Ellet J. Waggoner
The Present Truth :: February 8, 1894
Paul preached Christ crucified. But you say, “Surely he preached something besides that. That would do well enough for an introduction in preaching to the people, but he must have gone on beyond that.” But the apostle told the Corinthians that he was determined to know nothing among them “save Jesus Christ and Him crucified,” and the preaching of that brought out a church in Corinth, a church keeping the commandments of God, instructed in all Christian duty, and possessing in abundant measure the gifts of the Spirit.
This is because Christ crucified is Christ alive. He is crucified now; He is the Crucified One; but He lives. It was not possible, says Peter, that having been crucified He should be held in the grave. Acts 2.24. There was, and we thank God for the revelation of that truth, a risk of everything on Christ’s part in coming to this earth in the likeness of sinful flesh, so that every one of us has just exactly as good a chance and prospect of overcoming as He had. But when Christ was crucified, all doubt was for ever settled. The power of the cross settled everything. “It is finished,” He said, and then the complete victory was gained, and the devil was for ever vanquished. His resurrection was assured, for it was not possible for the enemy to hold Him in the tomb, since he had not been able to lead Him to sin. He had “spoiled principalities and powers,” “openly triumphing over them,” in His cross. There was no doubt then of His being raised above all principalities and powers.
So when we see Christ crucified, we see Christ the Victor. Then when I am willing to say, “I am crucified with Christ,” I see myself a conqueror, and more than conqueror, through Him that loved me.
Christ says that if He is lifted up from the earth, He will draw all men. “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up.” He is lifted up from the earth. So when I am crucified with Christ I am lifted up from the earth.
“I rise to walk in heaven’s own light,
Above the world and sin.”
This crucifixion means more to the believer every day. It means death to sin, crucifixion itself. “In that He died, He died unto sin once.” So when I can say “I am crucified with Christ,” it means that that sin, that miserable thing which has been the taproot of all my wicked life, the sin that doth so easily beset me, is crucified with Him. When that can be said from the heart, letting every wicked thing go, then know of a surety that Christ crucified is Christ lifted up from the earth, and ourselves with Him.
That crucifixion is a present thing. It never can be in the past. We may say, “I was crucified with Christ.” But so long as we can say, “I am crucified,” in that crucifixion we are lifted up from the earth. “The preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” So when we are crucified with Him that means that it is the power of God to us. That is the Gospel; for the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation. There are infinite worlds of glory and gladness in the cross of Christ.