Dying Paul

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
” (Galatians 2:20).

We
know this verse, we sings this verse, and we love this verse! It’s a great way
to teach others that, as Christians, our goal is to let Christ live through us
and control our wants and desires, but the meaning of this passage is far
deeper than we might think.

Please read a few more passages to get a taste for
what I mean by this.

And they that are Christ’s have crucified
the flesh with the affections and lusts
” (Galatians 5:24).

But God forbid that I should glory, save in
the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and
I unto the world
” (Galatians 6:14).

Having
read these passages, notice the context of Galatians 2:20.

For if I build again the things which I
destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. 
(19)  For I through the law am
dead to the law, that I might live unto God. 
(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.  (21)  I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if
righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain
” (Galatians
2:18-21).

Galatians
5:24 (see above) is different from Galatians 6:14 and Galatians 2:20 because
the verb tense of “have crucified” is in the Aorist-Active-Indicative which is
a fancy word for meaning “at one point in the past.” In other words, Paul is
saying that he no longer lives according to the lusts of the flesh, but instead
he produces the fruit of the spirit. However, in Galatians 2:20 and Galatians
6:14, the word “crucified” is in the Perfect-Passive-Indicative which means it
is a continuous state of a completed past action
So
Galatians 2:20 could be translated “I am in a present state of having been
crucified with Christ.” In this light, what Paul is actually saying is that he
was hanging on the cross with Christ.
In
Galatians 6:14, Paul meant that, through the power of the cross, the world of
the flesh (Galatians 6:13) was nailed the cross, dead to Paul, and He was dead
to that world as well.
Having
this understanding of “dying Paul,” a lot of other passages come to my mind.

I protest by your rejoicing which I have in
Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily
” (I Corinthians 15:31).

Always bearing about in the body the dying
of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our
body.  (11)  For we which live are alway delivered unto
death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in
our mortal flesh.  (12)  So then death worketh in us, but life in you

(II Corinthians 4:10-12).

And if children, then heirs; heirs of God,
and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer
with him, that we may be also glorified together.  (18) 
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to
be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us
” (Romans 8:17-18).

Other
passages that can be read on this subject are Acts 9:4, Philippians 3:8-12, and
Colossians 1:24.
To
summarize what these passages teach, Paul was dying daily with the Lord, and
the “dying” came from two different sources. The first source of suffering was
from the world being crucified to him. When one stops considering themselves
“of the world” and starts counting themselves “of God,” the world will turn on
the individual and persecute them.

If ye were of the world, the world would
love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of
the world, therefore the world hateth you
” (John 15:19; see I Corinthians
2:6-8).

The
second source of dying in Paul’s life is found in his struggle to leave behind
his old life, and enter into newness of life (Romans 6:3-4). This is what Paul
meant when he said that he was crucified to the world.

Yea doubtless, and I count all things but
loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I
have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may
win Christ
” (Philippians 3:8).

It’s
never easy to give up friendship to the world, but it’s necessary to do so in
order to find favor in God’s eyes.

(Source for the Greek terms
and definitions:
http://www.ntgreek.org/learn_nt_greek/verbs1.htm).

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