By Larry White
Gal.6:14, "...by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world."
What does it mean to be crucified unto the world? The fact of the matter is, that you have been crucified. This happened to every Christian when they were baptized into Christ. We were crucified with Christ. (Rom. 6:6-10) We were baptized into death; our old man (the man we were before we came to Christ) was crucified with Jesus. When he was crucified and died on the cross, that became our crucifixion and death, and our old earthly, fleshly life ended and was buried.
What it requires from us now is to by faith, live as a reality before the world, what in fact has happened in Christ. Look at Rom. 6:11.
Reckon means, to account to yourself. This is an act of faith, where we believe that we are dead to sin and to the world and then go about living that as a reality. In verse 13 he says we are to present ourselves unto God as being alive from the dead.
What would it be like to be dead? What if it were possible for me to announce to you as of this moment, your life is over. You now have no more say in the affairs of this life.
Now, what were you so anxious about this morning? Don't worry about it anymore. You're dead. All your cares are given to God now. You have no position to be worried anymore.
What new job or higher pay were you striving so hard to gain yesterday? You don't have to strive anymore. You're dead. You have no right to a better job or a better life anymore. All your provisions and support are taken care of by God now.
What sin or enslaving habit had a grip on you and you tried your best to stop it, but every time you were tempted you caved in and sank in guilt? The temptation is still going to be around, but it won't bother you anymore because you are dead. You have a different perspective now. You know the truth about those carnal desires and drives ‑ that they were only temporary and not worth losing your soul over. Now you let God meet your needs and desires in his way and in his timing.
What person really made you mad the other day and stepped all over you and insulted you, and you were so angry you couldn't see straight? Now you've given up your right to save face or to get even. Who are they insulting? A dead man. It won't bother you anymore. You are a whole other, a whole different being than they have ever dealt with. You are far above the slights and insults ‑ because they are attacking something that isn't you anymore ‑ your earthly life in the flesh that is dead. You have no fleshly ego to get bruised. You've died to all of that and gone on.
The Christian is dead to the world ‑ crucified to the world. When you live like this most people will think you're just odd. But there will be some of those who will recognize the absence of passions or worries in your life and it will pique their interest and they will want the same freedom you have.
The Christian is unworldly. As Jesus said, "they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." (Jno.17:16) Jesus wasn't of the world ‑ and we all understand what he means. Jesus did and said some pretty strange things by the world's standards. But you see, he had an excuse, he was a foreigner. He was the closest thing to an alien from another world that we'll ever encounter.
But Jesus was not the only one. Every Christian is not of the world, even as Jesus was not of the world. 1Pet. 2:11 says that we are aliens and foreigners. The only thing new and different in this world is a crucified Christian. He's not a product of the world. He's foreign.
To be crucified unto the world is to stop living in the world. (Col. 2:20) We do not live in the world anymore. We do not have to walk according to the course of this world anymore. (Eph. 2:2)
The Christian is commanded to come out of the world. (2Cor. 6:17-18) How? On the Space Shuttle? No. The only way out of this world is to die. We die to it. We place our earthly, fleshly life on the cross and we die with Jesus. And the existence we have now in the flesh is a new resurrected life that Christ lives in us.
We act now as if we lived in eternity already. "As he is, so are we in this world." (1Jno. 4:17) We don't live in the world ‑ but we live in the truth ‑ we live in the Spirit, where lust isn't a factor; desires of the flesh are mortified (put to death), nailed to the cross.
We overcome the world and its entanglements by dieing to it ‑ being born spiritually to a resurrected life and by faith, reckoning those facts to ourselves every day, moment by moment placing ourselves on the cross and yielding our lives unto God, not demanding our own rights, but living unto him in his strength, in his way, in his timing.
Now, how does this inner change in me affect my outward obedience?
When an apostle gives a command I'll be able to do it. If I'm dead with Christ and he is living in me ‑ there will be nothing to hinder me. If I am trying to do it in my own strength, in my own understanding in the flesh, I will fail. This is what Paul is talking about in Gal. 5:16-18.
The flesh hinders us ‑ the solution is to die, crucify the flesh. v.24, "...have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires."
To have the victory over sin and over the world, we have to live crucified ‑ dead to the old me ‑ dead to the former passions in my ignorance ‑ dead to the course (the mode of operation) of this world ‑ dead to my own strength - dead to my own wisdom.
When faced with temptation, we can remember who we are in Christ and take our position on the cross with him and choose death to that sin.
When we choose death with Christ, a whole new world of freedom and spiritual strength will open up to us because Christ will begin living his life in and through us.
It will no longer be we who live but Christ will live in us (Gal. 2:20). Christ will be our life, by whom the world is crucified unto me and I unto the world.