If you are one of the many believers who is struggling to live a holy life, it is so important for you to embrace the crucified life. Much has been said about living a crucified life, which is good, but we need to also fully understand it. We need to see that we already died with Christ, when He hung on the cross and now we are completely free from sin. Sin no longer has dominion over us!
This understanding should not only be a clear image in your mind, but it should also be a deep revelation in your heart. You need to develop both. Yes, it is important to have a clear image of this in your mind, because you should see yourself already dead to sin. However, you need to also have the revelation of this in your spirit. You have to know without a doubt that you have been set free from the sins of your past.
The Apostle Paul wrote these beautiful words regarding the crucified life:
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which 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 NKJV)
As amazing as it may seem, the Apostle Paul stated that, when Christ was crucified, we were crucified with Him. This means that when He died, we died. Therefore, we should already see ourselves as dead to sin in Christ.
The Apostle Paul explained this further, when he wrote:
“Knowing this, that the 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. For he who has died has been freed from sin.” (Romans 6:6-7 NKJV)
Do you understand what Paul wrote here? When Christ died, you died, and the result is that you were set free from sin. That is the powerful truth that Paul emphasized in this chapter. Now ask the Holy Spirit to give you the revelation of this truth in your spirit. You need to know that you are dead to sin. Only He can do that!
At this point you may ask: But who was the “old man” Paul referred to here? The old man is the man who was ruled by the desires of the flesh – the man or woman you used to be before you were saved. It was this old man who was crucified with Christ, so that your spirit might no longer be a slave to sin, but walk in the newness of life in Christ.
Paul didn’t just stop there. He had more to say about this reality in the life of a saint. He wrote:
“And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.” (Romans 6:18 NKJV)
Not only do we need to see ourselves as being dead to sin, once and for all, but we need to also see ourselves as slaves of righteousness. Now you can’t get anything more powerful than that. We need to be more conscious of the righteousness within us than sin. We need to see ourselves as the righteousness of God in Christ, not just a sinner saved by grace. Sin used to reign in our lives, but now righteousness rules over our spirits. This means that we are now slaves of righteousness! Isn’t that amazing? That should take a great weight off of your shoulders!
Now what does this all have to do with holiness? There is actually a direct link between this and living a holy life. The Apostle Paul wrote:
“But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.” (Romans 6:22 NKJV)
Paul wrote that the fruit of all of this is a holy life – a life that is set apart from the ways of the world. It is the world that is ruled by the desires of the flesh. It is also the world that is a slave to sin. As saints, we have been set free from the bondage of sin, and now we walk in the newness of life. Sin no longer has dominion over us, because we are no longer slaves of sin, but slaves of righteousness. That is the exciting reality of who we are in Christ!
Finally you may ask: What happens when we do sin again? The answer is that we must be quick to confess our sins, and keep ourselves cleansed from all unrighteousness. This is why the Apostle John wrote:
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9 NKJV)
Not only must we be quick to confess our sins, when we miss it, but we must also see ourselves as dead to that sin, so that it no longer holds us in bondage. If you see yourself as having been set free from sin, then sin can no longer keep its hold on you. That is the life of holiness and victory that God wants each of His children to walk in every day.
You are holy, dear saint!
[All Scripture quotations have been taken from The Holy Bible, King James Version, copyright 1982, Thomas Nelson Inc.]