“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.” (Galatians 2:20)
It may not be amiss to emphasize what this scripture does say, by noting what it does not say.
It does not say, I want to be crucified with Christ. It does not say, I wish I were crucified with Christ, that He might live in me. It does say, “I am crucified with Christ.”
Again, it does not say, Paul was crucified with Christ; Christ lived in Paul, and the Son of God loved Paul and gave Himself for Paul. All that is true, but that is not what the scripture, nor is that what it means, for it means just what it says. And it does say, “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.”
Thus this verse is a beautiful and solid foundation of Christian faith for every soul in the world. Thus it is made possible for every soul to say, in full assurance of Christian faith, “He loved me.” “He gave himself for me.” “I am crucified with Christ.” “Christ liveth in me.” Read also 1 John 4:15.
For any soul to say, “I am crucified with Christ,” is not speaking at a venture. It is not believing something on a guess. It is not saying a thing of which there is no certainty. Every soul in this world can say in all truth and all sincerity, “I am crucified with Christ.” It is but the acceptance of a fact, the acceptance of a thing that is already done, for this word is the statement of a fact.
It is a fact that Jesus Christ was crucified. And when He was crucified we also were crucified, for He was one of us. His name is Immanuel, which is “God with us”—not God with Him, but “God withus.” When His name is not God with Him, but “God with us,” then who was He but “us”? He had to be “us” in order that God with Him could be not God with Him but “God with us.” And when He was crucified, then who was it but “us” that was crucified?
This is the mighty truth announced in this text. Jesus Christ was “us.” He was of the same flesh and blood with us. He was of our very nature. He was in all points like us. “Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren.” (Hebrews 2:17) He emptied Himself, and was made in the likeness of men. He was “the last Adam.” and precisely as the first Adam was ourselves, so Christ, the last Adam, was ourselves. When the first Adam died, we, being involved in him, died with him. And when the last Adam died, we, being involved in Him, died with Him. And when the last Adam was crucified, He being ourselves and we being involved in Him, we were crucified with Him. As the first Adam was in himself the whole human race, so the last Adam was in himself the whole human race, and so when the last Adam was crucified, the whole human race—the old, sinful human nature—was crucified with Him. And so it is written, “Knowing this, that our old man IS CRUCIFIED WITH HIM, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” (Romans 6:6)
Thus every soul in this world can truly say, in the perfect triumph of Christian faith, “I am crucified with Christ”; my old sinful human nature is crucified with Him that this body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth I should not serve sin. (Romans 6:6) Nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ liveth in me. Always bearing about in my body the dying of the Lord Jesus—the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus, for I am crucified with Him—that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in my body. For I who live am always delivered unto death, for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesusmight be made manifest in my mortal flesh. (2 Corinthians 4:10, 11) And therefore 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.
In this blessed fact of the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus, which was accomplished for every human soul, there is not only laid the foundation of faith for every soul, but in it there is given the gift of faith TO every soul. And thus the cross of Christ is not only the wisdom of God displayed from God to us, but it is the very power of God manifested to deliver us from all sin and bring us to God.
O sinner, brother, sister, believe it. Oh, receive it. Surrender to this mighty truth. Say it; say it in full assurance of faith and say it forever. “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.” Say it, for it is the truth, the very truth and wisdom and power of God, which saves the soul from all sin.
(This article was first printed in the October 24, 1899, issue of The Review and Herald. It is also found on pages 121-123 of the book Lessons on Faith by A. T. Jones and E. J. Waggoner. I italicized Bible verses, capitalized some pronouns and added some verse references that were left out in the original. Editor)