austin sparks, book ministry, christian ministry, daily devotional

March 20

20 MAR – The Cross and the Flesh Cannot Exist Together

The Word of God declares that “our old man has been crucified with Christ” (Romans 6:6) and that “One died for all, therefore all died; and he died for all, that they which live should no longer live unto themselves, but unto him” (2 Corinthians 5:14-15).

So far as God was concerned the history of the fallen race was concluded at Calvary. From that time onward, God’s entire concern was the new creation. It is no use our trying to bring some of the old creation life into the new creation, for God will not accept it. Our human capabilities as well as our infirmities; what we call our better side as well as what we recognize to be our worst side; our goodness and our badness have all been included in that death. Henceforth we are called to live not on a human level but on a divine. In ourselves we possess nothing which is acceptable to God.

So often it is the assertion of some human element, some like or dislike, some ambition or some personal interest which paralyses the work of God in and through us. To regard not only our sins but ourselves as having been taken to the Cross by Christ is the only way by which those purposes of God can be wrought out through our lives. It may seem strange that while we so often deplore our lack of spirituality, we are so slow to accept the verdict of the Cross on our natural lives. We find it humiliating to accept the same verdict on ourselves as has been passed on the world, namely that of death by crucifixion. Nevertheless there is no other basis for a really spiritual life and witness: the Cross must work out death in us in order that the life of Christ may be released in full expression through us. So there may be a sense in which the Christian also has to face the offence of the Cross. Only by really knowing the power of the fact that he is crucified with Christ can he know the blessedness of the new life. When it is truly “no longer I”, then the way is opened for the affirmation: “but Christ that liveth in me”. The end is glorious but the way is the painful way of the Cross.

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