“I have been crucified with Christ, the life I live I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

Gal. 2:20

Think of it, you and I and all those who have fled to the fountain open for sin and uncleaness have been washed and cleansed from every defilement of the flesh.

You have been saved and brought into fellowship with God In the heavenlies.. forever. Wow!

Where justice can not be warped or manipulated by the craftiness and self-service of men. That great day will finally reveal the reality of true justice.

No, you and I who have embraced, by faith, the atoning work of our Messiah. For the Jews, Yeshua, for the Greeks, Jesus of Nazareth, we all have tapped the eternal resource of God's unlimited grace. 

Sadly, so few of us ever come to grasp the implications of what the Word of God declares about those who have been crucified with Christ. So today we will seek to ascend the summit of Christ's love for us together, to hopefully, with the help of the Holy Spirit, discover the heights of "knowing" more of the depths of God's love for us.

For years I have struggled to understand the implications of what it really means to be saved from “me” and from the worldly idea of “self” that overwhelms our time, that in our everyday experience it seems that we must swim in the goo of a falsely promoted idea of "self" and our sufficiency to build our own life and dictate the terms of our success. 

Yes, indeed, crass independence marks our time, and so do its damaging results.

To have been plunged into a world where the doctrine of “self esteem” is to be treasured above all other streams of thought. Whether you have earned the right to believe in yourself or not. 

Where we must, above all else, preserve our mental health by believing that "I" am the most important part of my world... the results are becoming more and more tragic.
Which, not surprisingly, has left us, for last several decades, with a rapidly rising divorce rate and with a pandemic in the incidence of child abuse. And all this in the safe haven of the most important institution in the world ---- the two-parent family!  
Something must be wrong with us! 

Let's start to dig and in and find out what in the world went wrong.


The doctrine of "self" can not be the key to our personal salvation from the ills that make me want to hate myself or drives many to aggrandize their personal qualities above all else, and note their achievements and greatness above others, commonly seen as narcism.  

By telling ourselves that we are OK, is not the cure!   So what then is the cure?

I believe there must be more to our problem then meets the natural eye, more then our secularly trained psychologists can handle.

Yes, we have come to a place where a generation of men and women have invented endless ways to cater to the self-serving independence of a culture firmly established on the idea of convenience and comfort.  But we see it's not making us happier or stronger in the things of the spirit.

In Our America known for self indulgence and self gratification we see decay and self destruction on every side. 

With our high picket fences barring entry of our closest neighbors, we think we have found peace and happiness. Yet we see, quite clearly, the current Starbucks revolution revealing to everyone that we live in an atmosphere where we all of us are starving for community and shared life, but seem to have no idea how to aquire and maintain such a lofty idea.

Today, just for a little while, I would like to take this wonderful verse and use it to motivate you to find your "real" self and help you discover your "real" destiny.

Gal. 2:20 has been favorite verse of mine for most of my adult life, I have always wanted to know more of what it really means to be delivered from sin and death by my "personal" death to me. 

The deep internal struggle to believe that salvation entails more then a theoretical concept of being safe from hell. To know more of what I need to deal with today's problems, past failures, and future challenges. 

I have been starved to sense that I am being liberated from me, not just the feeling of how good I feel about myself – self esteem, but rather, a new understanding of what I actually have been delivered from. 

Does the crucification of me include all my soulish thoughts of: worry, fear, anxiety, pride, ego, self preservation, jealousy, strife, lustful desires, etc. etc.?

By taking this verse as the centerpin of our walk toward our deliverance from our soulish thoughts, we gain a new understanding of what it means to crucify the flesh. 

Today, we will let the verse speak to our spirits and in turn revive our minds to think rightly about who we are and what we are supposed to be doing to extend the kingdom of Christ. 

Since we have heard the phrase quoted so often found in this the verse, “I have been crucified with Christ” we might immediately assume that the phrase means simply that we must deny ourselves and take up our cross and submit to the will of God. 

But there is much more here then meets the untrained eye.

In order to mine deeper into the Word and uncover the treasure that exists within the simple words of this verse, we must consider the word “I” in the text, and ask the question, “who am I”? 

What am I made of? 




We know that the human body is weak and frail. The Soul is unredeemed and filled with negative thoughts, prideful thoughts, self-preserving thoughts, and fearful thoughts, and many self-debilitating thoughts.

And when we come to recognize in bold relief that we are a combination of thoughts and attitudes. That our lives are shaped by these thoughts we exercise on a daily basis. 

And when we stop and wonder at the reality that we have millions of thoughts running through our mind... daily, I believe that we will begin to sense the signifigance and potential of this implications of this verse. 

All that the apostle Paul wanted us to understand about being crucified with Christ. 

The soul realm and the thoughts that make us do what we do now become a much bigger part of our redemption, much bigger then we realized the day we were first saved from our sins.

Haven't we discovered that our natural thoughts are connected to death? Can we naturally think good, holy, and positive thoughts? 

Some say yes, but without the power of the blood, aren't our self promoting thoughts really leading us to a place of death?

The Bible tells us that our thoughts originate directly from the soul – even our flesh which wars within us? Rom. 7 reveals a war that destroys our well being. Paul hated himself to the point where he woefully utters, "who can save me from the body of death?"

So, in the actual theatre of everyday life, we constantly fight many death-laced thoughts ineffectively. 

When we think ill of a man who has wronged us in some way, or someone cuts us off in traffic and lifts his or her emblem of critical judgment to our faces. We want our personal justice, is this healthy behavior?

Or we allow a grudge to take root in our heart against our spouse – at that point -- we are operate in the realm of sin and death...our soul. 

If we let our thoughts take control of our walk before Our Father, our thoughts will eventually condemn us and confine us to a place of death in this life, and quite possibly in the world to come... this we must avoid at all cost!

In book of Proverbs, Solomon tells us to guard our hearts because our hearts house the wellsprings of life. Jesus said that is not what goes into a man that defiles a man but rather what flows out of the abundance of the heart are the words that our mouth speaks.

Once we have submitted to the fantastic idea that Jesus is now our Lord, Boss, and King, we have entered the way of life. But have we truly tapped into the supernatural reality of our new birth?  

Into a completely new birth bringing us into a completely new kingdom?

What does the new birth, or the born again experience have to do with envy or malice taking root in our hearts? Absolutely Nothing. Yet we find ourselves buried in these thoughts, don't we? 

Are we not called to freedom and liberty? 

Gal. 5:1 “It was for freedom that Christ has set us free, therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery”. 

Quite obviously we can grasp the idea that as believers in Jesus we must crucify the flesh, especially when the pernicious and venomous thoughts of anger, jealousy, wrath, and malice make their claim over our mind. 

But what of our worry, fear, or a low esteem of who we are in Christ?  Our real identity. And who wins when we undersell our calling in Christ?

Do we aggressively combat these thoughts?  We most certainly should!

Even our basic lack of faith in God's love must be nailed to our personal cross and crucified every time we sense these thoughts are prevailing over a righteous mind centered on the love of God. 

A real and perfect love that induced an eternal God to offer us His Son freely, to redeem us and called us out of impenetrable darkness, the world, our flesh, and Satan's grip.


Our society has become so self-focused that, we, believers in the cross, naturally seem called simply to stand for a proper understanding of what it means to serve Christ and others by dying to ourselves. A stoic regal affair filled with self denial. Fasting and self flagellation seem to be best. 

But there's more! 

This self denying life we surrendered to Jesus Christ must be lived and preached. This we must do, and this we will do. But many of us have spent years trying to get to the next place in our walk with God. 

Yet we still feel stuck. 

It wasn't until recently, during a time of meditation, watching a lousy football game, I began to relook at this oft quoted verse in Galatians as more then a verse that speaks of bloody heart wrenching work of self denial. 

The thought of me being crucified grew into the idea of... who am I?  What make me --- ME!

I asked myself the sobering question. What about my soulishness? What about those times when all of a sudden I have a big struggle with unbelief?  Fear starts to cripple me.

What about our collective lazy approach to evangelism and discipleship in our America?  Can this be altered by understanding what it means to be crucified with Christ? 

Loving the status quo way, fighting positive change intended to bring us to a new place of blessing?

Many of us have been trained in the way of religious shame and guilt. We feel guilty about doing this or that. We didn't go to church on a given Sunday. And we feel guilty. 

We naturally look at this decision as sinful, but do we take the same attitude of crucifying our soulish thoughts derived from a false religious humility, typified by the expression, "I'm just a sinner saved by grace?" 

And what of every other kind of thought that diminishes our gifts and talents integrally woven into our calling in Christ? 

Are we nailing them to the cross of Christ... with Christ?

Don't you sense that many of God's people are stuck today in a malaise of unbelief and a wrong view of their identity in Christ? No one is speaking well of us christians anymore. Society has relegated us to sect status within the confines of a particular political spectrum and pinned on us voting block expectations.

Many of us sit Sunday by Sunday in a pew, some might even rise up and raise holy hands and show some spirituality on occasion, others teach a Sunday school class, all of this is not intrinsically bad, but the truth be told, we are not serving the Lord with gladness and fullness of heart...in the fullness of our calling in Christ! 


We haven't even begun to tap into the tremendous potential that lies within the New birth experience, a power that is ours by virtue of the supernatural operation of the Holy Spirit on the day they were born again. 

It is as though Satan has effectively pulled a curtain over our eyes to sheild us from the incredible power and life that is ours if we simply crucify these fleshy thoughts or weakness and small mindedness, which makes us so stuck.


To crucify the flesh daily is a real Spririt wrought command. Some of us may admit that this work is absolutely necessary for the elite in God's kingdom – pastors, missionaries, and evangelists that have been called to serve the Lord on the frontlines of the kingdom and as leaders in the local congregation.  

They, the great ones in the Kingdom of God, must crucity the flesh. But what about the average believer? 

Is there such a thing as an average christian, its oxymoronic! 
Transformonic... and ridiculous

But aren't all of us, those who are truly born again by the effectual power of the Holy Spirit, called to the advance His kingdom?

Today, as you meditate on this idea of crucifying the flesh, think of the many thoughts that have already run through your mind that have began to limit the implications on the content of what I have just shared in this article.  

Who wins when we reduce the claim of the cross on our personal life? 

You and I certainly don't win. 

God's life in us is squelched. Satan triumphs over us. And our Spirit-filled joy is weakened, as we allow soulish thoughts to dominate our mind. 


I have been called to preach the gospel. As a preacher of the cross, and because I am a cross preacher, I have suffered opposition from friends and family who think that I have gone too far in chasing after the call of God on my life. 

That my eager willingness to do whatever is not for me but for those other guys who, after-all, are really called to preach.  

You, Jonathan, are man of the pew. Wait your time, wait til we have vetted you and give us time to think long and hard about you as a pastor or teacher. I'm not sure I want your attitude and approach to impact our church the way we fear it will.  

Do you see how hard it is to break out of this pattern?  Your church family will think it odd that you woke up to the awesome reality of your salvation and Christ's call... get used to the oddities, there just beginning!

But after all, who made the decision for your to wake up? Are still believers in grace? 

God's grace or man's will?

Didn't Jesus personally call his disciples...doesn't He have the prerogative to do that today? 

Who is in charge of our development in grace? These answers are obvious, but the experience of many bears out the utter lunacy of how your family and friends will react to your personal awakening. You will probably have to journey, like Abraham, to a far country to find your place.

The word of God teaches quite clearly that...one sows, another waters, but God gives the increase. But, I for one, have had a hard time understanding why the Lord uses us so weirdly in people's lives. We say a passing comment that registers on someone's heart and we never even know that we made a difference in their life. 

This kind of thing happens all the time. We must nail to the cross our wonderings about --- "why are you telling me to do this?"

You and I are left hostage to the call we received the day we were summoned by Christ to follow Him, and by taking up our personal cross and surrendering our life to Him, we have been crucified with Christ. Every part of us, including our soul!

But so have you and anyone of us who have been birthed into the kingdom of Christ.

Every believer who claims a ticket to heavens glory is required to submit to their personal cross. But dear friends, isn't it worth the stretch?

Matt. 16:24, “Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”

We are missing something, aren't we? I believe that the early church was known for many positive things. Love feasts marked with laughter, joy, and mirth were common. Where have these days gone?

Could it be that we have not begun to begin to understand the implications of the cross of Christ? To really know that we have layed our whole self on that cross so that all of us can be properly crucified? 

To finally die to worry. How is my family going to survive this current economic downturn? What about the safety of our kids? All these kind of thoughts must be nailed to Christ's cross!


Dear friend, fellow believer, it's about time you put to death “you” and start living in the joy and blessedness of being an heir to the Kingdom of God.

But you don't understand, Jonathan, I just lost my job, my wife is cheating on me, my church is scheming to throw me out on the street. My parents are always fighting, my dad beats me, my family is disowning me because I read my bible.

To crucify our flesh we must intentionally, everyday, nail our fear, our worry, and our anger to the cross of our pain. Isn't this what our Lord did? When He drank that cup, the cup of His father's wrath, He not only crucified His natural adversion to separation from His father's love, but aligned Himself with sinful soulishness. 

Simply by admitting in the Garden of Gethsemane, “not My will be done, but Thy will be done”

Jesus battled our natural adversion to trust God... no matter what.

A friend of mine recently shared with me the harrowing experiences of Richard Waremburg, a powerfully converted atheist Jew, who during the time of the Nazi regime in Germany and in eastern Europe, was repeatedly beaten and put into solidary confinment 30 feet underground for his faith. 

To survive, Richard would preach to the dirt walls that surrounded him. For three long and agonizing years, Richard would crucify his fears and faithlessness by preaching the good news of salvation to inanimate dirt. What did Richard have that we don't possess? Nothing!

Richard was faithful. Richard tapped the deep unfathomable mines of God's grace and the secret of intimacy when his circumstances dictated otherwise.

Could it be that you are limiting yourself because you have misunderstood the full implication of the command to crucify your flesh?

We must crucify our unbelief and self preservation just as ardently as we crucify adulerous thoughts that tempt us day by day.

To restore a Jesus culture in America we will have to suffer some persecution. So get ready for some weird times that don't make sense. Crucify your desire to be able to figure it all out... you won't!

We will not tap into the fullness of our life fully immersed in His love until we learn how to kill wrong thoughts about our identity and our calling.

Do you think Peter was the perfect choice to to lead the charge of spearheading the “Jesus resurrection” movement in Jerusalem? 

The former professional fisherman, Peter, who just a few short weeks earlier, had denied that he had any aquaintance with a man who had been crucified publicaly, a Nazarite by the name of Yeshua, son of Joseph, a stone mason, and whose mother, who had a checkered past, and a man of questionable origin, a bastard? 

Peter had to crucify his shame and his fear. He have to nail his soulish thoughts to the same kind of cross that he ran away from seeing His Messiah endure? 

At a time when his good friend, Jesus, had to face the ignomy of a horrible place of execution? Peter was a real person just like you and me. He struggled to think of his moment of weakness, fleeing from His Savior's side, but nonetheless, he nailed these sins to the cross of His friend --- Yeshua!

The cross is shameful and horrible, worse then any form of capital punishment that any government has contrived to maintain peace within its borders. But it is our place to die, we die to selfishness, we die to pride, we die to self preservation, we to our bad memories of gult and shame.

Yes, we die to everything that contradicts our true identity. We have trusted in the only God who saves through the death of His own Son, begotten for the sole purpose of salvation and deliverance from the sin of our father Adam.

We live and resurrect to the love of the Father. We live to be lost in the love of His Son. We live, to put forever, in the rearview mirror of our lives, any thoughts and feelings that pertain to death.

Dear lovers of Jesus, friends of Yeshua, respecters of the soon coming Christ, come to the cross and lay your soulishness down and let our heavenly Father nail those debilitating and ruinous thoughts to the place of their final execution.

Die to your fear, your shortsightedness, your low esteem of God's love for you, your guilt and shame, your regrets, your mistakes, your misjudgments of people, your foolish and hasty words, your lies, and to any and all limiting thoughts that pertain to the TRUTH of His love for you.

Will you this day take stock in your thoughts, catalog their content, write them down, and ask yourself the question, “do these thoughts line up with the word of God?”  

Do they line up with my calling?  

Do they move me forward? 

Do they exalt Jesus love for sinners?

Are they based in the resurrection? Will these thoughts provoke an unbeliefing world to seek the God I say I serve?

If you must answer “no” then nail them to the cross of Christ, and accept they are dead to you and to the Judge of the Living and the Dead!

In Him,