I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me (Galatians 2:20).
In 1 John 3:14, he says, “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death.” The inference here is that we were not able to love the brethren before Christ. You have to understand. You were not able. It does not matter how you think or feel. It does not matter what you feel that you knew before Christ. You were not able to do what God required. You may have liked the brethren. You may have been in a temporary place of peace with a brother, but you could never, ever, have loved him.
We know that we have passed from death to life because we love the brethren following what scripture says in 1 John 3:14b, “He who does not love his brother abides in death.” Now notice what he says, “he who does not love his brother” where does he abide? He abides in death. This is saying that the life of Jesus Christ is not operative in such a person. This is an amazing statement.
So, what God did was to take those who were dead to Him, who were incapable of giving Him what He required and took them into death. It is called, Paul says in Galatians 2:20, crucifixion! He says, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). It means that we, being incapable of giving God what He wanted, were crucified in the Man, Christ Jesus. It does not in any way indicate or suggest that you helped to save yourself. You were placed in Him for the purpose of dying. You were not placed in Him for the purpose of saving. Were that the case, He would not have had to come to earth. It is very important that the church understands this because we have died to what we were.
Many of us live like we have never died to what we were. Now some of us are a bit more sophisticated in that we have a good persona and carry ourselves fairly well. Our deportment is pretty good. But, in fact, when you push the right button, we are as the heathenistic (I’m speaking of our natural man, no matter who we are) as any heathen in the world or who has ever been in the world.
When you look at the world situation, you know that we are in a terrible time in human history. You can’t think that a relationship with God has to do with you receiving more things from God and being very comfortable with God and your life-style, that all you want is a nice little relationship where you can raise your hands and say, “Thank You, Jesus” and everything is all right.
We are living in a time when darkness is making a very formidable run to cover the earth. It is making a run at us. So then if we do not know that we have died and if we do not know the power of God that we have, then we are going to panic. And we are going to ill-affect those around us who are panicking. We have the answer! Jesus Christ! There is no panic in Him!