“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me”
it is no longer I who live,
By his crucifixion with Christ, Paul now lives in another sphere, another dimension, because of his new life in Christ. He no longer lives in reference to the law; he lives in reference to Christ.
The “I” is emphatic in Greek. His death in Christ is so complete that another power lives in him.
“I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin” (Romans 7:25).
Christ freed us from the law so that we walk with God in a relationship, not a legal system.
A person who tries to draw near to God by his own futile efforts will forever fail to walk with God. Our own righteousness never impresses God because the only righteousness that ever impresses God is Christ’s righteousness.
Our totally depraved nature annihilates any attempt to find God’s acceptance by keeping the law. We can only live the Christian life by yielding ourselves to the Holy Spirit. That is, we acknowledge that we can only please God with His power. Our new life in Christ energizes us to live beyond what our depraved nature would allow us to do. The residence of His life in us affects everything we do and say.
There is such a thing as a bastard crucifixion. This is a progeny of the flesh, a fleshly imitation of co-crucifixion. It is the crucifixion of self, not our co-crucifixion with Christ. A person who crucifies himself appears to crucify sin in his life. This person is in a worse condition than if he never crucified himself (Corinthians 2:23) because he operates in the pride of self-righteousness.
True crucifixion with Christ is positional truth. Christ did the work on the cross for us, making us legally perfect in God’s eyes. We benefit from what He did. True Christian living is the appropriation of positional truth to experience. This is not crucifixion for Christ but a participation in Christ’s crucifixion. Death is the only escape from self-righteousness. Our legal death in Christ frees us to fellowship with God any time, any place.