4 Ways to Die to Self and Live for Christ

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”

– Galatians 2:20

Crucified with Christ

Galatians 2:20 is about Paul saying that he has been crucified with Christ and not that his old man is, so to speak, dead. It isn’t him that lives anymore but Christ Who now lives in him. He goes on to complete Galatians 2:20 by saying “… And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Christ always did the will of the Father (John 4:34), and if we are indeed crucified with Christ, we will always (though not perfectly, of course) do the will of the Father, too.

Crucifying the Old Self

Paul writes in Romans 6:6, “We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.” That’s what baptism symbolizes, at least in part: We are buried with Christ and raised to new life in Christ. That makes us slaves of Christ and not slaves of sin anymore as in our previous life because “those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Gal. 5:24).

Raised to New Life

After conversion, “… none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone” (Rom. 14:7) since we are raised to a new life in Christ Jesus, and “whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit” (1 Cor. 6:17). Now that “… you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God” (Col. 3:1). You’ve been given a new heart and new desires if you’ve been born again. The fact is, you’ve “… been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead” (Col. 2:12).

Citizens of the Kingdom

We were the children of the devil, but now “… we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his” (Rom. 6:5), which means that you “… were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit” (Eph. 1:13). God has “… predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ” (Eph. 1:5), and “the Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him” (Rom. 8:16-17).


To die to ourselves is to live for Christ, as Christ now lives in us if we have been crucified with Him. We are crucifying the old man or woman daily, we are raised with Him in a new life in Christ, and we are now citizens of the kingdom just passing through this world as sojourners on our way to the eternal kingdom that will never end.