We must live the crucified life
Bertha Smith believed “the love of Calvary could not be appreciated until the people had heard the thunder of Sinai” (p. 42). This captures well the theme of Galatians and the context of our verse.
Paul wants the Galatians to know that law righteousness, works-righteous justifies no one. As verse 16 makes crystal clear, “we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but thru faith in Christ Jesus...because by the works of the law no one will be justified.” Therefore as verse 19 declares, “I died to the law, so that I might live to God.” Here then is the context of verse 20, a verse the New Testament scholar Leon Morris said was “personally the most moving text in the whole of Scripture.” “I have been crucified with Christ.” United with God by faith, I share in His death. He died to sin and I died to sin with Him. He died to self on my behalf and I now die to self for His behalf. There is both an objective and subjective aspect to this death. The objective looks to my justification. The subjective looks to my sanctification. Objectively as Tim Keller says, “God treats me just as if I died on the cross and paid for every last sin. I am not liable. So the law has no claim on me. I owe the law nothing. I have paid in full” (Study Guide, “Living the Gospel”, 50). Subjectively, there is a dying at conversion and there is a dying daily as I grasp the magnitude of my union and identification with my Savior. John Piper puts it so well: “What does it mean to be crucified with Christ? I think it means this: First, that the gruesome death of the all-glorious, innocent, loving Son of God for my sin is the most radical indictment of my hopeless condition imaginable.
The crucifixion of Jesus is the open display of my hellish nature. And, second, when I see this and believe that he really died for me, then my old proud self which loves to display its power by climbing ladders of morality and intellect and beauty and daring dies. Self-reliance and self-confidence cannot live at the foot of the cross. Therefore, when Christ died, I died.” (“I Do Not Nullify the Grace of God”, 3-6-83).
read the whole paper here: http://www.danielakin.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Galatians-2.20-Bertha-Smith-A-Soul-Winning-Missionary....Manuscript-kh.pdf
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon