I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.Galatians 2:20(ESV)
The death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ are the critical elements of salvation. Nothing but faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus is sufficient to reconcile us back to God and save us from our sins. The key truths of the gospel are faith in the death, burial and resurrection of the Son of God, Who was born into the race that He Himself created, in order to pay the price for our sin - a price that we could never pay.
But as well as being saved by Christ's death we are also IDENTIFIED with His death. I have been crucified with Christ. My old self was crucified with Jesus on the cross. My old sin nature, which my Bible calls the "old man" was crucified with Christ. Just as I am a physical seed of Adam's physical race and was effectively IN Adam when he sinned in the garden of Eden, (imputing me with sin and thus making me a sinner) in the same way I am a spiritual seed of Christ's spiritual race and was effectively IN Christ when He died on the cross at Calvary (imputing me with His righteousness and making me the righteousness of God in Christ - by faith). My death in Christ means that the old ME, the old SELF, the old SIN NATURE - the OLD MAN died in Christ, on Calvary when Jesus died on the cross. The old ME died at the cross and severed all connections I had with my old, Adamic sin nature - which means that death no longer has power over me - nor does sin, or Satan or the Law - for I am dead to sin, dead to the Law - dead to self and dead to Satan.
But it also means that when Christ rose from the dead - I also rose into newness of life and became part of a new creation in Christ. I left my identity in Adam at the point of my salvation and became identified with His resurrected life. So that just as His death became my death, so His resurrected life became my new, born-again life - my new life in Christ - so that I can say with Paul, I have been crucified in Christ and it is no longer I who live, but Christ Who lives in me, and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me. I have the new born-again resurrected life of Christ in me, so that although I still live in this body of flesh and blood, I live by faith in the Son of God, so that it is not I that lives but Christ that lives in ME - Christ, Who loved me and gave Himself for me.
This is the biggest mysteries revealed to the believer. The moment I trusted the Son of God as Saviour, my new life in Christ was born and the old sin nature in Adam(my heritage from my earthly parentage), was nailed to the cross 2000 years ago. The old man was crucified in Christ and severed at that point, but the nature of that old, fleshly self-life, will remain throughout my entire life-walk. That old sin nature will remain in bitter rivalry with my new-life in Christ, which must grow in grace and mature in the knowledge of Jesus. The old man, which was severed at the cross, is crucified, and yet continues to unleash its assaults against the new life in Christ, which was born from above and lives for evermore.
The roots of the old sin nature, suck its strength from worldly desires and fleshly ego. It 'lusts' against the new life, which through re-creation is dead to the world and dead to the law, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Saviour. How dearly does my new life need to grow in grace, but how impossible in my own strength to combat the lust of the eye and the lust of the flesh and the pride of life! But God in His wisdom did not leave my new life in Him to overcome alone, when I was baptised into Christ as His newly born-again child. God sent His eternal, permanently-indwelling, life-giving Holy Spirit to become my life-Guide and my soul-Helper.
And as I submit to His gracious leading and gentle guidance, sin is mortified, and grace is quickened. The more I respond to His gracious leading and gentle guidance the more I can say: I live, and yet not I, but Christ lives in me- for it is His Spirit that is the Source that is leading and guiding my new-life in Christ in the things that I say and the way that I behave.
Thank You Father for Your indwelling holy Spirit Who was sent to live alongside my new life in Christ and to lead and guide me through this earthly life. Teach me to listen to His voice and recognise His promptings and I pray that more and more Your will not mine be done, until I can say with Paul, the life that I now life in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me. AMEN.