The apostle Paul, in his epistle to the Ephesians, said Christ’s purpose for both Jews and Gentiles was “…In this one Body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross…” (Eph 2:16, NIV).
There is one Body of Christ. This one Body has been crucified on the cross and raised from the dead. His purpose was to reconcile us (both Jews and Gentiles) to God in this Body on the cross. Anyone who becomes a part of this Body must also be crucified with Christ in order to do so. Otherwise they cannot be a member of this Body, nor can they be reconciled to God. They cannot have access to the Father by one Spirit (Eph 2:18), nor can they be sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus (Eph 3:16).
We must truly say with the apostle, “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.” (Gal 2:20)
To claim membership in the Body of Christ without being crucified with Him is to abuse the grace of God, which insults the Spirit of grace. Regarding those who live this way, the apostle Paul wrote, “How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.’ And again, ‘The Lord will judge His people.’ It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Heb 10:29-31)
This is just as Jesus taught: "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. "Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.'" (Mat 7:21-23). Jesus doesn't know those who claim to belong to Him, but who do not do the will of His Father in heaven. Since they practice lawlessness, He will tell them to depart from Him.
Being crucified with Christ is not a static thing. It's not a one-time historical thing that happened to you one day when you got saved. Jesus was saying to them all, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me." (Luk 9:23). If you wish to come after Jesus, you must deny yourself, daily take up your cross, and follow Him.
Have you been crucified with Christ? Are you daily denying yourself, taking up your cross daily, and following Jesus?
Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. Other Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV®. "Your Move" painting © 2012 Danny Hahlbohm, all rights reserved by the artist.
Author's note: If you enjoyed this post, you may also like What Jesus Did Not Do on the Cross, Restored Truth, Ask for the Ancient Paths, Pleasing the Lord, Clean Hands and a Pure Heart, Salvation with Fear and Trembling, Righteous Deeds and White Robes, The Ways of Life, The Forgotten Sin of Worldliness, Is Tithing Required for Christians?, Godly Attire and Adornment -- Seven Divine Revelations, Having a Servant's Heart, Alcohol and Cigarettes -- Ten Divine Revelations, Divorce -- Three Divine Revelations, A Warning for Married Christian Couples, The Obedience of Faith, Walking in the Perfect Will of God, For the Glory of God Alone, Rescue Souls!, Separation from the World, and Standing in the Gap. My daughter has also written a lovely poem called Cross Bearing. You can access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master." Now I'd like to ask a very important question.
Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus. Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?
“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15). He preached that we must repent and believe.
Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International. He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org