KNOWING this…, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; (Rom 6:6)
Self cannot put “self” on the Cross: only the Holy Spirit can do this, and He does this through the cross of Jesus Christ. If the death of the Lord Jesus is real to you, then were you not IN Him at Calvary? It is not in looking to a historical event 2000 years ago, but in the utter surrender to death (by crucifixion). We ought never try to express Calvary in mere words, nor ask the question “were YOU there when they crucified my Lord?”. It is ONLY by revelation, and then that revelation must become an in-wrought reality for it to be experienced and preached (lived)!
Death must work in you and then life, and just to the extent you allow him to put you to death… you will live! With many, the planting into the death of the Savior is only a theory/doctrine/teaching. We really only understand his death as we enter into it in reality. The apostle Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives IN me” (Galatians 2:20).
How much power does a dead man have to “live” the “Christian” life? Anyone who has really seen Calvary is lost to ANY vestige of “attaining” unto His life. The cross rids us of US! All that constitutes the “I”… my propensity to sin, YES!, but also “MY” propensity to be/do “good” along with “MY” faith, “MY” faithfulness , “MY” piety and “MY” devotion!
Watchman Nee puts it this way…
When you see that the Lord was crucified for you, what happens as you believe? Is it not that you cease from improving yourself since you now see that you are saved by faith? In a similar way, when you see that the Lord took you with Him to the cross, you have no need to fight for self-improvement or to reform. Instead, believe that the Lord lives IN you and overcomes FOR you. You immediately cease your OWN works and let God deliver you. Tell Him, “O God, I can never be good. Henceforth I will not try to do good. I give up; I let go. From now on, it is no longer my problem.” This is yielding; this is letting go.
For the life that wins is not attained, but obtained. It is not a life changed, but rather a life exchanged. It is not suppression, only expression. It is frankly not in you yourself, because it is in Christ who lives in you. The life which God gives and you receive at the time you believe in His Son Jesus Christ is such a life. It is a life that overcomes sin, provides intimate communion with God, and is full of satisfaction and power. It is already in you, waiting to be explored by you. The secret towards experiencing its power is to let go of yourself and let Christ live instead of you. This requires a childlike faith. Then shall you more than conquer through Him who loves you.
This is the sobering part… death must be actual! The Spirit is not satisfied with mere theory. It is when you truly die to the law of sin and death that you are free (Romans 8:2). It is only after, and in the measure that you are baptized by the Holy Spirit into the death of the Savior that you then walk in newness of (His resurrection) life. Some people merely live in the “forgiveness” of sin. But, if you reckon yourself dead to sin & self, you have no right to live in it (sin and self). The only proof of the Holy Spirit is the life of the Holy Spirit. Leave “the old man” on the Cross and rise with the Savior into a new (His) Life!