I Am Crucified

"When we put the government of ourselves upon Jesus, when we are not in our control, but God is in control, then will our flesh truly be crucified."

THE FLESH WARS against the spirit, the spirit wars against the flesh. Being constantly pulled one way, toward the processes of our mind and what feels good, we then seek God and find Him briefly only to be distracted again. These are the words of Galatians 5:17. Galatians 2:20 says, “I am crucified with Christ ...” Here is our goal for our flesh, to crucify it, so it will not lead us astray from the things of God. The Worrell New Testament makes an interesting note of this verse. It says, “[I] have become crucified—am crucified—with Christ. This experience begins, when one admits Christ into his heart as Supreme Ruler, and puts the government on His shoulder.” This is a reference to the words of Isaiah. In Isaiah 9:6, it says, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon HIS SHOULDER...”

When we put the government of ourselves upon Jesus, when we are not in our control, but God is in control, then will our flesh truly be crucified. What does that mean? Because I don’t want to simply put the pencil in your hand but to teach you to write. We give God control when we make decisions based on what He says and not what we say. When we decide if an action is good or bad and we seek His Word in the Scriptures and His voice in prayer. When we know we need to spend time with Him in His presence and we choose that over our hobbies and entertainment. When we react in peace and kindness, but the flesh is chewing at us to explode.

“For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” (Galatians 5:17)

A man should grow in knowledge and revelation of the Bible between salvation at age 23 and adulthood at age 63. He should see in himself a path of growth, that he thinks differently from how he used to think. What he struggled with in his thinking, he no longer struggles with. Because he has put the government on Jesus’ shoulder. Worrell’s New Testament note continues. It says of Galatians 5:23, speaking of the fruit of the Spirit, “These are specimens of the results wrought by the Holy Spirit in those who are wholly yielded to His control.”

When our flesh is crucified, then the Spirit has control, and love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control form in us and affect our behavior. I find it interesting that faith is a fruit of the Spirit. Not something we conjure up on our own. Peace comes because we put the Spirit in control. We are patient because the Spirit is in control. Without the Spirit in control, we have taken the government on our shoulders, and nothing we can do on our own will ever bring us the fullness of our salvation.

The Old Testament Law is an example. It was given to show sin and point the people toward Christ’s coming to fulfil it. It was not the way of salvation itself because no man, except Jesus, could live it fully without sin. Salvation through confession of His death and Resurrection took man out from under the regulations of the Law and placed their individual government (as a person) into the Holy Spirit’s hands. Feasts and sacrifices were no longer needed. Paul compared them to a young child being tutored until he was old enough to inherit the estate. The unsaved man doesn’t have the Spirit of God to control him and holds the government in his own hands. The result of which is destruction. Man cannot govern himself unto eternal life.

“But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.” (Galatians 4:9-10)

A decision is required. Because man chose sin which resulted in death, man must choose life which results in righteousness and holiness. Righteousness is our being legally cleared of all sin or being made in right standing like God desires for us to be. Holiness is being made into His state of purity. These are available to all men through God’s grace, or favor. He said, “I love you, and you don’t deserve this because of your sinful condition. But I give you the ability (favor) to obtain it anyway.” We confess Jesus as Lord and Savior, then the Holy Spirit comes to live inside our brand-new, recreated spirit man, and we give Him control of our lives from then on out.

He knows the path of life. He knows every footstep, all the knowledge it requires, all the wisdom we need to walk correctly, and every physical need and mental strength we must have. Giving Him government seems painful to our mind and flesh. We are so used to doing what seems right to us. But with Him, we can always do what is right, and the rewards are exceeding abundantly above, not just in physical things like houses and lands, but in spiritual things. We grow taller, we become closer to Him, and He trusts us with more and more truths. What an immature, flesh-controlled Christian will not know, a God-controlled friend of God will, and there is simply nothing else in this world for me as beautiful as that.

I am a broken stone, kicked around by passing feet, until He takes me and polishes me for His crown. How’d I get here? Through His goodness and my choice to let Him lead me. I laid down my burden of the temporary, the desires of the body and the thoughts, and picked up His burden, His love for people and His desire for me to look and act like Him. It’s so worth it. For I am nothing on my own, a needle without the thread needed to make anything. Instead, I just sit and push it in and out to no avail, pricking my fingers now and then. God is the artist who creates me as a beautiful tapestry, but He does it. And there is grace. Not only that He said we could but that He is our ability, and where God is we have liberty and success. But we place Him there, in government of “us,” choosing the life He’s given and not the death that surrounds us on every side. The death He defeated for our benefit. And His.

Ephesians 1:3-12 MSG
“How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son. 7-10 Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth. 11-12 It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.”

Image by Azeddine Behlouli from Pixabay

Suzanne D. Williams, Author