I have been crucified with Christ,
This is your first response to the enemy, to the flesh, to temptation. You have been crucified WITH Christ. An interesting word, “with”. To have been crucified with Christ is to have put to death your flesh, your will, to have placed on the cross your desires, your agenda, your ideas, your past, your sins, your failures, everything that has to do with you has been placed on the cross and crucified, it was left there, nailed, drained of life, it was placed on Christ who “became sin” so now why do you toil with it as if it were still living, if you indeed crucified it. It is dead and just as Christ declared on the cross so declare every morning before battle, “it is finished”
It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me,
It is important to remember now who it is that loves you and reigns supreme. Remember that no heart is so scarred, so meddled with, so hard that Christ can not enter into it and revive it. There is no person so dirty on the inside who Christ can’t live in. Don’t ever cast yourself so short of grace as if you are the exception to the rule that Christ died for sinners. If Christ died for sinners, then you being a sinner have someone in your place. Stand up and “stand your ground” It is yours after all isn’t it? It already belongs to you! Away with you Satan, accuser, deceiver, liar, for you do not wage war against a son of man but against THE Son of Man. You were defeated before you even breathed your first breath of pride. Away with you! Your place is not in my heart, nor in my mind, but under my foot!
And the life which I live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God
All decisions, all things done, all works are by faith. We “live by faith not sight” and as a result we can be assured that those things which Christ has told us are “Yes and Amen” Therefore, “be strong and courageous” always remembering that “The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing…” Remember that “whom the Son sets free, is free indeed” You don’t need to continue worrying or wondering if God is with you, He is with You and whatever promise He has made you, rest assured, while your heart may fail you, while your thoughts may cripple you, while your circumstance may say otherwise, know that He has already done it. “Do not think it strange” when people put you down, call you a fool or tell you your course of action, your way of being, your ideas are faulty and at best shallow. Remember the previous sentence, they are not yours, but His.
Who loved me and gave Himself for me.
The point at which we so often fail is remembering the place from which we receive our pardon, our victory, our faith, our stance. In my opinion this point should come first and it interesting that Paul mentions this, after all, he writing to the church at Galatia which at this point was losing sight of the grace of the gospel and being caught up in some other gospel based on the law and works. How often we base our stance with God on how we feel or how we are doing. Notice the verbs used, in the greek, these verbs are in a tense that imply an individed event, a one step process. Notice also no verb is used to apply to anything on our end. We are mentioned merely as the one on the receiving end of that which is being performed. It was God who loved, it was God who gave. The enemy comes and gives us some definition of what a Christian should look like, shows us how we don’t measure up and then proceeds to destroy us. You forget, just like me, that when God looks at us, He sees His Son. So take heart, the enemy is right, you do fall short and you are not the “perfect Christian” he says you should be, however, Christ lived the perfect life, and as far as God is concerned, we have “become His righteousness”
Because you say that I am a sinner, I will be righteous and saved... I fly to Christ who has given himself for my sins. Therefore, Satan, you will not prevail against me when you try to terrify me by telling me how great my sins are, on the contrary, when you say I am a sinner, you give me armor and a weapon against yourself...for Christ died for sinners... You do not terrify me but comfort me immeasurably. - Martin Luther
The article of justification must be sounded in our ears incessantly because the frailty of our flesh will not permit us to take hold of it perfectly - Martin Luther