The Christian Life Versus The Crucified Life

By David J. Stewart | October 2013

Galatians 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.”

       I was listening to one of Pastor Jack Hyles awesome MP3 sermons today titled, Steps To Sanctification OR The Root Of All Heresy. Dr. Hyles provides so much vital information in this sermon concerning Biblical salvation, and refutes numerous heresies circulating in churches these days concerning salvation, that I decided to share some of it with you in an article. This is great stuff! Dr. Hyles' helpful sermon can be outlined as follows:

These things must happen in order. You can't die to self until you've trusted the Lord to get saved. You can't live the resurrected life for others until you've crucified the sinful lusts. And you cannot walk with Jesus if you haven't been saved, crucified the lusts of the flesh, and are living the resurrected life for OTHERS! Amen! Isn't that great truth! Yes Sir, it sure is!

We are saved by grace through faith plus or minus NOTHING! Jesus paid our sin debt! We are saved by believing the gospel that Christ DIED on the cross, was BURIED and RESURRECTED from the dead. Christ is risen! This is the saved life! We are saved by faith alone in Christ.

But once you're saved, God has more for you than just going to Heaven. God wants us to live the crucified life, that is, we become dead to our self. It is heresy if you mix up the saved life with the crucified life. It is heresy to say, “Well, if you got what I got brother you wouldn't be watching those dirty movies, playing that Rock music, smoking, drinking and living in sin.” That's not true. There is such a thing as “babes in Christ” (1st Corinthians 3:1). 1st Peter 2:2 speaks of growing in grace in the milk of the Word. It is just as unreasonable to expect a new convert to live a righteous life as it would be to expect a newborn baby to run a marathon. The saved life and the crucified life are not the same. They are completely separate from each other.

What happens is that some people get so sick of shallow Christians who are “SO SAVED AS BY FIRE,” that they change the plan of salvation to require a person to cease from sins to be saved. That's a false plan of salvation!

And on the other extreme you've got corrupt preachers who abandon sin altogether. They say to invite Jesus into your heart and life to be saved, but they fail to mention sin. You're not saved by asking Jesus to come into your heart. You've got to address the matter of your sinnership. God saves THE UNGODLY (Romans 4:5). God doesn't save the self-righteous who errantly think they can earn eternal life. No one has ever got saved who didn't realize that he was a sinner. You've got to know what you're saved from.

It is heresy for anyone to say, “If you're smoking, drinking and living in adultery, you didn't get what I got when I was saved.” That's heresy! Being saved has nothing to do with being crucified! Christ lived, died, arose and ascended. I can imagine Christian ears listening to Rock music, but I can't imagine crucified ears listening to Rock music. I can imagine a Christian tongue being guilty of gossip, but I can't imagine a crucified tongue being guilty of gossip. I can imagine a Christian man committing horrible sins, but I cannot imagine a crucified man committing horrible sins. God wants us as born-again Christians to DIE TO SELF. I am crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20).

If you've died to self, then live the resurrected life and LIVE FOR OTHERS. If you're saved, dead to self and living for others, then there's still one more thing that you must do to please God... WALK WITH JESUS! That's the ascended life!!!

Are you saved? Are you crucified? Are you resurrected? Are you ascended?

Getting saved will get you to Heaven, but God had more in mind... DIE TO SELF!!! But just crucifying the old man isn't enough to please God. We must raise up to live the resurrected life for OTHERS! But that's not enough to please God. We must also ascend as Christ ascended into Heaven. That is, we must WALK with Jesus. Colossians 3:1 speaks of the ascended life. Colossians 3:1, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” Here is the helpful outline once again...

In ascending we enter into perennial fellowship with Christ. Ephesians 2:4-6, “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”

When preachers focus on only one of the four areas, they get into doctrinal trouble. If a preacher mixes the crucified life with the saved life for salvation, he has corrupted the gospel. Yet, if all a preacher preaches is trusting Christ to be saved, then he is not faithfully teaching the Bible. A believer should also crucify them self to the lusts of the flesh and the sinful world. But there's more, a believer should also raise up with Christ to live for OTHERS. This is the resurrected life. And then we should all ascend with Christ into Heaven to walk with Jesus on a daily basis. The Bible commands us in Colossians 3:1 to set our affections ON THINGS ABOVE.

This is such a beautiful, practical and eye-opening Biblical truth. Many people are living the crucified life, but they are not living for others in the Lord. Still yet, there are many people who are living for others, but they are not living the saved life, never having been born-again. Too many preachers are guilty of specializing in one area and leaving off the others. Christ didn't just die, but also, he was buried and then raised up and He ascended into Heaven.

Beware of any minister who perverts the plan of salvation by requiring people to live the crucified life to be saved. Christ died for all our sins. Jesus died, was buried and raised up from the dead. That is the gospel according to 1st Corinthians 15:1-4. Christ is risen!!! We simply trust Christ to be saved. I hear so many radio and TV preachers teaching a false plan of salvation. They say to invite Jesus into your life, or to ask Jesus into your heart; but there is no mention of sin or of Christ's resurrection from the dead. Others say to pray a prayer to be saved, but there is no mention of the gospel (good news) of Christ's death, burial and resurrection. You'd be surprised how many religious people don't believe that Christ is God, or that He raised up from the dead, or that He was born of a virgin. Eternal life is a free gift (Romans 6:23). Salvation is received, not achieved.

The following outline is important and helpful, because it distinguishes the difference between the saved life versus the crucified life and the resurrected life and the ascended life. There are many people who are saved, but they are not living the crucified life. They are saved, but they are still abiding in sin. Many errant ministers would claim that such people never got saved, but the Bible is very clear that God imputeth righteousness by faith to a man without works (Romans 4:5-6).

You can't take any particular Scripture and use it to establish a doctrine. I'm going to quote to you two different Bible passages, which seem to 100% contradict each other...

1st John 3:8-10, “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.”

Romans 4:5, “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works.”

Now we read in 1st John 3:8-10 that whoever lives a lifestyle of sin is of the Devil; yet Romans 4:5-6 teaches that God saves a man without works merely by his faith. So if you can be saved simply by faith without works, then why does the Bible say that a man living in sinful works is of the Devil? The answer is simple, Romans 4:5 speaks of the saved life, but 1st John 3:8-10 speaks of the crucified life. When king David commit adultery and murder, he was of the Devil. When Peter tried to stop Jesus from going to the cross, the Lord said, “Get thee behind me Satan” (Matthew 16:23)! Peter wasn't the Devil, but he was thinking and talking like the Devil. When a believer continues in sin, they are living like the Devil. They haven't died to self yet. They may have the saved life, but they don't have the crucified life.

You cannot determine if a person is saved by the way they live, just as you cannot determine how much gas is in a car's fuel tank by the sound of the horn. Even the best of genuine Christians still commit sin. For anyone to teach that a person who wilfully sins is not saved is false doctrine, hypocrisy and sin. Only the Lord Jesus is without sin (Hebrews 4:15; 2nd Corinthians 5:21). To say that a professed Christian who lives in sin is not saved is highly subjective, because who am I, or you, to decide how much sin a person can commit before we label them as unsaved? Everyone commits sin, every day! That doesn't mean that we have God's permission. God forbid. No one has God's permission to sin. Romans 3:31, “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.”

I once knew a rebellious woman who made some feminist friends at a church (God hates feminism). She filed for divorce. She and her hypocritical friends decided that the husband wasn't saved and they were praying for his salvation. By the end of the divorce the prayer request had changed from unsaved to backslidden. Who are they to play God and decide who is or isn't saved? They should have renamed their Wednesday night prayer meeting to a “hate meeting.” Sadly, this sinful scenario is commonplace in tens-of-thousands of churches all across America. As Christians we all need to leave the plan of salvation alone, and stop labeling people as being saved or unsaved based on how they live, how we feel about them or the sins they commit. Anyone who receives the gospel of Christ's death, burial and resurrection as full-payment for their sins is saved. Whether or not that individual has moved on to the crucified life, resurrected life and ascended life is irrelevant to their being saved.

There are many people who live disciplined lives, abstaining from worldly pleasures and amusements; yet, they do not have the saved life. They are still hellbound in their sin of unbelief without Christ. There are others who support charity, donating their time and money to help the needy; but they've never been saved. There are Christians who have died to self, but they are not living the resurrected life and don't live to help OTHERS. And then there are Christians who help others, but they don't walk with the Lord Jesus in sweet fellowship in the ascended life. Their affections are here on earth instead of up in Heaven.

So many Independent Baptist churches are doctrinally messed-up today because they get infatuated with one of these four areas and neglect the others, or have so much disdain for one of these areas that they corrupt the other.

For example: some churches reject the crucified life and therefore have low moral church standards. The women wear pants. Rock music is in the church. The church is worldly. They ought to be living the crucified life. So they get caught up into a false plan of salvation that just says to “trust Jesus” or “invite Jesus into your heart” to be saved. These are not the gospel and cannot produce the new birth. The sin question must be addressed! No one ever got saved who didn't know that he is a sinner.

Then on the other extreme you've got preachers who are so disgusted with this barely inside-the-gate, saved-as-by-grace type of shallow Christianity that they corrupt the gospel and add turning from sinful living as a requirement to be saved. BOTH of these groups are wrong! You don't have to stop committing sins to be saved, but you ought to crucify your flesh as a new believer, by yielding to the Holy Spirit that now indwells you and allow Him to live the Christian life through you. Galatians 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.” You cannot crucify yourself. If you were to nail one hand to the cross, then you couldn't use that hand to nail the other hand to the cross. Only God can crucify you. Don't forget that!

Heresy is creeping into our Independent Baptist Fundamental churches by the hour. Many churches become infatuated with one of these steps. Some Christians get to the point of living for others, having risen with the Lord; but then they forget about the second step of being crucified with Christ. And so they cannot properly continue to live for others because they're now living in sin. Other believers get caught-up with walking with Jesus, enjoying fellowshipping with God so much that they forget about living for others, and so their walk with God is hindered. If a preacher gets so wrapped-up in the top step of walking with Jesus, that he forgets the simplicity of preaching the gospel and is now way above everybody. They've been so caught-up with some theological professor in a university who teaches great doctrine, that they've forgotten about getting people saved. They have left the simplicity of the gospel. This is how people get into the deeper-life, which is not deeper, it is a shallow life. This is what happens.

Some preachers become so enchanted with death in Christ (the crucified life) that they say, “If a person is not dead in Christ he is not saved.” That is heresy! Yet other preachers are so disenchanted with death in Christ (the crucified life) that they leave out sin altogether in the plan of salvation. This also is heresy. No one can be saved who doesn't realize that he or she is a sinner in God's eyes.

Please notice that in the following precious passage of Scripture that we see the saved, crucified, resurrected and ascended life of the believer...

Philippians 3:9, “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.”

Galatians 5:25, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”

As It Was In The Days Of Noah

I believe it is abundantly clear that we are now living in the end-times. The homosexualization of the world is strong evidence of the end-times. Shameful Lesbian And Sodomite Same-Sex Marriages Now Legal In New Zealand. The widespread perverting of the Bible with umpteen new versions is evidence of the end-times. The saber-rattling of the nations, and the Middle-East build-up is evidence of the end-times. The Lord foretold that sexual immorality would once again become epidemic in the end times, as it was in the days of Noah. Luke 17:27, “...They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day...”

Luke 17:26-27, “And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.”

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