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As A Christian, Are You Living - The Crucified Life?

Well are you? If you are, why are you and who told you to? This is one of those mainstream Christian expressions or phrases that sounds oh so very serious, sincere and pious, doesn't it? You probably think "Oh yes, this is more like it, I knew I was enjoying life too much, this is what real Christianity is all about, woe is me, head bowed, shoulders drooping and sad countenance - I really must live my life more as if I were crucified - where's my sandwich boards with 'doormat Christian' written back and front; where's the sack cloth and ashes and perhaps my doctor can prescribe me a pill that will make me look half dead! I know, better still, where's the local monastery, why should they have all the fun, I'll sign up today!!??"

If you are, or were, new to the Faith and you were to hear the men of the Christian religion spiel this phrase and who then told you to go and prepare yourself for 'The Crucified Life' what thoughts would that generate in your mind - elation or dread? Would you be uplifted and encouraged by hearing it, and would it fill you with joy and gladness or would you feel more as if a steel toe capped boot had thumped you in the groin!!?? I know what I would feel because I have sat in front of men like these, men who have taught this kind of message, so I know what the steel toe capped boot feels like. I do not exaggerate when I tell you quite plainly that it was only through a miracle from The Lord Jesus Christ that I am still alive today, for it was He who rescued me from the clutches of those blasphemers and dogs with their bad news message of 'The Crucified Life.'

Now I know that some of you out there are sold on this crucified life nonsense, so I will ask you a question: when you first heard this phrase was it an integral part of a sermon, or a book, or in an article? If so, after hearing this sermon or reading this phrase did you go home and check it in the Holy Scriptures to see if it was correct? The reason I ask this is because the words 'crucified' and 'life' only appear together once in one verse of the Holy Bible - only one verse, but not as the phrase 'The Crucified Life'. This phrase is man made. Now this alone should set alarm bells ringing for us all. Why? Why, because a complete belief system has been built around this one phrase, which, as I said, originates from this one verse of Holy Scripture:

Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

First of all we can see that the words 'The Crucified Life' do not appear together, so whether it is correct or not correct to use them in this way is by the by. This is because, it was, and is, always going to be a man made, made up phrase. This is something that those in mainstream Christianity are very fond of doing - they just love their jargon. You will know what I mean, as I have mocked them for their use of these meaningless expressions before in several of my previous articles. Ok, back to Galatians where we can see, according to the King James Bible, that Paul says he is crucified with Christ - present tense, but if we refer to the Greek rendering we find that it's past tense:

To-Anointed (to-Christ) I have been together impaled (I have been crucified together) I am living yet not-still I is-living yet in me Anointed (Christ) which yet now I am living in flesh in belief (faith) I am living to the of the Son of the God the one-loving me and beside-giving (giving up) Self over me.

Ok, so it's past tense, so what, you may ask? Well, if you cannot see the implication of the tense difference here, then you are on very shaky ground indeed. Paul is saying it in past tense because he was crucified with Christ. When? Why at baptism of course, that is when all True Believers die with Jesus Christ as if crucified with Him, in the watery grave of the Baptising pool. This is the point in time in our lives when we commit to Him as our friend and Brother but what happens next? Paul tells us: nevertheless I live. Now this expression if applied to the present tense would mean I am in an ongoing process of being crucified and I am living as well. Hello, excuse me, how could that work and it sounds like a nightmare - a living hell!? I won't beat around the bush here, whatever way you hack this, crucified people are either dead or death is imminent; you cannot put it any other way. Either way you're in pretty bad shape, to say the least, and the insurance man is checking your policy to see if he can fiddle his way out of paying up.

If on the other hand we apply Paul's expression to the past tense it then begins to make sense. "I was crucified with Christ yet nevertheless I live" All Paul is doing here is explaining what takes place at Baptism: we die in the watery grave but are raised alive out of the water to a new life in Christ and Christ in us. Which is basically what Paul then goes on to say: "yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." Please take special notice: 1) Jesus Christ now lives in Paul. 2) The life that Paul now lives is not a crucified life but rather a life lived by the faith of the Son of God. This means it's an abundant, vibrant fulfilled life not a half dead or completely dead life, as a man crucified. Notice, too, that Paul lives by The Lord Jesus Christ's faith not his own faith, proving yet again that salvation has got nothing to do with us and our efforts or input.

Finally, here is a Holy Scripture that 'The Crucified Life' brigade knows nothing about: John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. This verse is not about amassing vast fortunes and becoming wealthy in material things, although some members of the Church will be blessed in this way. This verse is about lives being filled with joy and gladness as we develop our relationship with The Lord Jesus Christ, which will also involve going through various trials with Him and even learning to count them as joyous. Not easy, but all things are possible if you keep your faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ:

James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (Testings or trials). (Brackets mine)

If you would like to know more about how to live your life abundantly as a Christian and not half dead as a crucified person, please feel free to contact me at yes2faith@yahoo.co.uk

Charles Crosby

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