Not I But Christ! -netchaplain

For those who receive Christ (Jhn. 1:12) and welcomes Him into their life (Rev. 3:20), being “crucified with Christ” (Gal. 2:20) is in a mystical and spiritual sense because there were only two who were literally crucified with Christ (Luke 23:29-43), but nevertheless, it’s an actual occurrence for the saved in the regeneration of our spirit (Mat 19:28).

All that we have and all that we are in our new life is vicariously either imparted or imputed to us from the Father, through Christ, by the Holy Spirit and this is the chain of continuity from God to us. An example of something imparted to us is being partaker of Christ’s “divine nature” (2Pe 1:4), from which our new nature originated (Eph. 4:24), and that which is imputed is His righteousness (1Cr 1:30) and justification (Rom 4:25), neither of which we can ever be produced by a non-divine, but only partake of. Everything always begins with the Father and ends with His Spirit, especially in the new life that is now being lived in us, by Christ Himself—through the Spirit. This is a threefold consistency of us personally which is our personhood, our “new man” or nature, and the Holy Spirit, who is the primary entity whereby we are in the Father and the Son and by whom the life of Christ is lived in us.

In his book, “The Complete Green Letters”, Miles Stanford writes: “Especially, in our early years as believers, most of us have felt that it was our responsibility, with the Lord’s help, to live the Christian life. Our unqualified failure in attempting to do so has been the Holy Spirit’s means of showing us that we cannot “produce,” nor are we meant to. Only the Lord Jesus can live His life through us; and He does this as we reject our own resources, to walk in reliance upon the Spirit of life. What it takes years for us to learn thoroughly is that the Holy Spirit ministers all. By the Spirit we are sealed, we live, we grow, and we shall be raised (Eph. 1:13; Rom. 8:10; 2Cor. 3:8; Rom. 8:11). It is especially important for us that He is the Spirit of Life. Even though we are alive in Christ Jesus, we have no power by which to live the new life; for that, as well as for everything else, we must rely on the Holy Spirit.”

“Too many Christians today are seeking to live for the Lord on the basis of the principle of love. Their thinking is, “He loved me and gave Himself for me, therefore the least I can do is love Him and give myself to Him.” Such a motive is good, high and altruistic; but it is neither the best nor the highest, nor is it spiritual. Our love is far too weak and vacillating for such an undertaking. Self will see to that! “For to will is present with me; but [how] to perform that which is good I find not. . . . For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members . . . bringing me into captivity to the law of sin” (Rom. 7:18, 22, 23).”

“There is only one true and adequate motivating power for living the Christian life, and that is the very life of the Lord Jesus---ministered within by the Spirit of Life Himself. This is not a motivation of love, but the empowerment of life. “For to me to live is Christ” (Phil. 1:21). It is not, “Only what is done for Christ will last,” but rather, “Only what is done by Christ will last.”

As the life of the Vine flows by the Spirit of Life, the fruit of the Spirit is increasingly manifested in the branch . . . “against which there is no law” (Gal. 5:22). In the Vine, we are complete; in ourselves, we are being completed “completed” through the growth based on reckoning. We are gradually being conformed to the image of our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:29).

Stanford so aptly wrote, in his book, “None but the Hungry Heart”: “The Christian life is not our living a life like Christ, or our trying to be Christ-like, nor is it Christ giving us the power to live a life like His; but it is Christ Himself living His own life through us; 'no longer I, but Christ.”