That dear, idolized creature

(J. C. Philpot, "Crucifixion with Christ" 1860)

"I have been crucified with Christ.
 Nevertheless I live." Galatians 2:20

The crucifixion of self is indispensable to following Christ.

What is so dear to a man as himself?

Yet this beloved self is to be crucified.

Whether it be . . .
  proud self,
  or ambitious self,
  or selfish self,
  or covetous self,
  or, what is harder still, religious self;
that dear, idolized creature, which has
been the subject of so much . . .
this fondly loved self has to be taken out of
our bosom by the hand of God, and nailed to
Christ's cross! The same grace which pardons
sin also subdues it!

To be crucified with Christ! To have everything
that the flesh loves and idolizes put to death!
How can a man survive such a process?

"Nevertheless I live!"

As the world, sin, and self are crucified, subdued,
and subjugated by the power of the cross, the life
of God springs up with new vigor in the soul.

Here, then, is the great secret of vital godliness:
that the more that sin and self, and the world are
mortified, the more do holiness and spirituality of
mind, heavenly affections and gracious desires
spring up and flourish in the soul.

O! blessed death! O! still more blessed life!

"I have been crucified with Christ.
 Nevertheless I live." Galatians 2:20