“I am [have been] crucified with Christ” (Gal. 2:20).
What is salvation? It is actually coming into oneness with the Lord Jesus Christ.
“The wages of sin is death” and “the soul that sinneth it shall die,” but Christ was not a sinner. Even Pontius Pilate, after having examined Him carefully, said: “I find no fault in Him” and “I find no cause of death in Him.”
It was therefore not His death that He died at Calvary. It was ours. He had come from heaven to be born into the human race as one of us in order to die our death.
It is when we view that death at Calvary and say: “This is not His death He is dying. It is mine;” it is then that, by an act of faith, we become one with Him. His death was ours; the penalty for our sins, but it is not applied to us until by faith we accept it as ours. Thus the Apostle Paul declares by divine inspiration:
“I have been crucified with Christ” and he adds: “the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith [the fidelity] of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal. 2:20).
Since the believer has been united with Christ in death, he is united with Him in resurrection life also. Col 2:12 says that believers are “buried with Him in baptism.” This is not baptism by water. This is a divine baptism, the work of the Holy Spirit, for he goes on to say: “wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God.”
Little wonder the Apostle begins this lesson for believers with the declaration:
“For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the godhead bodily, and ye are complete in Him” (Col. 2:9,10).