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An “I” For An “I” — Galatians 2:20
by Miles J. Stanford
Posted compliments of MJS Books


[The superscript numbers above are the references to “I” or “me” in this verse. They are explained in detail in the following sections. —ed.]

1) “I Am [have been] Crucified With Christ” - It is extremely important that you get this first “I” correctly identified and correlated. It is, for one thing, you, as a Christian. It is you, whom God conceived in His heart, and chose “in Christ” before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4).

Same Difference - You are the identical being, entity, of the Father’s personal choice and making, and that will never change throughout eternity--a forever person!

When God positioned you in union with Adam, and when Adam fell, you--being Adamic--were born into this world a dead-unto-God and alive-unto-sin, lost soul. The same original person, but your life and nature were Adamic.

Back On Track - Then you were saved you became Adamic in another sense: Christ, the Last Adam, became your life and nature. So here you are, finally, “in Christ,” the chosen one conceived in eternity. Right back where you started from!

Just how did God get you from the condemned Adam, to the “accepted in the Beloved” Adam (Eph. 1.6)? Understandably, you might reply, “Well, Jesus saved me by paying for all my sins in His own Blood on the Cross; Jesus paid it all.”

Infinitely More! - But, dear friend, if you are going to halt there, and settle for that (as most of the Church has), you might just as well eradicate Galatians 2:20 from the Book--not to mention Romans 6–8!

It is blessedly true that the Saviour died on the Cross to pay the death-penalty, and forgive all your sins--past, present, and future. But what about you--the Adamic source of all those sins?

If God had forgiven you while in Adam, you would have been nothing more than a forgiven sinner. And neither God nor heaven can accept a sinner, whether forgiven, or otherwise.

Condemnation - You as an Adamic sinner were not forgiven; that would simply mean starting all over as a first-Adam person. “As in Adam all die” (1 Cor. 15:22). Instead of forgiving sin, “God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful [Adamic] flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh” (Rom. 8:3).

Identification - The means by which God accomplished this “transfer” from Adam to Adam, was to make His Son, while on the Cross (not before), to be made your sin. “For He hath made Him, who knew no sin, to be sin for us” (2 Cor. 5:21).

God identified your sin, and you, the sinner, with His Son who was made to be sin on Calvary. Under the condemnation and judgment of sin, not sins, Christ was crucified and died. And you likewise, as identified with Him: “Likewise, reckon ye also yourselves to have died indeed unto sin...” (Rom. 6:11a).

As has been well stated: “Our sins were dealt with by the Blood, we ourselves were dealt with by the Cross. The Blood procures our pardon, the Cross procures our deliverance from what we were in Adam. The Blood can wash away my sins, but it cannot wash away sin, my old Adamic man; I need the Cross to crucify me--the sinner.”

From Old To New - Thus we have our first “I,” you, crucified with Christ. And when you were taken down into that death unto sin, you were thereby separated from Adam.

Once separated, freed from your relationship of death to the first Adam and his sin, God re-created you in Christ, the Last Adam, “that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5.21).

“Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation; old [Adamic] things are passed away [positionally]; behold, all things are become [positionally] new” (2 Cor. 5:17).

Actually, you are a trinity: the eternal you, the first Adam you, and the Last Adam you. Initially, the eternal, elect, chosen one; then, identified with the first and fallen Adam; and finally, in union with the Last Adam--while remaining one and the same eternal person.

Sacrificial Life Out Of Death - As a Christian, with Christ as your Life, you constitute a crucified individual. As such you are positionally dead to sin and your sinful Adamic life (Rom. 6:11); dead to the world (Gal. 6:14); and dead to the law (Gal. 2:19).

The nature of your new life is that of your sacrificial Lord. “For we who live [in Christ) are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you [others]” (2 Cor. 4:11, 12). Life out of death--the way up is down.

The Living Dead - You remember how Adam died positionally. God said to him, “But the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Gen. 2:17).

And the very day that Adam sinned he died spiritually, judicially, positionally. He became dead to God and alive to sin, but he lived on for seven centuries before he died physically. By this one man “sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men” (Rom. 5:12).

The same positional principle applied to you as an Adamic individual. That old life was judged, condemned, and crucified with Christ on the Cross. However, God allows that old life and nature to live on in you as a born-again believer - and it will continue to do so until your death (not quite 700 years), or the Rapture, whichever comes first.

Norman Douty explains the facts in this matter:

“The NT teaches that the old Adamic man is positionally dead in virtue of the Cross of Christ, but it nowhere says it will become experientially dead by faith in that fact. What it does say is, that when counting on that fact the indwelling Adamic life will lose its governing power over me.

“In Romans 6 we find that through the death of Christ unto sin, sin shall not have dominion over you - the thought is one of bondage, ruling, governing, dominating, reigning. There is no such view presented in the Word as the eradication of its presence, but the loss of its governing ability, by faith.

“In the death of the Cross the old man was crucified (Rom. 6:6). It is not annihilated, but it has lost its throne. We will feel it there, but we are to reign in life - His Life. It is a greater testimony to the grace and power of the Father to let that old life be in us and give us dominion over it, than to remove it to begin with.

“We want to get clear that the Father does not mean to improve that old life on the one hand, nor eradicate it on the other. The fact that it does not improve is not a sign that we are not growing in the new life. And the fact that it is still within does not mean that we are not growing in Christ, who is our Christian Life.”

More Irresponsibility - Error breeds corruption, in that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump (Gal. 5:9). Reformed- Covenant error “A” spawns their error “B”. Their first error is that man is so dead that he cannot believe in order to be saved, , unless he is first regenerated and given the gift of faith.

This eliminates responsibility for the sinful activity of the indwelling old man. Romans 6:6 states that the old man was crucified - a positional fact, completed at Calvary. But. Covenantism disregards positional truth and considers this verse to be experiential.

For them, therefore the old man, having been crucified, is dead and gone, extinct. But, death is not extinction.

“In Romans 6:6 it says, ‘knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him.’ In other words, the old man is dead, destroyed, removed ... it isn’t around.

“You don’t have an old man any more. The moment we believed in Christ, by a miracle our old man died.”

--John F. MacArthur (Tape G.C. 2147)

“Your old self and your old man are gone forever. He is dead, buried, gone forever.” --Neil Anderson (Victory Over the Darkness, p. 77).

With the old man extinct, sin in the life of the believer is designated as “old habits,” “residual sin,” “old grave clothes,” etc. Some eradicationists put the blame on Satan. It is not, “Satan made me do it,” but “Satan did it”!

“Satan accomplishes his goal through your thought life, masquerading as the now defunct ‘old man.’ It will seem as if the old man were alive and well. But if he is, God’s Word is not true. The Evil One’s strategy is to disguise himself in your thought life as your old man.

“Listen to me: there is no such thing as ‘positional truth.’ The Bible speaks only of truth and deception. The term positional truth is simply Satan’s deception.” --Bill Gillham (Lifetime Guarantee, pp. 81,92).

Doctrinal Delinquency - When it comes to doctrine, the intellectually-inclined Covenantists operate on an embarrassingly low level of intelligence. They do not realize that death never means extinction, but that it ever means separation!

Ongoing Adam - The Adamic old man is in the same position as its original source. God pronounced and considered the first Adam spiritually, positionally, dead on the very day that he sinned. “The wages of sin is death.”

In that position of being dead to God and alive to sin, Adam lived on for centuries, producing an entire race of dead-to-God people, before he died physically, experientially.

The same positional principle applies to your life. You are related to Adam in your Adamic self-life, and were positionally crucified when identified with Christ in His death, not for sin, but unto sin.

As a Christian, God has chosen to have that old condemned and crucified life live on in your mortal body. While you are not responsible for its presence, you are responsible for its ever sinful activity in your daily life.

“Thou Art, The Man”! - It is essential to carefully identify this fleshly old man within. He is not just “the old grave clothes” (MacArthur), nor “energy force,” nor “residual sin” (Solomon, Stanley, Kroll), nor Satan and his demons (Anderson, George, Gillham, Needham).

Not at all! The old man is you - none other! It is your unconverted life; the fleshly, seething, ever-present source of sin in your Christian life.

Paul said, “For I know that in me (that is, in my [Adamic] flesh) dwelleth no good thing” (Rom. 7:18). Even if you were saved at the tender age of four, that pre-conversion old (young) Adamic life has all the potential of Galatians 5:19–21!

The Adams - There are but two sources of life - the first Adam of sin, and the Last Adam of holiness. As a Christian, you have each of those lives and natures in residence. At the same time, you are no longer in union, in relationship, with your old Adamic life - your death with Christ having resulted in positional separation.

Faith In The Facts - Your death on the Cross broke the power of the old man, broke the power of sin as personified by your Adamic life. But the Christian life is one of faith, and the power of sin and self yields only to the exercise of faith in compliance with the Word of God and reliance upon the Spirit of God.

The Word says to reckon yourself as a new creation in Christ, having died to sin. It is a matter of relying upon the finished work of the Cross to free you from the defeating power of sin and Adamic self (Rom. 6:11).

It is the Holy Spirit who responds to that faith, by applying the death of the Cross to the source of indwelling sin. As Paul stated, “This I say then, Walk in [reliance upon] the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the [Adamic] flesh” (Gal. 5:16).

Although your old Adamic life remains within you, you are no longer in the fleshly Adam. “Ye are not in the flesh but in the Spirit” (Rom. 8:9). At the same time, the Spirit of Christ maintains the life of the Last Adam within you.

As you exercise faith to be free from the sinful activity of the indwelling first Adam, you are free to center upon the glorified Lord Jesus Christ in heaven-the Source of your Christian life (Col. 3:3).

Think Position! - You are to count upon your union with Christ above-reckoning yourself to be alive unto God in Jesus Christ (Rom. 6:11b). That is now your position in Christ - far more real than your condition, your experience. Therefore Paul says,

“(God) hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:6).

“If ye, then, be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above [in Christ], not on things on the earth. For ye died (positionally crucified], and your (new creation] life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:1–3).

As you rest in your position in, and your identification with, Christ where He is, looking upon Him in faith and fellowship (2 Cor. 3:18), the Spirit gradually manifests Christ’s life in you, i.e., “the fruit of the Spirit” (Gal. 5:22, 23).

2) “Nevertheless I Live.” - Now free from Adam the first, God recreated you in Christ, the Last Adam, and that is the life you now live as a Christian-the new Adamic “I”.

3) “Yet Not “I”” - The old “I”, you as you were in Adam, is no longer your life. Christ is now the Source of your Christian life. “For to me to live is Christ” (Phil. 1:21). The old “I” lives in you, but you as a new creation in Christ are no longer related to it.

4) “But Christ Liveth In Me.” - You, the new-creation “me,” are indwelt by Christ. It is not Christ living instead of you, but rather He is the Source of your new life as a recreated person - the eternal, chosen and elect entity. “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27).

5) “And The Life Which I Now Live In The Flesh.” - It is the new you living the Christian life in your body of flesh.

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God.”

“Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin, but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God” (Rom. 12:1; 6:13).

6) “I Live By The Faith Of [in] The Son Of God.” - You do not live by Christ’s faith. Neither do you live your Christian life by faith in the Saviour (birth)

By that faith you enter the Christian life But that life is lived and developed by faith in the Son of God as your Life (growth). That faith results in the Spirit’s manifesting the life of Christ in and through you.

7) “Who Loved Me” - The “me” that Christ loves is the you whom the Father elected, chose, and called, back in eternity. He continued to love you, even when you were at enmity toward Him, dead in trespasses and sins as related to the first Adam.

8) “And Gave Himself For Me.” - You are the chosen eternal me For whom He gave Himself, in order to redeem you from Adamic death and have you for Himself both now and throughout all Eternity.

“That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:7).

To God Be The Glory - The divine perspective must ever be held to. Although the Lord Jesus Christ loved you and gave Himself on the Cross for you, He accomplished that work for the glory of God. He went to the Cross primarily to vindicate His Father’s honor, and to glorify Him.

“Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of Me) to do Thy will, O God.” “I have glorified Thee on the earth; I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do” (Heb. 10:7; John 17:4).

And He will continue to glorify the Father through us, as we center upon Him as our Life.

“Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Cor. 6:19, 20).

“If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth, that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominon forever and ever. Amen” (I Pet. 4:11).

“Not I, But Christ!” - May we ever maintain, the divine perspective, for His glory:

“If the need of man were the sole measure of the grace of God, then man only would be thought of, the work of the Lord Jesus would be simply for man, and the power of God expended merely in rescuing man and securing his relief. Man would be the object and end of it all and not the Father.” --J.B. Stoney

“When I rest in the Lord Jesus, then I begin to find all my joy and strength in Him, and I occupy myself with Him. This is the first step, or foundation, to true devotedness.

“I do not become devoted in the true sense until I have found my rest in Him I am, up to this, rather looking to receive from Him. I am more of an object to myself; but when I find how fully I am an object to Him, then my heart is at liberty to make Him its Object, He having made me His.” --J.B.S.

“The Father has given us His Beloved Son to be the joy of our souls, the Object of our hearts, telling us that we shall soon see Him and be with Him and like Him forever. He is saying, ‘Behold My Servant, whom I uphold; Mine Elect, in whom My soul delighteth! (Isa. 42:1).

“The Father would have us find our joy where He is finding His, and that is in that Beloved One at His own right hand. He is saying, ‘Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, rejoice.’

“May we know the rest and blessedness of this joy at all times; so shall we glorify Him as we pass through this world of darkness. Happy ourselves, we shall help others to be happy.” - J.H. Taylor

Position Or Paucity - As you advance in your Christian life, you are going to realize that there is someone very familiar keeping pace with you. And that is none other than your old Adamic life.

You are going to find that your only escape from its sinful power and tyranny is your position; your position in and identification with Christ in His crucifixion, burial , resurrection, and ascension. It must be the rest of faith in the facts, i.e., counting upon your death to sinful self, and your being alive in Christ above (Rom. 6:11). Otherwise you are going to flounder, if not founder.

“All depends upon this - the simplicity with which my soul receives the truth that, all that I was in Adam was judged and crucified on the Cross. Now there is a new man before the Father, and a new Man before me - Christ risen from the dead and ascended to Glory.

“Now I am entitled to say, That is the One in whom I am seated before the Throne of God. We are now by grace in Another, even the risen and ascended Lord Jesus Christ, in order to give us our family position in the very presence of the Father.” - Wm Kelly

Who - Where — What - You are going to have to know, and rely solely upon, your position in Christ. That is WHO you are (a new creation in union with Christ as your Life] (2 Cor. 5:17; Col. 3:4);

WHERE you are (raised up and made to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, your new-creation life hidden with Christ in God] (Eph. 2:6; Col. 3:3); and WHAT you are [ “thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ” - indeed, a joint-heir with Christ”] (Gal. 4:7; Rom. 8:17).

As H.J. Hewlett put it:

“‘We see the Lord Jesus Christ ... crowned with glory and honor’ (Heb. 2:9). This is all our need. ‘The Lord Jesus Christ is all that we need for all that we are.’ Let us rejoice in the vision and fellowship glorious, and with pilgrim steps down here rest in the Captain of our salvation up There.

“‘For God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shone in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ’ (2 Cor. 4:6).

“No future but glory, Lord Jesus, have we,
For man is in glory, already with Thee;
The brighter the glory that shines from Thy face,
The clearer our title to glory through grace.

And Hamilton Smith adds encouragement:

“The more we realize and rest in our position before the Father within the veil, the better we shall be able to face the path with its dangers through the wilderness down here. Thus the exhortation, ‘Let us draw nigh,’ followed by ‘Let us hold fast the profession of our hope’ (Heb. 10:22, 23).”

Hence your blessed hope, your daily desire and expectation will be that expressed so eloquently by Gerhardt ter Steegen, some three centuries ago:

“‘Midst the darkness, storm, and sorrow
One bright gleam I see;
Well I know the blessed morrow
Christ will come for me.
‘Midst the light, and peace, and glor
Of the Father’s Home,
Christ for me is waiting, watching,
Waiting till I come.

“O the blessed joy of meeting,
All the desert past,
O the wondrous words of greeting
He shall speak at last!
He and I, together, entering
Those bright courts above;
He and I together sharing All the Father’s Love.

“He, who in the hour of sorrow
Bore the curse alone;
I, who through the lonely desert
Trod where He had gone.
He and I, in that bright glory,
One deep joy shall share;
Mine to be forever with Him,
His, to have me There!”

Mr. Stoney, once again, in closing:

“We are not according to our Father’s pleasure, nor are we in simple restfulness as to our acceptance, if we do not enter by faith into the new position to which He in His grace has placed us.

“A further fact is, that we have no place but that; and when we get even a glimpse of it, it alters immensely this place; this world through which we are but passing, and all things in it, appear in another color altogether.

“Can anything affect the heart so much as the way the believer is received in his new position? What I press now is the right that we have to be in that place, and it is not only that I delight to be There, but the ineffable thought is that the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ delights to have me there in His place, sharing His joys in Christ.”

“For God is my witness, how greatly I long after you all in the tender mercies of Jesus Christ. And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; that ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offense till the day of Jesus Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God” (Phil. 1:9–11).