I’ve Been Crucified
What a dilemma! God’s precious human race is being operated by Satan from inside (Eph. 2:1-3). God’s eternal compulsion was and is to get His stolen property back. Of course, He had the perfect Ssolution–one that was only limited by man’s free choice as to whether to accept or reject the solution.
To predispose man to see his need for a savior and to get mankind ready to make a proper choice, God began a tutoring process with mankind. He presented man with the Mosaic Law.
The Law was a perfect tutor to bring mankind to Christ (Gal. 3:24). The penalty for sinning was death to the particular offender (Deut. 24:6). What a jam for mankind to be in! Pure self-interest would force men and women to search for a way to survive this death penalty.
It was at this point that God introduced to mankind the concept of blood sacrifice. The blood of bulls and goats was temporarily used to forgive the sins of the people (Heb. 9:13,14).
As a young Christian, I was fortunate enough to do a yearlong study of the book of Hebrews. The author of that book convinced me beyond a shadow of a doubt that no sin I could ever commit could break my relationship with Jesus Christ. Over and over again the book of Hebrews makes it clear that God guarantees eternal salvation through the shed blood of Jesus Christ (Heb. 6:17-20).
So the death penalty for sin had prepared mankind to choose to accept an eternal salvation provided by the death of Jesus Christ.
The Law, however, did more than just prepare man to receive a salvation from eternal death. It also placed a continual demand before man to be holy: "You shall be holy because I am holy" (Lev.20:7). This is an impossible demand for mankind because unregenerate humanity is indwelt and operated by Satan.
The Israelites did not know that they were indwelt by the selfish deity, and so their answer to the demands of the law was, "We will do it!" (Exodus 24:3). Right after responding so positively, the Israelites showed their inability to keep the Law –they built the golden calf. Their continual failure to live up to the Law’s demands began to expose the indwelling sin nature: Satan.
In the First Century, a very advanced Jew, steeped in the traditions of the Mosaic Law, had a dramatic conversion experience. He accepted Christ as his Savior and had his sins forgiven. Because he was an extremely zealous Jew, he expected himself to conform wholly to the Mosaic Law, especially now that he knew the forgiveness of Christ. This man knew that the law was spiritual and had internal requirements as well as external requirements. He was able to keep the outer requirements, but the inner requirements (for example, "Thou shalt not covet") proved impossible to meet. The more he tried not to covet, the more covetous he became.
He retreated to the desert of Arabia to solve his excruciating internal dilemma of being an inner lawbreaker. It was at this point, in the desert of Arabia, that the Apostle Paul made the great discovery of the second part of salvation.
The blood of Christ had secured forgiveness of sins, and now he discovered that Christ’s body death had separated him from the internal spirit drive (Satan) to do the wrong thing (ie. covet, hate).
Let me explain this in more detail. Although the forgiveness of sins by the shed blood of Christ is an incredible fact, it only solves half of our problem. What a torture chamber the Christian life would be if we were offered a complete forgiveness by the blood of Christ, but the internal drive to sin was left intact!
Remember, we said that humanity, as a result of the fall was indwelt by the spirit of Satan (Eph. 2:1-2). So to remove the internal drive to sin, has to mean a removal of the sin spirit. How does God accomplish this?
The Scripture says we were in Christ when He died on the Cross–we were crucified with him (Rom.6:1-6). Now, how can that be? How could I as a person living in 1993, born in 1952, have been crucified with Christ on the Cross 2,000 years ago?
The first way to assimilate this fact is to agree it is true because God Himself in Scripture says it is true. Remember, spirit is eternal and beyond time. God was able to place the human race, in its entirety, in Christ on that cross. Jesus Christ was the God-Man: the representative of all humanity. In spirit He was able to actually be the entire human race–past, present, and future. So when He died, we died: "…for we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died" (II Cor. 5:14).
Now, Scripture says we did more than just die. We died to something. Scripture says Christ as humanity died to sin (Rom.6:10). Think about it. What is death? It is a separation of body from spirit (John 19:30). If you have ever lost a loved one and looked in their casket, the body is there but the real person, the spirit, is missing.
So what spirit were we separated from on the Cross? The Scripture says we died to sin. Sin is the product of a person. The author of sin is the devil. At the fall, we were captured by Satan internally to do his will (II Tim.2:26). We became slaves of sin (Rom.6:20). So the spirit we were separated from on the cross was the spirit of Satan.
As we have explained in the teaching outline and in numerous other articles, the human spirit is always indwelt and operated by a deity spirit (see Norman Grubb’s "No Independent Self" in the last two issues of The Intercessor). The human spirit never operates itself but is always operated by another either Christ or Satan. We are either slaves of sin or slaves of righteousness (Rom.6:18). Which spirit we are operated by depends on our free choice.
When we were severed from Satan in Christ’s death 2,000 years ago, we were dead in the grave with Christ. Without a spirit operator, we were going nowhere. But we were not left dead in the grave without a spirit-boss. We received the Spirit of Righteousness, by which we were raised from the dead with Christ (Romans 1:4, and 6:4,5). We were not left without a spirit boss but we were immediately joined to another, Jesus Christ. We were operated by Satan before we were Christians, but after being severed from Satan in our cocrucifixion with Christ, we were married and put in union with another: Jesus Christ(Rom.7:4). We really are crucified with Christ and it is Him living our lives (Gal. 2:20).
The dilemma is solved! Mankind no longer has to face an eternity of anguish and separation from God. The blood of Christ has purchased for mankind an eternal salvation that cannot perish. Also, Satan’s spirit has been removed from us, and Christ’s Spirit has replaced it in us. The driving force behind our sins (Satan) has been removed. We never have to sin again!
So, how do we make it real in our lives? The same way we appropriate anything we want in life–we look, we see something is available, and we take it. That is faith: "Oh, I am a sinner condemned to hell, but the blood of Christ is offered to forever forgive my sins. I receive that; it is mine." By faith I am forgiven, and I say so.
It is the same with our co-crucifixion with Christ. I know that Satan was removed from my insides and that Christ is now living my life. It is a matter of taking it for my own. How do we take it? We claim it is ours against the absurdity of our feelings. Satan is out and Christ is living our life (Gal. 2:20). God’s word says it is so–we say it is so. We are not afraid to tell someone who it is we are when the time arises–Christ in our form. That will cost us something (usually our image or reputation). But our word is our bond, and we speak the word that we are Christ in our form. In the next issue we will focus entirely on this spirit-union with Jesus Christ.
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 9 No 4
- More Than An Eating Problem
- Romans Six to Eight, Paul’s Key to the Liberated Life
- Editor’s Note
- Greetings From the Z News Crew!
- Wanted: Faith and Fools
- Why Me God? or How to Deal with Life’s Frustrations
- The Mailbox
- The Solution: The Law & The Cross
- To Think About
- I’ve Been Crucified
- Family Reunion At Blowing Rock, 1993
- Questions & Answers
- Powerless Over Alcohol & LIfe: Step 10
- Words To Live By
- Moments With Meryl
- Excerpt from The Intercession of Rees Howells
- A Look at a Book, A Review: Rees Howells Intercessor