The effect of the cross of Christ on your life
It’s incredible what can happen through the power of the message of the cross!
“It is no longer I who live”
Have you ever met someone who seems to have a secret well of goodness, blessing, and joy somewhere deep inside? Maybe relatives or mentors or co-workers, people who have an aura of happiness and contentment and just general, healthy well-being? It can seem like a bit of a mystery as to how it’s possible to experience a life like that, where you’re so happy and you just radiate the life of Jesus, creating peace and joy wherever you are.
Maybe you’re thinking that you’ve never met someone like that, and are doubtful that such people really exist.
But there is definitely a very real and attainable way of experiencing such a rich and thriving life. It starts with two very well-known verses.
“… knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.” Romans 6:6.
“I have been; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20.
Christ lives in me!
Galatians 2:20 is one of the strongest personal testimonies in the Bible. It’s not until you have that testimony, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live,” that you have really been the old man had not been crucified with Him, as it says in Romans 6:6. When your old man – your old attitude of mind that serves your own selfish interests, , and desires – has been crucified, then you can live the life of Jesus.. Paul says that he lived the life of Jesus. He would never have been able to do that if
Then that old life stops; all those old, disgusting, miserable fountains. They’re shut off from below. And then the everlasting fountains from heaven open up. When it is no longer “I” who live then you can live that rich, satisfied, blessed life. And then more and more that fountain will start to stream out from your life.
“… but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:14.
All of this is possible through the message of the cross. That is God’s power and that is God’s wisdom. And He demonstrated what that power was on the third day, when He arose from the dead. That was this power that could raise Him up out of death. That power broke the chains and bonds of death so that nothing could hold Him back. And then He arose on the third day, as our Savior. And then later He ascended to heaven. (1 Corinthians 1:18, 24.)
All of God’s power is available to you
If He had lived even one time according to the flesh – His human will – and if the cross had not worked in Him throughout His life, then God’s wisdom would not have come forth from Him. Then folly would have come forth. Giving in even only one time would have been enough. Then He wouldn’t have been able to be our Savior. But He was so faithful that He became the power of God and the wisdom of God. The Son of Man. There is only one Mediator between God and Man: the Man Jesus Christ. (1 Timothy 2:5.) Remember that He was a man. And He was so faithful. He was so incredibly faithful to His Father.
That’s the love of the first commandment, to love God with all your heart and all your mind and everything that’s within you. That’s what it means to be wholehearted. And then God will strengthen you with His power. Not just some power, not just a bit of power. But it’s His power that He’ll strengthen you with and help you with.
“The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 1:18-20.
Who has ever fought against God and come away from thatunscathed? When God is with you, then there’s no one who can be against you. “Who can be against us?” Paul says. (Romans 8:31.) You have an infinite source of power to draw from in your life. When you use that power to keep your old man crucified, and to overcome all the lusts and desires of your flesh, that will be a blessing for you and everyone around you. He gives you sufficient power and grace, because you can’t live this new covenant life on your own. You can’t always be happy on your own. No one can manage that. But by God’s grace and God’s power, His divine power, you can live such a life; a New Testament life: “It is no longer I who live.”
This article is based on a talk given by Kaare J. Smith on November 17, 2020.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, unless otherwise specified. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.