“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but 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” (Galatians 2:20).
The will is the citadel of the soul. It is the ego, the very self of man. Unless the will is brought into captivity in Christ we will never experience that full sanctification promised to us. The true believer must be surrendered to the Lord at every level of his being or there can be no purity of heart.
Crucified with Christ
The sinner is born again the instant he surrenders to Christ and accepts His sacrifice on Calvary’s cross as the only means of salvation. By the free and unmerited grace of God a transformation takes place and all the self-will, rebellion, and disobedience is removed.
The blood of Christ at that moment deals the deathblow to self. This is where the work of sanctification begins. This is where our walls of Jericho tumble and the Holy Spirit enters in to purify the city from all influences of its old inhabitants. The Holy Spirit can only do this because the Great High Priest opened up the way.
Surrender of the will
Many suppose that there is nothing more to do once a sinner turns to Christ, but this is not so. Sanctification has started but it is not complete. Those who believe that the surrender of the will is the end of the matter very soon discover their mistake. At this point one of four things takes place:
1. They turn away from Christ because they feel that they did not get saved after all.
2. They hide behind the false notion of ‘Once saved, always saved’ and cover their sin with hypocrisy.
3. They live the rest of their lives in the heart-breaking misery of guilt and condemnation, always trying to prove to God how deserving of salvation they are.
4. They will turn to the Scriptures to discover the real reason for the inward dilemma. They then realise that sanctification is an ongoing, day-by-day work of the Holy Spirit, and surrender more as He shines His light on the soul.
The devil made a thorough job of perverting our souls, all to defend against the Sword of the Spirit. Every part of our nature was twisted and poisoned by his venom, but Christ brought the cure to undo all that Satan wrought within us. If we are honest with ourselves we shall admit that our will can be very stubborn. We still want our own way rather than doing what God wants. For sanctification to continue the will has to be crucified.