“Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.”
“Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.”
“I have been crucified with Christ; and 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 up for me.”
There is no doubt about it that we believers have a major identity crisis. We really have no idea who we are in Christ. We don’t know much about the New Creation, the New Man, or the New Covenant. But we do know all about the old creation, the old man, and the old covenant! What I am saying is that we know all about who we aren’t anymore. And it’s really difficult to realize, focus on, and experience our new identity in Christ while we are still looking at the old identity. The old man is really all we know, and therefore, we work really hard in the strength of the old man to improve the old man. How futile is that? I would say that is the definition of religion – man’s attempt at fixing man.
Three Aspects of the Cross
I believe that there are three aspects of the cross of Christ.
- Redemption: this is the aspect that all evangelicals are familiar with. We all know and believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins. The Lamb of God took away the sins of the world. Thank God for this!
- Our Co-Death: Paul tells us that we were crucified with Christ (Rom. 6:8-11). This means that our old man (the old creation) was crucified with Christ on the cross. That was the old Adam (race) that no longer lives because there is now a new Adam (or race). God put the old race to death on that same cross (1Cor15:22). This aspect of the cross is the topic for this blog post.
- A Living Sacrifice: Paul tells us to present our bodies a living sacrifice to God (Rom.12:1). Jesus tells us to pick up our cross and follow Him daily (Lu 9:23). Paul said; “I die daily” (1Cor 15:21). This is the daily work of the cross in the life of the believer to bring about transformation.
Most Christians are only familiar with the first aspect; redemption. Most of us are totally unfamiliar with the other two aspects of the Cross. The second aspect, our co-death with Christ, is totally vital for us understanding our true identity in Christ.
God’s View of the Old Man
God has no desire to “fix” you. It’s sad for me to see the shelves at Christian bookstores lined with books on fixing the old man. “How to be a better_____” books are everywhere! Yet God has no plan for fixing us. He is not a home-improvement kind of God. He does not inspect you and then make a list and hand it to you and say, “okay, start working on this!”. He’s just not that kind of God. His plan does not involve fixing you in any way, shape, or form. He has never tried to fix Adam. His approach is totally different.
The Great Leveler
God doesn’t try to fix Adam, instead He crucifies him! He doesn’t try to fix the house, instead He uses His great Wrecking Ball, the Great Leveler – THE CROSS – to completely demolish the house. Adam was simply “unfixable”. He had to be done away with. Now listen to this:
God didn’t place His Son on the cross so you could get a clean slate and then turn over a new leaf and begin living a good, clean life. He placed His Son on the cross so YOU could be crucified with Him!
The Last Adam is also the Second Adam. Paul calls Him the Last Adam because He was the last one of Adam’s race. He crucified that old race on the cross. He is called the Second Adam because He is the first one in a totally NEW race. The first step in realizing and stepping into your true identity is a revelation that you have been crucified with Christ. The old you is now deceased. The person you know (as you) is dead as a doorknob! You are dead. Can I say it any more clearly? You are a corpse. The old you is all white, stiff, and decaying. Dead, Dead, Dead!
Now if this is true (and God says it is), then I simply must ask you a question:
Why are you spending all of your thoughts, energies, and time trying to repair this dead person?
Why are you attempting to fix yourself and why are you trying to fix others? By the way, this is what we do in the name of Christian “ministry”. I was involved with this for many years. Dead people trying to make other dead people look good. This is religious embalming. Trying to make dead people look good. You know, you can apply the makeup and comb the hair, but a corpse is still a corpse!
I would like to start a new slogan. Remember a few years back the slogan and campaign called: What Would Jesus Do? There were bumper stickers, t-shirts, billboards, and the like. W.W.J.D. was all over the place. The premise was to think before you speak or act. When you find yourself in a particular situation, ask yourself; “what would Jesus do?”. This concept revealed a huge lack in our understanding of the New Covenant. In other words, Jesus isn’t here, but if He were, what would He do? Very sad. No understanding whatsoever of our new identity in Christ and the fact that we are in Christ and He is in us.
Anyway, I would like to start a new slogan:
W.W.D.M.D – What Would a Dead Man Do?
The next time you find yourself in a difficult situation, ask yourself – “what would a dead man do?”
There can be only one answer to this question: ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!!
“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”