefore, if Christ is to live THROUGH US, we must KNOW the Truth and yes, this is a progressive unfolding of Christ to us and then, once we begin to know the Truth, we must embrace it and be MADE TRUE by the Truth. That is the only way in which the Christ who dwells in us can live through us.
How does this happen? Paul tells us how in the same verse. He says, "I am crucified with Christ." There it is. It is only through the work of the Cross that the way in paved in us for Christ to be able to live through us. But again we are not obliterated. Rather, we are MADE TRUE to God. Thus, the Truth Himself has a vessel through whom to live a vessel that voluntarily moves with Christ. This is freedom.
What is the work of the Cross in all of this? The Cross crucifies the SELF and all of the control of the flesh and because of this, the resurrection life of Jesus Christ is able to be released and manifested. Not to the disregard of us. Not through any kind of by-passing of us. No. If we have come under the work of the Cross we will be one with the purpose of God in Christ. Christ can then live through us because there is no SELF trying to control God for our own interests.
Now, it might seem to be TOO simple a thought, but fundamental to all of this is the work of God to bring us to where we stand upon CHRIST ALONE. Not just for salvation. But for everything. We have to come to the place where our entire relationship with God is governed by CHRIST CRUCIFIED to where we no longer reference ourselves, but only Christ. As simple as this is to say, it is perhaps the most difficult thing to come to in the Christian experience.
The Work of the Cross
I used to wonder, and despair, because I would continually ask God to help me believe and obey Him, and yet, it seemed that I was getting WORSE, and not better. It seemed like every time I would cry out to God for power to obey, and for freedom from the flesh, that it would not be long before I would find myself in a situation that would simply make everything WORSE. I could not handle it. Bad stuff was coming to the surface. God was not helping me obey or so I thought. He was letting things get worse! It is when things like this happen that we begin to doubt our own Christianity. How can we be such terrible creatures and call ourselves by the name of Christ?
Make no question about it. In all of these prayers, I was sincere. I did want to obey God. But in retrospect, I see something now that I did not see then. Just this: Most of my prayers, as sincere as they were, were based in ignorance and unbelief. Does that shock you? How could prayer to God for help in obedience come from unbelief? Furthermore, why wouldnt God answer a request for help to obey Him? What is wrong with that? If God is so willing to help, and the work of the Cross is finished, then why is this stuff so hard?
My prayers were based in a basic unbelief for a couple of reasons. First, wanted help to obey God mostly so that I could stop feeling guilty and condemned over my failures to obey. Condemnation, guilt, and fear had run my life. I wanted to be free of these. So, in effect, I was praying that God would help me obey so that I would no longer feel guilty for failing to obey. Seemed right to me. But it wasnt right. Why? Because my guilt and condemnation were the result, not of disobedience, but of UNBELIEF. I was not putting my faith in Christ crucified. I was putting my faith in my works. Thus, the solution to my condemnation was not better works with the help of God. Rather, the solution was FAITH in the finished work of Christ.
There were other wrong motives, too. For example, I wanted God to bless my life, and I was certain that the only way that this was going to happen was if I broke through into some kind of high spiritual place. So I prayed that God would help me live righteously so that He could then bless the fact that I was doing so. Again this sounded right. But it was based in error and unbelief. My faith was not in Christ crucified. It was in my works. So I prayed that God would empower me to do BETTER works, because then, I thought, I would have greater faith. All upside down. God is never going to help us have faith in the wrong object. My faith needed to be in Christ alone.
Now, God is faithful. So while He is not going to affirm error, and help us continue on in ignorance and unbelief, He will use everything He can to bring us to see the Truth. And what is the Truth? The Truth is, and was in my case, that there is no righteousness in any of us. So God lets us continue on in our error to where this is absolutely proven to us, and in us. He will allow us to utterly fail in our attempts to be good through works. Indeed, rather than answer our pleas for help to obey Him, God will allow situations that will bring out the worst in us. He has to prove to us the TRUTH that our faith has been in the wrong place in our works and it must be solely in Christ crucified.
You see, this is what it means to come under the work of the Cross. It is what it means to be MADE TRUE unto God. This is NOT a matter of learning doctrine or of practicing religion. No. It is a matter of seeing and being conformed to THE TRUTH. And what IS the Truth? The Truth is, our faith has been in our own righteousness. But the Truth is also that we have no righteousness. Thus, in order for God to reveal to us the Truth in a way that will MAKE US TRUE, He must allow the Truth to be proved out IN US by experience. He must allow our own righteousness to be exposed for what it is: A lie. He must show us that we have been putting our faith in a lie. It would seem that it is only then that most of us will be set free to put our faith SOLELY in Christ crucified.
What this tells us is that if we are crying out to God for help, and yet seem to be getting worse, that this is the work of the Cross. It is the work of the Cross to get us to stop putting our faith in ourselves, and to begin putting it in Christ. This is so simple. Yet faith in self is so ingrained in us that few of us have any idea as to just how deeply we are in bondage to it.
If we wanted to summarize the work of the Cross in a sentence as it pertains to the Christian life the work of the Cross is to bring us to the end of self-ownership. Self-trust, self-rule, and self-ownership are all the same thing these are terms that describe THE FLESH. But for most Christian people, the flesh is not some immoral power. Rather, it is quite religious. The most common, "work of the flesh," at work in Christian lives is that of FAITH IN SELF. Faith in our works faith in our own working to produce something that pleases God. Self-righteousness. Self-trust. These are not of God. They are a primary work of the flesh. And God will bring the Cross to set us free from them.
Self-righteousness, or faith in my own working, is the result of not seeing the Truth, or is the result of seeing it, but rather trusting in myself instead of in Christ. But self-righteousness is A LIE. It comes from the UNTRUTH that is in us. The only way, therefore, that God can deal with it is to expose it for the LIE that it is He must allow us to fail. He must allow us to be exposed. And if we will see and confess the Truth about ourselves as being totally unrighteous, and confess the unbelief of putting our faith in ourselves, we will then be able to see and understand what it means to stand solely by faith in Christ crucified.
The Righteousness of God
God cannot help us obey Him for the reasons I mentioned earlier. He cannot help us obey Him so we can escape guilt. He cannot help us obey Him so that we can earn His blessing. Why? Because God cannot affirm a lie. He cannot help our unbelief.
It may come as a shock to most Christians, but it is possible to want to obey God indeed, to even perform some obedience but to do it in UNBELIEF, rather than in FAITH. Many of us want to obey God, not as the outcome of faith in Christ crucified, but because of a lack of faith in Christ. Our faith is in our works, and so we ask God to help us obey to help us strengthen our faith in our works. God wont do it. He cannot do it. He cannot affirm our path of unbelief.
What God can do, and He is faithful to do so despite our ignorance, is to show us Jesus Christ. Then we will see that our guilt is present not because of bad works but because our faith is not in Christ. Blessing eludes us not because of bad works -- but because our faith was not in Christ. In other words, we may have been asking God to make US righteous so that our faith could be in our own righteousness all the more. But God has to show us that the only true faith that is possible can be in the only Righteous One.
Of course, everything I am describing is exactly what Paul teaches in Romans and Galatians. To put faith in ones own works is exactly what it means, "to be under the law." It is what it means to try to establish, "righteousness by the law." The law by which we try to establish our own righteousness may actually be ANY law or principle. It may be an actual point of law found in the Bible, or it may be a man made law of the heart or mind. Yet the issue here is not whether the law in question is a good one. The issue is one of FAITH. Is my faith in my obedience? Or is it in Christ fully independent of my obedience, or failure to obey.
Note what Paul said about it:
Now we know that what things the law says, it says to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Rom 3:19-23)
The effect of the law is that, "every mouth may be stopped." Stopped saying what? That every mouth may be stopped talking about our own righteousness! The law will expose us as hopeless sinners. That will shut our mouth. But why God allow the law to expose all of our unrighteousness? Because Christian doctrine says it should? No. Because it is the TRUTH! We have no righteousness. Our failure to keep the law simply exposes what has been the Truth from the sin of Adam in each one of us.
I said earlier that God will allow, indeed create, situations that will bring out the worst in us that God may do this even as we pray for help to obey Him! Sure. If we really want God to show us the Truth, indeed, set us free by that Truth, then this is what He MUST do to answer us. God is simply showing us the Truth that we have no righteousness. He has always known that, and has told us that in His written Word. But often God must put us in situations that prove to us, and PROVE IN US, the very Truth that is in His Word.
It is when God exposes the lie of our self-righteousness it is then that we begin to see the LIE of our faith in it. And if we are honest, and willing, and really do want the Truth it is then that we will see the Truth of Jesus Christ as our only righteousness. Faith solely upon Christ crucified then becomes simply. It would seem that it is only when we are completely defeated as to our own righteousness that we finally do see that what God has said from the beginning is really the Truth!
Note that Paul also says that there is a righteousness of God that exists APART from or independent of any law. It is the righteous who is a Person, Jesus Christ. I would submit that if the righteousness of Christ is independent of all law, then our faith IN HIM must be independent of any law-keeping. That is what Paul is teaching.
Religion vs. Reality
To most Christians, "faith," and, "righteousness," and, "Christ crucified," are merely doctrines. Many of us assume that if we learn these doctrines from the Bible, and believe them, that we have it. Well, despite the fact that we must learn and believe the doctrines of the Bible, they are but sign posts. In effect, the doctrines of the Bible tell us what we ought to believe and experience. They are not to be substituted for the Person in whom we are to place our faith.
It is possible to place your faith in a doctrine that tells about Christ, but to not have much faith in Christ Himself. It is possible to learn much doctrine, but to never learn Christ. It is possible to learn doctrine Truth, but never to actually BE MADE TRUE. I am talking here about the difference between religion and reality.
If there is one thing that will get us to stop putting our faith in our religion of Christianity, and to start putting it in Christ crucified, it is the work of the Cross. The work of the Cross will expose, destroy, and dismantle all of our own religious working. It will bring us to the place where we see the TRUTH that there is absolutely NOTHING in any of us that is righteous. There is nothing in us that can produce life. The work of the Cross, if we will yield to God, will expose us as the untrue creatures that we are before God.
If that was the end of what God intends, it would be a sad ending. But it is not the end. The work of the Cross is all unto freedom and life. God exposes us as the failures that we are in order to show us where are faith ought to be in Christ alone. He shows us as the untrue creatures that we are so that we might live in the Truth of His Son. If you want to know what it really means to BE MADE TRUE, it is found right here. It is not a matter of God making ME better. It is a matter of ME giving all of that up and losing it in Christ. I am made true to God when I live in the Truth that Christ is all and I am happily nothing.
Power in Christ
Christians talk much about POWER these days. We talk about the POWER of the Holy Spirit to work miracles, or to heal, or to do mighty works. Yet there is very little talk about the POWER OF THE CROSS. There is not much talk about, "Christ, the power of God." (I Cor. 1:24)
In fact, there are whole segments of the Body of Christ today that will tell you that POWER is a thing that God gives you presumably to do things FOR HIM. People talk about, "power to serve," etc. But this is not the focus in scripture. In scripture, the power that God gives is stated clearly. It is, "power to become MY witnesses," said Jesus. In the end, it all comes down to that. It is about BECOMING, and not so much about DOING.
And yet even BECOMING is often misunderstood. Most of us think this means that God is going to act upon us and turn us into specimens that will glorify Him. Sometimes we say this means God will make us LIKE Jesus. Not so.
Paul said in Galatians 2:20, "Yet not I, but Christ lives in me." Get that. It is not US, it is Christ. Ive already point out that this does NOT mean that we are out of the picture. It does NOT mean Christ somehow lives through us whether we like it or not, sort of as if He, "takes us over," or something. But it is clear that when says, "Yet not I, but Christ lives in me," that he is NOT saying that we are somehow made to LOOK like Jesus, or act like Jesus. No. He means exactly what he wrote Christ lives in us, and Christ lives THROUGH us. It is not us "Yet not I, but Christ."
Paul explained more clearly what he meant in II Corinthians 4:
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death works in us, but life in you. (2 Cor 4:7-12)
In the final analysis, ALL power is in Christ. He said that after He was raised, didnt He? Sure. Through His resurrection He conquer all enemies, the ultimately of which was DEATH. Thus, all power is in Christ. We must never forget that. Power is not a THING. It is a Person it is IN CHRIST, the Person. Paul wrote, "Christ, the power of God." (I Cor. 1:24)
Note above that Paul makes it a point to tell us that the power is NOT of us, but of God. That is made perfectly clear. We have the Treasure, Jesus Christ, in us, who are the earthen vessels. But despite the fact that Christ is IN US, Christ is NOT US. And we are not Christ. The power, and the life, and the Truth will never be OF US are never given to us as THINGS. No. Neither do we ever become the source of power, life, and Truth. In other words, we never become LIKE JESUS. Rather, Christ lives in us and through us. Everything that is of God is OF HIM, and not us. As Paul said, "Yet not I, but Christ.
Now, if you read the above passage, it becomes clear what must happen for Christ to live through us. We must COME UNDER His power. We must COME UNDER the power or working of the Cross we must, "bear in our body the dying of the Lord Jesus." Why? "So that the life of Jesus might be made manifest in our body." Get that. It is a pivotal Truth. We are not made LIKE JESUS. Rather, Jesus is made manifest in us and through us. It is HIM and not us. It is HIM through us, yes, but it is HIM. Again, "Yet not I, but Christ lives in me."
If I put my faith IN and SOLELY in Jesus Christ, and Him crucified, then there is a release of life that results in Jesus living in and through me. Why? Because, at that point, I am a branch abiding in THE VINE. It is HIS life in and through me. It is NOT me being made to look like Christ.
Romans says we are to be, "conformed to the image of His Son." But a look at the Greek shows that the word, "conformed," means, "to be formed together with." So again, it is not us being made to look like Christ. Rather, it is Christ, who is in us, being manifested in and through us. We are formed not to be like Him but together with Him through the earthen vessel that we are.
Now, why does this matter? It matters because Christian people by the thousand are trying to look and act like Jesus and it is nothing more than legalism. It is actually a denial whether we realize it or not of our need to be crucified WITH Christ. You see, if the goal is to look like Jesus, I can do that by following a bunch of rules and laws. But if Christ must live through me, then that will require the Cross. There is a big difference between, "I, who am LIKE Christ," and, "Yet NOT I, BUT Christ." Indeed, we are talking here about two entirely different gospels which is why the Truth of Galatians 2:20 is found in Galatians.
Faith means dependency. Contrast this to the notion that faith merely means, "to believe that God tells the Truth. " Actually, even if we want to limit faith in that way, the Truth that God tells is that we are dependent and He wants us to be dependent upon Him.
Now note: God does not command us to be dependent not in the sense most people might think. No. The Truth is, we ARE dependent. If we are not dependent upon God, then we will be dependent upon something or someone else. But God made man to be a dependent creature. It is all we can be. That IS the Truth. And of course, if we are made true to God, then we are going to be dependent upon HIM.
What I am saying is this: God doesnt MAKE us weak. He doesnt MAKE us unable to supply our own need. He doesnt MAKE us dependent. No. He shows us the Truth that we have ALWAYS BEEN that way He shows us how deceived we have been to think otherwise. And of course, side by side with this, He shows us the Truth that He is faithful and the One in which all of our faith can confidently rest.
There is only ONE TRUTH. And with regards to faith, that one Truth is that there is nothing in ourselves upon which we can depend. Nothing. We have no righteousness, and none of our own working can produce life, or that which is of God. We can merit nothing from God. And really, in the ultimate sense, we cannot even count on ourselves to provide our own temporal needs. The fact that some people do so is merely a mirage. It can all be taken away in a moment. Thus, when God allows a situation wherein we are proved to be utterly helpless and inadequate, He is simply showing us the Truth.
God allows or creates situations in which we cannot make it. We do not have what we need and have no way of getting it. The situation will bring that out in us. If God has ever allowed you to be exposed in that way as empty and hopeless in yourself you are liable to think everything is wrong. You may think that God has forsaken you. No. God is showing you THE TRUTH. He is showing you by experience that there is NOTHING in you. But He is also pointing you to Himself as the only true object of faith.
We know that God must do this with regards to salvation. No one is going to be able to come to Jesus Christ solely by faith, to be saved solely by His grace, until they see that they dont have it in themselves. We have to see our utterly hopeless condition. For most of us, we must see that it is SOLELY BY the grace of God before we will put our faith SOLEY IN the grace of God. Yet this same Truth applies to everything in the Christian life. God wants us to depend upon Him for everything we need, both spiritually and materially.
Do we recognize that the REASON God wants us to depend upon Him is so that He can PROVIDE for us? God would never bring us to the place where we see we are utterly empty, only to leave us there. No. It might seem, for a time, as if God is taking everything away, or withholding everything from us. But He is simply removing all other objects of our faith so that we will turn to Him by faith.
If we do not understand this, we will probably misjudge God. We may think He is unfair. But Christ has already told us to LOSE ourselves to Him, so that we might find true life in Him. Our problem is that we continue trying to SAVE what Christ told us to LOSE, and then we even try to get God to help us! When we wont we think He is being unfaithful. No. He is being totally faithful. He is bringing us to where He can bless us to where our entire faith will stand upon CHRIST.
God is normally NOT going to give us much, or do much in our lives, until our faith is solely in His Son, Jesus Christ. For salvation, yes, but for EVERYTHING. Everything God has for us is in His Son, and it is only full dependence upon Christ that makes it possible for us to receive Christ and that which is in Him.
The work of the Cross not only affirms this Truth, but makes it possible to experience. The work of the Cross is intended to put to death all that is keeping us from receiving the fullness of LIFE in Christ. As we read earlier from II Corinthians, we must bear the death of Christ in our body in order for Christ to be made manifest. The Cross is that instrument of death, whether it is ministered through circumstances or whatever. Death must come to that which is of the flesh. Death must come to our own working. Death must come to all that is OF US. Only then can Christ be made manifest and only then can God bless that which is of His Son.
Paul said, "I am crucified with Christ." That is the preface to everything. The Cross must come upon all that is OF US. But then he said, "Nevertheless I live." We may LOSE everything that is OF US, but nevertheless we will find true life in the SON. Paul added, "Yet not I, but Christ lives in me." God wont make us look like Jesus. But Jesus will be seen in and through us yes, Christ will be seen in SPITE of us. Paul concluded, "The life I now live I live by the faith of the Son of God." When our full faith and dependency is upon Christ, then the faith OF Christ which is inherent in the LIFE of Christ is able to join with our faith and live the Christian life. For somewhere else, Paul said:
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by (from out of His) faith. (Rom 1:16-17)
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