VICTORY THROUGH THE CROSS
When we receive Christ by faith, it means that His death on the cross counts as payment for our sins. But it means much more. It also means that we enter into a new life—one that extends forever into the past as well as into the future. To put it another way, we exchange our history in Adam—the bad and the good—for an eternal history in Christ. We inherit a new ‘family tree’! By becoming partakers of Christ’s life, we become participants in His death, burial, resurrection, ascension and seating in the heavenlies (Romans 6:3-6; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 2:6). He only has one life, and this is the life we receive at our new birth (1 John 5:11,12).
Unless and until we know by personal faith experience that we were crucified with Christ, we will continue to try to live for Christ, using the methods we learned in our old self-lives. The conflicts stemming from our history in Adam will go on plaguing and defeating us. But when, by faith, we take our rightful place at the Cross in union with Christ’s death and resurrection, then—and only then—can we truly “walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4b) where “old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
The Cross experience (understanding experientially our crucifixion and resurrection with Christ) is the gateway into the Spirit-controlled life (Galatians 5:16). It is life out of death, victory out of defeat—the purpose and answer for suffering in the life of the believer. Our path to the Cross, as well as the Cross itself, is a path of suffering; but it is the only path that leads to the end of suffering.
Are you weary enough of your internal conflict and constant defeat to put an end to it by faith? Are you willing to die to all that you are so you can live in all that He is? To do so is to exchange the self-life for the Christ-life and be filled or controlled by the Holy Spirit. To refuse to do so is to continue a walk after the flesh and to grieve the Spirit with a continuation of conflict, suffering and defeat.