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The way of the cross

Every step I take in following Jesus, every step on the way of life, is a step of saying “no” to my own will.

The way of life

The way of the cross (the way of self-denial), is the way of life, for “If anyone desires to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23. Every step I take in following Jesus, every step on the way of life, is a step of denying (saying “no” to) myself, my own will. For every new step I want to take in Jesus’ steps, I must crucify the self-will in me that would resist this.

My own will must, of necessity, be denied; it has to die the death of the cross if God’s will is to be done. There is no middle way! It is either/or: either God’s will or my will! So instead of it being written, “It would be preferable if he did this” or “It would be best if …;” it says, “must deny himself.” We must go the way of the cross if we want to make any progress, for this is the way of life.

The source and foundation for all this is that Christ took up His cross, bore it, and was nailed to it. If we want to follow Him on the same way and become like Him, we too must bear our cross and be nailed to it – by faith! “Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sinSin is anything that goes against God’s will and His laws. To commit sin is to transgress or disobey these laws. The lust to sin dwells in human nature. In other words, it is contaminated and motivated by the sinful tendencies that dwell in all people as a result of the fall into sin and disobedience in the garden of Eden. This... More might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sinSin is anything that goes against God’s will and His laws. To commit sin is to transgress or disobey these laws. The lust to sin dwells in human nature. In other words, it is contaminated and motivated by the sinful tendencies that dwell in all people as a result of the fall into sin and disobedience in the garden of Eden. This... More.” Romans 6:6. The word of faith says that our old man was crucified with Him.

If we lay hold of this by faith, it will also, in truth, work a crucifixion in us. If we don’t, then it goes without saying that it is impossible to make any progress on the way of life. The old manYour “old man” is your mindset before conversion. It is a state of allowing your lusts and desires to rule in your life; you have not made a conscious decision to resist committing sin. The new man is your mindset after conversion. It is a decision to overcome sin and live in righteousness and holiness. It is the mind to... More cannot do God’s will. The old man has to be crucified, or drowned, if God’s will is to be done. (Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12) People say, either through ignorance or un-belief, that “the old Adam” can swim. This is a fundamental misunderstanding. He cannot swim at all; he sinks like a stone! He only appears to swim as long as he has his feet on the bottom (he has not, by faith, been crucified)!

Development – new light

By believing Romans 6:6, we cease to serve sin; that is, to commit conscious sin, to do the works of the fleshConscious sin; things we know to be sin before we do them. These are not “accidents” but deliberate sins, and they are to be repented from and “put off” at conversion: “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness,... More. However, unconscious sin, the deeds of the bodyDeeds of the body are things we realize are wrong only after we have done them, because the Holy Spirit points them out to us; our eyes are opened to the fact that they were wrong. Therefore, anything wrong that we do unconsciously—without our mind or our enlightened self agreeing to it—is a deed of the body. There is no... More (Romans 8:13), continue to manifest themselves in those areas where we do not have light. “I have been crucified with ChristJesus was physically crucified on the cross at Calvary. Though blameless, He took upon Himself the punishment for sin, which was death, so He could pay our debts and forgive us our sin if we are willing to believe in Him and follow Him the Apostle Paul wrote: “I have been crucified with Christ…” (Galatians 2:20) This is a metaphorical... More; it is no longer I who live …” Galatians 2:20. This speaks of a victorious life and includes all conscious sin. “And those who are Christ’s have crucified the fleshSin is anything that goes against God’s will and His laws. To commit sin is to transgress or disobey these laws. The lust to sin dwells in human nature. In other words, it is contaminated and motivated by the sinful tendencies that dwell in all people as a result of the fall into sin and disobedience in the garden of Eden. This... More with its passions and desiresThe desires that we experience that go against God’s will. In other words, a desire for anything sinful. See James 1:14. Also called “sin in the flesh.” Although the expression “youthful lusts” is  often thought of in connection with sinful sexual desires, lusts include anything that go against what is good and right in God’s eyes. (2 Timothy 2:22.; Galatians... More.” Galatians 5:24. This includes all conscious lusts and desiresThe desires that we experience that go against God’s will. In other words, a desire for anything sinful. See James 1:14. Also called “sin in the flesh.” Although the expression “youthful lusts” is  often thought of in connection with sinful sexual desires, lusts include anything that go against what is good and right in God’s eyes. (2 Timothy 2:22.; Galatians... More, so that we do not act contrary to what we know is right. “But God forbid that I should glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Galatians 6:14. These words again describe the crucifixion of the world and of the “I” – as far as we are aware and to the degree that we have light.

We cannot crucify a man before we have found him. Neither can we reckon ourselves crucified to something we do not consider to be sin. So it is important that we remain close to God so we can continually receive new light over our self-life, so that something more can be crucified. This is all by faith. By faith it becomes reality in our life, otherwise it just remains a theory. If we, in reality, are crucified with Christ by faith, we will also in reality advance on the way of life. And this is precisely what we have been called to do.

So let this be our motto (concerning all of our self-life): On the crossWhen the cross is mentioned in the Bible, it most often does not refer to a physical wooden cross, except when specifically describing Jesus’ crucifixion on Calvary. “Taking up your cross” refers to the metaphorical cross that Jesus’ speaks about in Luke 9:23. “Taking up your cross” is the act of denying the sinful thoughts that come up in you... More with it!

This article is translated from Norwegian, and is an excerpt from the booklet “The Way of Life,” first published by Skjulte Skatters Forlag in November 1935.
© Copyright Stiftelsen Skjulte Skatters Forlag

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I am crucified with Christ
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I Am Crucified With Christ

This booklet is based on Paul’s words in Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with ChristJesus was physically crucified on the cross at Calvary. Though blameless, He took upon Himself the punishment for sin, which was death, so He could pay our debts and forgive us our sin if we are willing to believe in Him and follow Him the Apostle Paul wrote: “I have been crucified with Christ…” (Galatians 2:20) This is a metaphorical... More; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me …” Here Elias Aslaksen explains what this means and how the reader can have the same testimony as Paul in their own life.

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