I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
My heart hurts for the body of Christ. We’re going to church and doing our best to put on the joy of Jesus. But the vast majority of believers I encounter aren’t living out the victory God promises in His Word. We feel crushed under the weight of oppression, and sometimes our lives seem more marked by defeat than the lost we’re trying to save.
Something’s wrong with that picture, if you ask me. Very wrong.
You and I are supposed to be living, breathing, shining examples of what the power of God can do in a life. So what’s keeping us from the inheritance scripture claims is ours?
I can offer a guess. I think it’s the same thing that kept the Israelites from theirs.
So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief. Hebrews 3:19
Simple unbelief has sabotaged Christ’s church and kept us in a state of perpetual defeat.
Please don’t misunderstand me. It isn’t that we don’t believe in what Jesus did for us on the cross. The problem is we’ve misunderstood how to apply it to our lives right now. We rejoice over future promises, but we’ve allowed an unseen enemy to convince us that we can’t really expect to see the promises of God’s Word realized in this lifetime.
And that’s where we find ourselves caught, beloved. Stuck in limbo because we believe the wrong words. We’ve allowed the enemy’s whispers to override God’s Word, and we don’t even realize it’s happening.
An idea has penetrated much of the church. It claims we will never be free from the destructive power of our flesh until Christ returns. I’ve heard it often. I’ve even believed it. But I have to ask, dear one. Where did it come from?
You see, when I look at God’s Word, I can’t find those words. Instead, I find these.
- Romans 8:37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
- Galatians 5:24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
- 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
It seems to me those promises aren’t written in a future tense. According to these scriptures, the new isn’t something we have to work hard to achieve; it’s already here. My flesh has already been crucified— along with its passions and desires. And I am already more than a conqueror.
And Romans 6:6-7 adds this promise.
We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin.
Here’s the truth, dear one. Your old self—your sin nature— was crucified with Jesus on that cross. It died with Him. Once you put your faith in Him, you received the victory Christ gained. Now sin’s power over you is nothing but a lie.
But here’s the problem: We believe the lie. We believe that our flesh still has power, and we continue to live as the people we used to be.
Beloved, our belief in its power gives it life.
What if you and I determined today to simply take God at His Word and believe what He says? What if we chose to trust Jesus when He tells us our flesh is dead because He conquered it?
You see, we give that crucified nature life every time we choose to trust it—every time we simply do what we’ve always done because we believe that’s who we are. After all, history has proved it.
But faith isn’t about basing our beliefs on what we see. It’s about trusting what God’s Word says.
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1 NIV
And God’s Word says that my sin nature was nailed to the cross with Christ. It’s been crucified. That sinner isn’t who I am any more, regardless of what my actions have indicated.
Beloved, God is asking us to take Him at His Word and become who He made us to be. Will you choose today to believe Him?
“… to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:22-24
Only renewing our minds will enable us to become the new creation the cross empowers us to be. God beckons us to believe the truth so that His grace can empower us to live it.
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32