Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

Freedom #11: Born Crucified


As II Corinthians 5:21 is my favorite verse for understanding and explaining salvation, so Galatians 2:20 is my favorite verse for explaining how to live the Christian life.  I first began to understand this as a sophomore in the high school associated with Prairie Bible Institute in Three Hills, AlbertaCanada.  The president, L.E. Maxwell explained it so well.



The doctrinal explanation of Galatians 2:20  is found in Romans chapters 6-8 where Paul explains sanctification.


Romans starts out with the bad news that I, along with every member of the human race, am a sinner; condemned and under the wrath of God. As Romans 5:12-18 explains,  we inherited our sinful nature from our first father, Adam.


As sinners, we have broken God’s Laws and must pay the penalty of eternal death in hell.  See Romans 3:10, 23,  and 6:23  Revelation 20:11-15


Since I am a helpless sinner, I can do absolutely nothing to save myself.


Since God is loving and gracious, He has devised His own plan of salvation, by coming down to earth in the person of Jesus.  Through faith in the death of Jesus on the cross and His resurrection from the tomb for my sins, He has declared me perfectly righteous and fit for Heaven. This is all explained in Romans 3-5, and summarized in II Corinthians 5:21.  It is also stated in our text,  Galatians 2:20




In Romans 3-5 the truth of Justification is explained and the key word is SUBSTITUTION.   As  lambs in Old Testament times were offered as substitutes for payment for sin,  so in the fullness of time God sent His Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ, God the Son, to pay the full payment for the sins of the world.  Those who receive Him as Saviour are given the Gift of Eternal Life.  Those who reject Him as Saviour turn their back on eternal life and choose damnation.  Read Romans 3-5 carefully and then see this truth summarized in II Corinthians 5:21  and in Galatians 2:20.


L.E. Maxwell, in his book Born Crucified  illustrates the concept of Substitution.


“During the Civil War a man by the name of George Wyatt was drawn by lot to go to the front. He had a wife and six children. 


A young man by the name of Richard Pratt offered to go in his stead. He was accepted and joined the ranks, bearing the name and number of George Wyatt.  Before long Pratt was killed in action.


The authorities later sought to draft George Wyatt into service.  He protested, entering a plea that he had died in the person of Pratt.  He insisted that the authorities consult their own records as to the fact of his having died in identification with Pratt, his substitute.  Wyatt was thereby exempted as beyond the claim of the law and further service.  He died in the person of his representative. “



But there is more to Paul’s wonderful testimony of salvation if Galatians 2:20.


Christ not only died in my place to take the condemnation and punishment for my sins;

but His death and resurrection also delivers me from the power of sin as a Christian.




As substitution is the key word to understand the doctrine of Justification;  so Identification is the key word that helps me understand the doctrine of Sanctification.  Note the second part of Galatians 2:20  “nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me, and the life which I now live in my fleshly body, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.”


God doesn’t stop with Justification.  With those He justified, Romans 8:29 explains that He begins a life long process of conforming us to the very image of His Son, Jesus.  Romans 8:30 tells us that the process will be completed and perfected when we stand before God in Heaven glorified as  perfect as His Son, the Lord Jesus.





The how to of sanctification is explained in three steps found in Romans 6.


KNOW this fact in Romans 6:1-10 

I was crucified in the person of Christ.

I was buried in the person of Christ.

I arose from the dead in the person of Christ.


RECKON this fact to be true.  Romans 6:11-12

That is, count this fact to be true, especially in moments of temptation.


YIELD to Christ.  Romans 6:13-16

Yield to Christ’s Lordship in every decision of life and every time I am tempted to sin.

When I yield to Him,  His Holy Spirit, who lives in my heart, takes over in my life and I begin to live the life I could never live by my own effort.  Christ lives in me!

That’s the wonderful secret





These two truths, though separate truths, must be accepted together if we are to grow to spiritual maturity.   I encourage you to read through the following passages and see how both truths always go together. 

Romans 8:1,  

Ephesians 1:4, and 12,  

Ephesians 2:8-10,  4:11-13, 5:5-6,  5:25-27

Philippians 1:6,  3:10-15


In Justification I am judicially declared a Christian,  Through faith in Christ’s shed blood for my sins, God counts me as righteous as His own dear Son, the Lord Jesus.


But the purpose of salvation is not to simply give me a free ticket to Heaven, but to bring me  into a life of victory over sin through my identification with Christ as a believer. 








September 1, 2007 - Posted by | Freedom

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