Gal 2:20 Video Transcript by Fred Pruitt – Part Two
What I’ve been trying to get to, in this, is an explanation of what Galatians 2:20 is about, and the first phrase that says, “I am crucified with Christ.”
What is crucified? People say, well it’s the flesh. Well, let’s understand that the flesh – it’s not the body – the flesh is this consciousness of independence, this consciousness of, “I’m just me.” And if I do relate to God at all, then I relate through, well, I’ll do things. I”ll make offerings, I’ll make sacrifices, I’ll toss a virgin into a volcano. I’ll do certain things that God will be pleased with, and then He’ll bless my crops, bless my family, give me money, whatever.
That’s a consciousness of independence. And we all are born with that and we all bring that with us into the Christian life. Because we read the scriptures that say our “old man” is dead – it says in Romans chapter 6, verse 6, “knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”
Now, when we first come to Christ we don’t know we’re an “old man” and there’s a “new man.” We maybe go to class and we’re taught that, but for most of us it goes over our head. Because we are still in this old consciousness, even though we’ve been redeemed, and we HAVE been. Now, I don’t mean to say, that when we’re born again we don’t really “have it,” because He comes into us [and He’s everything!], but this is what happens. It’s a process that God takes us all through, to bring us to what we call “the end of ourselves,” that we might know that only His Life works in us, and it DOES work in us. But it takes a little bit of upset in most of our lives for us to come to that point.
I came into Christ with great fervor, with great activity, with lots of answered prayers, miracles and all that sort of thing. There was no more an excited new believer than I was. A lot of you know my story and I won’t go into all those stories right now, but I had a fall. I had a fall because one day a brother said to me, in the midst of all this excitement, “You know, you’ve really got to straighten out your life, to be more pleasing to God.” Or something to that effect that he said.
And, I bought it! You see, I’d been living in this magnificent grace, “O hallelujah hallelujah, Jesus has saved me, I’m born again – I never knew! I fought it for a long long time, I mean when I came to Christ, I mean the scales just fell from my eyes like they did from Paul’s.
I was “hallelujah brother.” I had a Volkswagen bus and I went and bought bumper stickers and covered it from head to toe, front to back, top to bottom, with bumper stickers about Jesus. I bought New Testaments to give out to people.
I did a lot of things like that. I did a lot of crazy things – I walked into a yoga ashram and gave out New Testaments to all these people. I had no fear. Until that brother said that to me – it was several months into a year or so or however long it was, into the Christian life. Everything is hallelujah hallelujah praise the Lord, this is wonderful … and then he said, “You know everything about you is not perfect, and you’ve really got to work on this, work on this, work on this, to be more pleasing to God.” And I bought it. And what I didn’t realize – and again, this is not to do with “me,” this is the plan of the Spirit, and God takes us, almost all of us this way. Maybe some of us he doesn’t – you know, my experience doesn’t have to be your experience, but the principles are basically the same in the way that God takes us.
I “fell” then, and I liken it to when the children of Israel, who were confronted with the Law by Moses at Sinai. Moses brought down the tablets of the Law, the second time, and he read the Law to the people, and he told them the blessings and the curses – “if you do it, you’re blessed, if you don’t do it, you are cursed,” and then he said, “Alright, what y’all gonna do?” The people said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.” They said that in unison. “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.”
Well, guess what? I said that! I said, “Alright, that’s what I’m gonna do, yeah alright, I’ve gotta go on a course of self-improvement, to be more pleasing to God, to get closer to God, to pray more, to love more, to listen more, to be appreciative of others more, to esteem – all the “commandments” of the New Testament suddenly became things I had to do, that I had to tack onto my life. Now some escape that, but most don’t. Most look at all that stuff [commandments and admonitions in the New Testament] and think, “Oh, I’ve got to be that!”
And so that begins a process, and I call it a wilderness, but eventually we come to a consciousness. And the consciousness is to realize what Romans 6 says. The way we realize it is we go through Romans 7, but I’m not going to talk about that today, because I’m supposed to be talking about Galatians 2:20. But the thing is, is that we realize that this old self – we come to a knowledge and an understanding of what that old self was by a revelation of the Spirit, “Oh … I’m not that! Oh … I’m not this old self.” You see, we still think we’re selfish. We think that “I’m a something” and I’ve got to have God give me stuff or make me different, change me, do this or do that, because I still FEEL like I used to feel. I still have selfish thoughts. I still have “wrong” thoughts. I still have “lustful” thoughts, or I might have a desire that I think I shouldn’t have. All this stuff keeps rumbling around in my humanity, and so I wrongly think, that I’m a wrong kind of self, because all that stuff is still there. All that stuff I thought, God had forgiven me of, He had forgiven me, but a lot of it is still churning around in there, and everything that I do doesn’t seem to be perfect. Everything I do just seems “not quite there.” And condemnation began to set in.
But what happens one day is we come to an understanding – I’m going to skip over a lot of this because I want to get to Galatians 2:20 – we come to an understanding that that old me that used to be, the primary thing that I was, or that I thought I was – I never was really this, you have to understand, there is no such thing as independent self! You see, because we were run from within by the god of this world before we were born again. And when we’re born again, the god of this world is kicked out of us, and the God of heaven and earth and all things, comes to live in us, the Triune God, Father Son and Holy Spirit come to live in us in their different functions. And we have a heaven within that we really don’t know is there. It takes a while for the crustiness of who we were to be burned off. This is God’s plan.
What has really happened is that this old man that we were, this “man of sin,” is crucified. And how is it crucified? Jesus Christ – we know about His blood and that it cleansed us from sin. His blood took care of the problem of sins, the things that we had done, our guilts, our past, the things that bother us, the things we’ve done to hurt other people, the things we’ve done to hurt ourselves, our failures of love. All of these things are forgiven in Him and cleansed, made completely new, as if I’m an innocent new-born babe all over again, in His blood. And not only does He remove the effects and the penalty for sins, through His blood, but He takes away the consciousness of sins in His blood. We have no more sin consciousness. His blood makes us clean new-born babes – we become innocent again!
I have a little 6 year old grandson [almost 11 now], who is a wonderfully kind, tender little boy, who at this point is very innocent, and he’s seen a lot in his life to make him not innocent, but somehow he has still retained his innocence. I know one day that innocence is going to be … tainted, and I’ll be sad about it, but I’ll know it’s God’s way to bring him through eventually to knowing who he is in Christ. I see that innocence in little children. That’s the innocence that returns to us through the blood of Jesus.
But in the body of Jesus, it is something entirely different. When the body of Jesus was crucified, and He died, His spirit separated – when you die, the spirit leaves the body – and it says in 2nd Corinthians 5:21 – and this is an absolute key to understanding this – it says in 2nd Corinthians 5:21 that He, meaning God the Father, made Him, Jesus, Who knew no sin, “to BE sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”
Now, Jesus became “SIN” on the Cross, in other words, He took into Himself not just our sins that we had committed, but the SIN that had caused them! And “SIN” is, the person of Satan. Lucifer is the source of Sin. He IS “Sin,” and he produces “sins.” As He said to the Pharisees in John 8:44, “You are of your father the devil, and his lusts do you do.”
So, Lucifer is Sin; he is the originator of Sin and he is Mr. Sin, and Sin Personified! And He [Jesus] took that into Himself – I don’t know, I don’t understand it, I’m not trying to say that I understand the depths of that because I don’t. Only Jesus Christ could do that. Only Jesus Christ, because of Who He was, could take that into Himself, to take all of Sin into Himself, all that came upon us, and experience the full wrath of God on Himself, which is what Satan is – he is the wrath of God. He opened up the wrath of God.
There is no wrath of God except in darkness, except in a wrong relationship – it’s like the sun – the sun doesn’t change. If you are in a wrong relationship to the sun, you’re too close to it, or you go out, and you have fair skin like I do, and you stay out too long in it, that’s a wrong relationship to the sun, and I feel the effects of its burning. And so, that is in a sense, its wrath. It’s not that the sun has a “wrath” – the sun just shines – and you’re either in a right relationship or a wrong relationship to it. The right relationship determines whether you are in joy, or the wrong relationship determines whether you are in wrath.
The “wrath of God” was opened by Satan and that “wrath” came into Jesus and He took it into Himself, and overcame it. He took the full measure of all that was in us, and was coming to us, and would have come to us, and He took the full measure of that and overcame it, and died to it. So that when Sin left Him, it left us! So that not only were our sins forgiven, but Sin itself was removed from us. From our inner spirit. He kicked out the god of wrath; He kicked out the god of self-for-self, and came to live in us, and dwell in us, by His Holy Spirit, whose job among many, is to reveal Christ. And He reveals Christ, first to us, then for us, then in us, and then finally, as us.
The Holy Spirit does all that. And all that comes about through the fact that Jesus was made Sin for us, and took sin into Himself, that we might become the righteousness of God. So if you’re born again, you ARE the righteousness of God! There’s no doubt about it! Because the righteousness of God lives in you! You don’t have your own righteousness, do you? Of course not! Paul said I thought I had my own righteousness, but I found out it was dung! And we all know what dung is, and we know the slang for it, well, that’s what Paul was saying, “It’s dung!” I don’t have any righteousness of my own. I have no self-ability to be pleasing to God. I have no self-ability to do anything! Except, to receive Him, that’s the only thing I can do, is to receive. And receiving is an activity of faith – in fact, that IS what the one human capacity is, is faith, or reception. Just open yourself up and say, “Oh, I receive that, or I’ll take that.” That’s what faith is – it’s all it is. You just see what God says, and you say, “Oh, ok, I’ll take that.”
So, that’s what happened. “I am crucified with Him.” When I am crucified with Him, the “I” that was crucified, is this false “I” that thinks it’s God Himself, that thinks it can do things to please God, that thinks it can get for itself, or have for itself. Or – that’s the negative side of that “I” – the so called “I’ll be holy” side is really just a fake holiness, because you think you’re taking holiness into yourself and you’re “becoming holy.”
You see, I used to pray for the Lord to “make me spiritual.” I wanted to be “spiritual” so I could be a little more along than my brothers. I mean that’s part of it. That “I” is really subtle. It wants to attain, so that it will be something.
Well, Galatians says a man who thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he’s a fool, he fools himself. There is no such thing as a “something,” except God! We’re not “good.” Everybody thinks Jesus was really “good,” but when people came up to Him and said, “Good master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said, “Why are you calling me good. There is NONE good, except God!
So even Jesus, the Son of God, did not recognize and inherent “goodness” in Himself. He only recognized the goodness of God that dwelled in Him. That’s the difference.
Before, we have this breaking of this false consciousness of independence, where we think God is giving us stuff, and making “something” out of us – He’s making me holy; He’s making me loving. He is giving me things that I am then utilizing. I ask for love so I get the love and I’m supposed to apply it. I ask for wisdom so I get the wisdom, it becomes part of me, and I’m supposed to do things with it. It’s a whole different ballgame when you realize you don’t have any of that and you’re never going to get any of that. The whole lot belongs to God. It’s all God – it’s all Christ. It all belongs to Him and it always does belong to Him. And you have to die to any idea of thinking that that’s going to be added to you and make you something, because it’s never going to happen.
Well, that’s what’s crucified. That whole thought process, that we become anything, that we are anything. The real truth of the matter is, is that we’re not made to become anything – we’re made to contain Someone, and reflect Someone, and shine forth with the Light of Another! Just like the moon and the sun. The moon was created – it works out, that it shines with the light of the sun on the face of the earth, so that we see this light in the night, that does not have its own light. That’s the brightest thing in the sky.
That’s who we are; we’re like a moon, we’re like a dark body that has no light of its own. Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world,” He said that in the gospel of John. But in the synoptic gospels, He says, “You are the light of the world.” Well, which is it? Well, we ARE the light of the world when we shine with His light. It’s not our light, but – it gets to be us!
END PART TWO