Come Follow Me 2023, Come Unto Christ, Mindful Christian Living

Understanding the Crucified Christian Life

There were many things about the crucified life … It was a life that was absolutely and irreconcilably incompatible with the world. It breathed the rarefied air of heaven while walking on earth. To the believer, it meant the absolute death of ego and the resurgence of Christ in his or her life. Emphatically … Christ did not die on the cross just to save people from hell; rather, He died on the cross so that all could become one with Christ.
~ A. W. Tozer: The Crucified Life, Introduction: A Different Way of Living ~

What I mean by “the crucified life” is a life wholly given over to the Lord in absolute humility and obedience: a sacrifice pleasing to the Lord.
~ A. W. Tozer ~

The previous post focused on understanding what living a Mindful Christian Life is all about. How it relates to our spiritual growth and development. And how important it is toward a true authentic and meaningful relationship with the Savior and our Heavenly Father. Today, the focus is on helping you understand what it means to not only live a Mindful Christian life but to live a Mindful Crucified Christian Life. Specifically, regarding our own personal journey through the New Testament for 2023.

Photo by Daniel Joshua on Unsplash

What the crucified Christian life means is that an individual has developed an awareness (or experienced a spiritual awakening) pertaining to who they are in relation to who Jesus Christ is and who our Heavenly Father is. Because of this awareness, the crucified Christian life requires a contrite spirit and broken heart that moves us into a place of humility. Only then are we able to put to death the sinful nature of self (Galatians 5:24). Next, it requires action on our part where we make a decisive choice to willing and faithfully walk in obedience to Christ and his teachings. Third, it requires that we separate and distinguish ourselves from those things that may hinder our spiritual growth, progress, and spiritual maturation.

Not only is it a spiritual practice and discipline to live a Mindful and Meaningful Life. Living a crucified Christian life gives us an allowance to live in the world, so long as we are not of the world (Matthew 5:13-16). This is based on the reality and truth that Christ himself lived a mortal life. Subject to all manner of what mortality brings to humanity. And since Jesus became the model of what it means to live mindfully and live a life crucified unto God – we are to take upon ourselves His name and live out the reality being fashioned into His image and likeness.

Again, this is not something that is accomplished through a simple prayer, easy belief, and mere confession. Anyone can say a simple prayer and confess Christ as their savior. Yet, how many of those professing and confessing Christians actually consider the cost and truly deny themselves and take up their own personal crosses? Since there is only one sure way to live a mindful and Crucified Christian life – it requires that we pursue a daily lifestyle that dies with Christ through the experience of the Cross and His Infinite Atonement.

This is the very reason the cost of discipleship is at a great expense to us. No one wants to die; even though some say they are willing and ready. And this is not referring to one facing mortal danger and physical death. No, it is more to do with our own personal willingness to confront the natural self, the ego, and to expose it to the light of Christ. For many – doing so causes them to shrink back into their own natural lifestyle. Unyielding and unwilling to give over to the will and care of our Heavenly Father.

It means we are living through the power and efficacy of the Infinite Atonement where we are conformed to the death of Christ on a day-to-day basis.

And since many Christians today talk about living the crucified life – nothing appears to indicate they have even begun their own personal journey. They may gladly rejoice in their salvation and redemption; however, appear to have no anticipation of continuing on the personal journey of spiritual perfection. For them – it appears to be conveniently wrapped up in a false idea that Christ died for them and therefore that is all that is needed, and they just live by Faith in such understanding. It is the observation of shallow and cheap grace where individuals draw nigh to God with lips of affirmation and confession – yet are so far removed from God because of their own mindset, perspectives, and desire to continue to walk according to their own will and desire.

So, what is it that we are talking about? It is about living a crucified life where there is this yearning, longing to come to know our Heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ whom he has sent. Such yearning pushing us forward toward spiritual disciplines that lead toward spiritual perfection. And it is the reason many are not willing to pay the necessary cost. To make the necessary investment associated with a victorious Christ-centered life. It is because many are falsely seduced by ideas and teachings that the Christian life is a free ride where it eventually leads to Heavenly Glory. Because, after all – did not Christ pay it in full on the Cross?

Central Theme of the New Testament is Living a Crucified Life

Reading through the Gospels, the Acts, the Pauline Epistles, the Pastoral Letters of the New Testament – one will come away with the understanding that there is great emphasis on Christ crucified and risen. This great emphasis is further extended unto each of us as a matter of faith. It goes beyond asking ourselves what think ye of Christ? It goes further to ask What are you going to do with Christ? What are you going to do to live out the gospel truths of Christ? How are you going to apply the doctrines of Christ into your own life? And what are the basis by which we take action?

  • Have faith and believe in the reality of who Christ claimed himself to be
  • Identify ourselves with Christ through the sacred ordinance of Baptism by Immersion for the remission of sins
  • Live a life that illuminates Christ to those who remain spiritually blind, dead, and in need of conversion and transformation

Again, it is not a matter of what we may believe – it is a matter of how we are going to live out such belief and understanding.

A Crucified Life is a Resurrected Life

One truth discovered is that Jesus never peddled an easy Christian life. He taught on a life crucified unto Him. And since there is a great cost – many falsely believe that such a life is a great loss. The opposite is true. A crucified Christian life is one where it gives way to living a resurrected life. There is no resurrection without first having experienced a personal crucified life.

What this means:

A Crucified Life

Death to, and denial of, self and the Natural Man (Matthew 16:24, Romans 8:5-10; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Colossians 3:5)

A Resurrected Life

A new Creation in Christ, the Spiritual Man, Born Again, and slaves to Righteousness (John 3:3-6; Romans 6:3-12; Romans 10:9-10; Romans 13:14; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:10; Colossians 1:10, 2:6).

And because a crucified life brings us toward a resurrected life in Christ – it requires our very own life. It is one thing to bend knee at the foot of the cross. It is another to look up and make profession and confession of faith. It is an entirely different reality to climb up to the cross and crucify the natural self. Because, whatever we refuse to give up creates an obstacle that prevents us from experiencing the resurrected life through Christ.

A powerful and victorious Christian is one who seriously considered the cost and does not operate under the illusion of self-will in order to live the higher faith. They have placed themselves on their own cross and put to death their own strength and desires. It is absolute and true surrender born out of sincere humility. Because the only powerless Christian is one who refuses to crucify their own ego and sense of self. A powerless Christian is not one who is yielding their life in the name of Christ so that they may gain eternal perspective and salvation. Therefore, either Christ is in you, or you are in the world. Either you are maintaining a life that is alive with rebellion and desires of the flesh, or you are dead to sin and alive unto Christ for righteousness’ sake.

Thus, one is not capable of being full of self and expect to be full of the spirit. To be filled with the Holy Spirit the requirement is that of emptying self of all things so that we may be filled with the hope, desire, and will of God.

A Crucified Christian Life is not a One Time Occurrance

Unlike the Saviors crucifixion, subsequent burial, and ultimate resurrection. Our own personal crucified life is one that is ongoing. One that requires patience, endurance, and perseverance. It requires key spiritual disciplines established to help us nurture our faith, our spiritual awareness, knowledge, and life. It requires us to invest in actively listening and willingness to faithfully walk in the will and desire of our Heavenly Father. A true and meaningful crucified Christian life is one that requires daily commitment of denying self and carrying our own cross.

Since living a crucified life is not a one-time occurrence, and it comes at a significant cost – we come to learn how it relates to our eternal perspective.

What it truly means to live a Mindful Crucified Christian Life Today

Understanding that we have been placed in Christ Jesus (through his death, burial and resurrection) we come to know that we have died in Him and with Him; and now live in Him and with Him. This is the heart of eternal life. To this point – because Christ died once for all unto sin and death, we are to live a life completely fixed upon the purpose and will of the Father who has placed us into the Life of Christ. It means we take ownership of the will and purpose of God for our own life. And it is done through daily devotion, spiritual disciplines and living. There is no more self-direction. No more self-promotion. No more power of lusts and desires that motivate our attitude and behavior. Living a mindful crucified Christian life means we live a life that is directed by our Heavenly Father’s will and desire. Live a life that seeks only to honor and promote the nature and attributes of our Heavenly Father. And live with conscious submission of self-will and motivation unto our Heavenly Father.

Mindfulness assists us in the necessary awareness needed to bring our thoughts, attitudes, beliefs, and prejudices into direct submission of our Heavenly Father’s will. Through mindfulness, we become aware of those things that need to be put away because they no longer serve a purpose in our lives. And it is the discipline and practice of living mindfully every day where we are able to exercise power and dominion over the natural man and bring such things into submission to God’s will. Otherwise, we are giving ourselves over to self and sin so that such things may rule over us.

Living a true mindful crucified Christian life is not a mere event in history, or in our personal story; it is the very degree and way of living life that fulfills Christ’s call to true discipleship.

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Timothy Berman

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