Many people think of Christ’s command to “take up the cross” as a burden and a demand. How is this different from the reality that’s now been established in Christ: “I was crucified with Christ”?






The Reality of “Taking up the Cross” in Christ

Many people think of Christ’s command to “take up the cross” as a burden and demand. However, the reality established in Christ is that “I was crucified with Christ,” and it is through this understanding that we can find freedom and assurance in our relationship with Him.

Misunderstanding of “taking up the cross”

  • Often seen as a burden and demand on Christians
  • Reality established in Christ: “I was crucified with Christ” (Galatians 2:20)

Finding freedom and assurance in Christ

  • Moving away from toxic works doctrine
  • Focusing on Christ as our righteousness, sanctification, and reward (1 Corinthians 1:30)
  • Gospel is not about us, but about Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:5)

Beware of those who try to make the Gospel about us

  • They are trying to bring us into bondage (Galatians 2:4)

Ultimate freedom is to be “dead with Christ”

  • No longer about us, but about Christ living through us (Galatians 2:20).

    “Dying to the law” means that God has dropped all expectations on us. Paul tells us that “through the law” he “died to the law” that he might “live unto God” (Galatians 2:19). Death with Christ is not an agony for us because he tasted death for us (Hebrews 2:9). He was buried in a garden tomb, and then we were baptized into that death, with the cross being our history (Romans 6:3-4). We start lying in the garden tomb, waiting for life to come. Our death with Christ is where we are inserted into Him, baptized into Him, put Him on, and receive the Spirit of life, which is for us to enjoy His comforts, peace and refreshing (Colossians 2:12, Romans 6:5), as we seek to be “found in Him, not having our own righteousness which is out of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith” (Philippians 3:9).

    In Christ, we have died to the law (Romans 7:4-6) and are no longer under its condemnation (Romans 8:1). We have been set free from the law of sin and death, and now live by the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:2). This new life is not based on our own efforts or our own righteousness, but it is based on faith in Christ (Galatians 2:16). We have been made alive in Christ, and now we are hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3).

    As we abide in Christ, we experience His comfort and peace (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) and are transformed into His image by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2). We no longer live for ourselves, but for Him who died for us and rose again (2 Corinthians 5:15). We are called to walk by faith, and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7), trusting in Him who loved us and gave Himself for us (Galatians 2:20).

“Taking up the cross” as recognition of our old self being crucified with Christ

  • Allows us to live in the freedom of His resurrection power (Romans 6:4)
Keywords: assurance of salvation, Christ, Christian freedom, Freedom in Christ, gospel, grace

I. Misunderstanding of “taking up the cross”

  • A. Often seen as a burden and demand on Christians
  • B. Reality established in Christ: “I was crucified with Christ” (Galatians 2:20)

II. Finding freedom and assurance in Christ

  • A. Moving away from toxic works doctrine
  • B. Focusing on Christ as our righteousness, sanctification, and reward (1 Corinthians 1:30)
  • C. Gospel is not about us, but about Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:5)

III. Beware of those who try to make the Gospel about us

  • A. They are trying to bring us into bondage (Galatians 2:4)

IV. Ultimate freedom is to be “dead with Christ”

  • A. No longer about us, but about Christ living through us (Galatians 2:20)

V. “Taking up the cross” as recognition of our old self being crucified with Christ

  • A. Allows us to live in the freedom of His resurrection power (Romans 6:4)

       

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1 thought on “Many people think of Christ’s command to “take up the cross” as a burden and a demand. How is this different from the reality that’s now been established in Christ: “I was crucified with Christ”?”

  1. Well said! When the Romans made people “carry their cross” it was a humiliation ritual designed for them to be forced to agree with the charges brought against them. Christ will not humiliate or force us, but we do agree with the charges against us. And first, we’re told to deny ourselves. That means denying any claim to righteousness within ourselves and focusing on Him for all of it. Very often misunderstood!

    I just found your teaching and content, and I’ve ordered 6 or 7 of your books. I’m so relieved! I’m un-learning a lot of works-based teaching, and free grace makes everything make sense!!

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