Pastor James J. Barker

Text: GALATIANS 2:20, 21


  1. After we are saved by the grace of God, there are many things we need to learn.
  2. Second Peter 3:18 says, "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."
  3. One of the most valuable lessons for the Christian is the importance of replacing the self-life with the Christ-life.
  4. Pastor F.B. Meyer said the one aim of Christianity is "to put Christ where man puts self."  And he often cited our text, Galatians 2:20.
  5. Meyer said, "The curse of the Christian and of the world is that self is our pivot; it is because Satan made self his pivot that he became a devil...God demands that every man and woman should unite with the cross, and (so to speak) kill the self, life, the egotism, the personal element which has been so strong in each one. Not your individuality, however...but the proud, fussy self, esteem, yourself, ego, the flesh, must be crucified. Christ denied His divine self, and you and I must deny our fallen self. Christ's temptation was to use His divine attribute; your temptation is that you should use your human attribute. Yon must put it to the cross, and believe that from this moment it shall be crucified to you and you to it."



  1. Pastor Stephen Olford called Paul's statement in Galatians 2:20 -- "I am crucified with Christ" -- "the gospel of the extinguished life."
  2. Regarding the Lord Jesus Christ, John the Baptist said, "He must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:30).
  3. Our Lord said in John 12:24, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit."
  4. Many Christians are unfruitful because they have never died to self.
  5. We need to understand that when Christ died, we died. Galatians 2:20 says, "I am crucified with Christ."
  6. This is why the apostle Paul says in Romans 6:6, "Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him."
  7. Because we have been crucified with Christ, we have victory over sin. Romans 6:1 and 2 says, "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?  God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?"
  8. We are "dead to sin."   We need to believe God's Word.
  9. Referring to our Lord's substitutionary death, I Peter 2:24 says, "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed."
  10. Many Christians understand this intellectually or doctrinally, but not practically.
  11. The fact is that when the Lord Jesus died on the cross, He not only died for me, but I died with Him.  And if you are a Christian, you died with Him also.
  12. God does not crucify what He has not condemned.  Romans 8:3 says that when God sent his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, He "condemned sin in the flesh."
  13. How did God condemn sin in the flesh?  At the cross.
  14. At the cross!  "I am crucified with Christ..." (Gal. 2:20).
  15. Isaac Watts wrote these beautiful words:

              When I survey the wondrous cross
              On which the Prince of glory died,
              My richest gain I count but loss,
              And pour contempt on all my pride.


              Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
              Save in the death of Christ my God!
              All the vain things that charm me most,
              I sacrifice them to His blood.


              See from His head, His hands, His feet,
              Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
              Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
              Or thorns compose so rich a crown?


              His dying crimson, like a robe,
              Spreads o’er His body on the tree;
              Then I am dead to all the globe,
              And all the globe is dead to me.


              Were the whole realm of nature mine,
              That were a present far too small;
              Love so amazing, so divine,
              Demands my soul, my life, my all.

  16. Stephen Olford said, "The self-life is sin in the flesh, and God has condemned it.  When the Lord Jesus Christ came, He not only embodied and expounded the Law; but He exacted the Law.  He exacted it by taking the penalty of your sin and my sin at Calvary and paying our sin debt on the cross.  So He condemned sin in the flesh" (The Way of Holiness).
  17. As a young preacher, Stephen Olford often preached the victorious life in Christ, but the devil would shoot his fiery darts at him.  Thoughts kept coming, "How can you dare to preach the victorious life?  Just think back a few years to your backsliding days and the dreadful life you lived then."
  18. These accusations from Satan literally paralyzed Stephen Olford and silenced his witness for Christ.
  19. Then one evening he went to hear a missionary preach from Romans chapter 6.  The missionary said, "I wonder if there is a young man here this evening who once had a glowing testimony, but now you are totally paralyzed.  You are obsessed with introspection, and the Devil is saying to you, 'You know what you were.  What a hypocrite you are to open your mouth now...Beloved young man, if you are sitting here tonight, I want to tell you that you are violating the law of Romans 6. You were buried!  What God condemns, He crucifies.  What God crucifies, He buries. What is buried, you are not to dig up" (The Way of Holiness).
  20. Romans 8:13 says, "For if ye live after the flesh (the self-life), ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body (the Christ-life), ye shall live."
  21. F.B. Meyer said we must acquire the habit of saying "No!" to self.
  22. The Holy Spirit is grieved when we allow self to assert itself.  Ephesians 4:30 says, "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God."
  23. R.A. Torrey said, "If there is anything in act, or word or deed that is impure, unholy, unkind, selfish, mean, petty or untrue, this infinitely holy One is deeply grieved by it. I know of no thought that will help one more than this to lead a holy life and to walk softly in the presence of the holy One."
  24. When self rears its ugly head, the Holy Spirit is there to check it.  We must get in the habit of saying "No" to self.  And self will resist it.
  25. As a pastor, I enjoy reading biographies of great preachers.  And one thing I have observed is that all great preachers understood the importance of dying to self.
  26. A.B. Simpson said, "The death of Christ simply means for me that when He died, I died, and in God's view I am now as if I had been executed for my own sin, and am now recognized as another person who has risen with Christ, and is justified from his former sins because he has been executed for them, `For he that is dead is freed from sin.'"
  27. F.B. Meyer said this, "On the cross God nailed, in the person of Christ, the likeness of our sinful flesh. I cannot explain it to you more than that; but I know this -- that next to seeing Jesus as my Sacrifice, nothing has revolutionized my life like seeing the effigy of my sinful self in the sinless, dying Saviour. I say to myself . . . God has nailed the likeness of my self-life to the cross...If, then, God has treated the likeness of my sinful self, when borne by the sinless Christ, as worthy of His curse, how terrible, in God's sight, it must be for myself to hug it, and embrace it, and live in it!  Christ and I are one. In Him I hung there. I came to an end of myself in Christ, and, kneeling at His cross, I took the position of union with Him in His death, and I consigned my self-life to the cross. It was as though I took my self-life, with its passions, its choices, its yearnings after perfection its fickleness, its judgment of others, its uncharity - I took it as a felon and said: 'Thou are cursed, thou shalt die My God nailed thee to that cross. Come, thou shalt come. I put thee there by my choice, by my will, by my faith. Hang there.' After that moment, that decisive moment in my life, I have ever reckoned that myself is on the cross, and that the death of Christ lies between me and it."
  28. Some one asked George Muller the secret of his service. He replied: "There was a day when I died. I died to George Muller, and his opinions, preferences, tastes, and will; died to the world, its approval or censure; died to the approval or blame even of my brethren or friends; and since then I have studied only to show myself approved unto God."



  1. As we grow in grace, the Holy Spirit teaches us and guides us.  And one of the things the Spirit of God teaches us is we are to replace the self-life with the Christ-life.
  2. Romans 13:12 says, "The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light."
  3. When we live for self we walk in darkness. Therefore we are to cast off the works of darkness, and walk in the light.
  4. Ephesians 4:22-24 says, "That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness."
  5. Then Paul gives specific examples: Ephesians 4:25 says, "Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour."
  6. Lying is part of the self-life.  People lie because they are selfish. Lying must be put away, and be replaced with truthfulness.
  7. Ephesians 4:31 and 32 says, "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."
  8. Bitterness and wrath are part of the self-life, and must be put away.  They are to be replaced with kindness and forgiveness.
  9. Ephesians 5:15-17 says, "See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.  Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. "
  10. People who are selfish are worldly and they are foolish. Worldly foolishness should be put away, and be replaced by Godly wisdom.
  11. Ephesians 5:18 says, "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit."
  12. Worldly stimulants like wine are to be put away, and replaced by the stimulating power of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
  13. Ephesians 5:19 says, "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord."
  14. Worldly music feeds the flesh.  It appeals to the self-life. It should be put away, and be replaced by "psalms and hymns and spiritual songs."
  15. I saw this headline on the Internet the other day: "Grammy nominations concert: close to the complete tableau of American hell."
  16. The writer said, "Devilish minds put together Wednesday night's evil special, The Grammy Nominations Concert Live!"
  17. Devilish and evil indeed!  And the writer (as far as I know) was not a Christian.  The article was published in a British newspaper called The Guardian.
  18. The writer wrote about the vulgarities and profanities of filthy entertainers such as Ludacris and Lady Gaga, et al.
  19. This trashy music should be put away, and replaced with Godly music.  What the apostle Paul refers to as "psalms and hymns and spiritual songs."
  20. Everything about the modern entertainment business is about pleasing self.
  21. Everything about the modern advertising business is about pleasing self.
  22. The apostle Paul says in Galatians 2:20, "Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."
  23. Dan­i­el Web­ster Whittle was ma­jor in the Amer­i­can ci­vil war, and for the rest of his life was known as “Ma­jor” Whit­tle. Dur­ing the Civil War, Whit­tle lost his right arm, and end­ed up in a pris­on­er of war camp. Re­cov­er­ing from his wounds in the hos­pi­tal, he looked for some­thing to read, and found a New Test­a­ment. Though its words res­o­nat­ed with him, he was still not rea­dy to ac­cept Christ. Short­ly af­ter, a hos­pit­al or­der­ly woke him and said a dy­ing pris­on­er want­ed some­one to pray with him. Whit­tle de­murred, but the or­der­ly said, “But I thought you were a Christ­ian; I have seen you read­ing your Bi­ble.” Whit­tle then agreed to go. He re­cord­ed what took place at the dy­ing youth’s bed side:

    "I dropped on my knees and held the boy’s hand in mine. In a few brok­en words I con­fessed my sins and asked Christ to for­give me. I be­lieved right there that He did for­give me. I then prayed ear­nest­ly for the boy. He be­came qui­et and pressed my hand as I prayed and plead­ed God’s prom­ises. When I arose from my knees, he was dead. A look of peace had come over his trou­bled face, and I can­not but be­lieve that God who used him to bring me to the Sav­ior, used me to lead him to trust Christ’s pre­cious blood and find par­don. I hope to meet him in hea­ven."

  24. Major Whittle went on to become a Bible preacher and composer of many hymns.  He wrote the beautiful hymn, "Christ Liveth in Me."

                        Once far from God and dead in sin,
                        No light my heart could see;
                        But in God’s Word the light I found,
                        Now Christ liveth in me.


                        Christ liveth in me,
                        Christ liveth in me,
                        Oh! what a salvation this,
                        That Christ liveth in me.

  25. The apostle Paul says in Galatians 2:20, "Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."
  26. "Christ liveth in me."  Second Peter 1:4 says we are "partakers of the divine nature."
  27. Major Whittle also wrote the hymn, "Moment By Moment."  Pastor Sager told me he is praying we buy the nightclub next door, and then change the name from "Moments" to "Moment By Moment."
  28. A preac­her named Hen­ry Var­ley said to Major Whittle, “I do not like the hymn 'I Need Thee Every Hour' ve­ry well, be­cause I need Him ev­ery mo­ment of the day."
  29. Soon af­ter that conversation, Ma­jor Whit­tle wrote the hymn, 'Moment By Moment.'

                        Dying with Jesus, by death reckoned mine;
                        Living with Jesus, a new life divine;
                        Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine,
                        Moment by moment, O Lord, I am Thine.


                        Moment by moment I’m kept in His love;
                        Moment by moment I’ve life from above;
                        Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine;
                        Moment by moment, O Lord, I am Thine.

  30. When we talk about replacing the self-life with the Christ-life, we must emphasize trusting our Lord moment by moment, and we must emphasize total surrender to the will of God.
  31. If you are not totally surrendered to the will of God, then self is still in control.
  32. Self wants man's will to be done.  But we must want God's will to be done.  Self must be taken off the throne, and Christ, and Christ alone, must reign.



  1. Some Christians talk of the eradication of the old nature.
  2. It is not eradication, but appropriation.
  3. It is the appropriation of the person of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself as our very life.   Colossians 3:4 says Christ "is our life."
  4. Appropriating the Christ-life means reckoning ourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, and then yielding ourselves unto God.
  5. Appropriating the Christ-life means we must accept by faith the fact that we have already been crucified with Christ (Gal. 2:20).
  6. Colossians 3:3 says, "For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God."
  7. "Ye are dead."  It is past tense.   The Bible is clear.
  8. We are not called upon to crucify self, because God already did it.
  9. Every year before Easter, devout Roman Catholics in the Philippines crucify themselves on a cross.
  10. How sad that they do not understand the true Gospel, and that Jesus paid it all.
  11. Baptists would never do such a foolish thing, yet many Baptists have not learned to appropriate the Christ-life.
  12. Some attempt a gradual crucifixion of self, thinking it will be easier and less painful that way.
  13. But God's method is different. God's method of crucifixion is drastic and decisive. Self has been crucified with Christ in one act.
  14. Jesus cried out from the cross, "It is finished" (John 19:30).
  15. Therefore, we "are dead."
  16. Galatians 5:24 and 25 says, "And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit."
  17. This is how we appropriate the Christ-life.   By faith.



  1. I grew up in a Roman Catholic family.   Roman Catholics are encouraged to give up certain things they like during their season of Lent, which leads right up to Easter Sunday.
  2. Unfortunately, many Christians, including some Baptists, have been influenced by this sort of thinking.
  3. I read an interesting story about the famous British preacher G. Campbell Morgan.  An American pastor said this about Morgan's preaching, and it was published in a Christian magazine.
  4. The pastor said, "Do you know that G. Campbell Morgan came to this country, and preached one sermon that destroyed forty years of my sermons? Forty years I had been preaching on the duty of sacrifice -- denying things to ourselves, giving up this and that. We practiced it in our family. We would give up butter one week, and try to use the money in some way that God would bless. Another week we would give up something else. And so on. G. Campbell Morgan said that what we needed to give up was not things but self. And that was the only thing we had not given up in our home. We had given up everything under the sun but self" (S.S. Times).

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