A victorious life!
Unfortunately, not many people believe in an overcoming, victorious life. Many have tried it, but they have long since given it up as being absolutely hopeless. They don’t even give it a thought anymore, which isn’t at all surprising so long as they aren’t aware of the possibility of being crucified with Christ and dying while we are still alive.
It is impossible to get victory over sin if we are not crucified with Christ. Our “old man” – our state of mind which agreed with sin and served sin consciously – cannot overcome no matter how much we try to motivate him to it and no matter how pious we can get him to appear, but he can be crucified or put off. If we do not believe that our old man has been crucified, then an overcoming, victorious life is impossible. On the other hand, if we believe he is crucified, then it is impossible to sin. We believe one or the other. These two things cannot be united; they cannot co-exist. If crucifixion is present, then sin is absent. But if sin is present, then the crucifixion has not taken place.
Rest in God
One of the very greatest things we can possess in this world is rest in God – quietness and confidence under all circumstances, in all the storms of life, in trials and adversities, and in all sorts of unpleasant or uncomfortable situations. This is quite impossible without being crucified with Christ. “But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. ‘There is no peace,’ says my God, ‘for the wicked.’” Isaiah 57:20-21.
It is the “old man” who is so impossible and restless and who cannot be at rest. He is so anxious because he has so much to protect and so much he is afraid of losing. He is also full of distrust and suspicion. Because the old man is condemned to death, he is always filled with fear and in constant unrest.
So, we can truly praise God for this marvelous solution and redemption: crucified with Christ! Finally, there is rest, peace, and security. Then we enter into rest in God – the kind of rest that enabled Jesus to sleep in the back of the boat during the storm on the Sea of Galilee.
Personal spiritual growth
Spiritual growth is impossible if theis not crucified. If we are not crucified with Christ, we are in the flesh and under the law. Then we are slaves of the law, slaves of sin – our development comes to a standstill. Of course, we can develop in Bible knowledge and other knowledge; we can learn how to make a good show, how to speak well and impress others, but our spiritual growth is utterly non-existent. We just sin and receive forgiveness, sin and receive forgiveness, endlessly.
It goes without saying that as long as the old man lives, the old troubles will come up time and time again – the exact opposite of growth and development. Only when we have seen ourselves – by faith – as hanging on the cross with Christ, do we truly have any possibility for spiritual growth.
Growth in the church of the living God
There is a song that contains a significant phrase, “When the flesh is on the cross… then His glory and His oneness we acquire.” And in another song, “How blessed to meet one another when flesh has been crucified.” Then the result is edification and every other good thing. Then personal relationships, which are the most difficult thing of all, become really blessed among the saints.
Just as an individual cannot make any progress without being on the cross with all that is of himself, neither can the church grow together – the growth of the body – unless each individual member is crucified. In other words, the church of the living God, the body of Christ, consists only of those souls who are and those who become crucified with Christ. Those who are not crucified cannot participate in the growth of the body. The uncrucified old man prevents the growth.
An excerpt from the book “I am crucified with Christ” written by Elias Aslaksen, first published in Norwegian in January 1937 by “Skjulte Skatters Forlag.”
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