Number 5, May 5, 2021. Welcome to Welling: for your spiritual well-being and your ministry overflowing. All of us have heard of point zero (.0) or zero point. It’s a scale from minus to plus, where numerical quantities are assigned, even measured.
When it comes to nuclear explosions it’s the center point, the origin, the place, the intense spot from where a nuclear explosion occurs. I want to explore one of the central passages of the New Testament in terms of our spiritual life for a vital spiritual life, the point zero, the zero point, from where you are moved from the former jurisdiction to a brand new one, but the point needs to happen.
A radical explosion, where you’ve come from a minor situation, have to go through this point for a plus situation. I referred to Galatians Chapter 2, verse 20, a key verse for this series of I, I, I, I. It’s not myself empowering the spiritual life, because myself is going to go through a terrifically important experience.
The apostle Paul says, I have been crucified with Christ. That’s the first I of the four I, I, I, I, that I’ve been talking about over the last few times. This is the prideful I, the egotistical I, the egocentric I. The I which sought to gain merit with God, which sought to keep control of the process of salvation, of life itself.
The point zero, Paul says, is “I have been crucified.” Now that could not be literally or historically, but spiritually and theologically. That in the cross of the Lord Jesus, an absolute instrument of torture, one of the worst that could happen. When a person died out of suffocation and collapsed out of exhaustion. In addition to physical pain and psychological pain, total collapse. Paul says that’s how the law left him.
In trying to keep the law, even though he was blameless as to the law, it was in reference to himself and it let a collapse happen, that he could never gain merit with God, never be confident of his salvation, never be sure that he was declared righteous.
At the point of the cross, the zero point. He died. “I” have been crucified. The flesh, through which he operated, the carnality with which he operated even while doing good in order to gain merit and keep control, that old self was crucified. Point zero.
It was slain. That’s another version, in another language says, “I have been slain with Christ and yet I have survived into life.” It’s a death happening.
Not long ago, I was with a dear friend of mine who has recently buried his beloved wife. They have a garden that they have set up as her tomb and grave-site. Benches all around that beautiful garden because people can sit there, meditate on their finiteness the realities of death. And I found that Galatians 2:20 was etched on two of those benches. Galatians 2:20.
And I asked my friend, “Is that your wife’s favorite verse or yours?” And he said, “No, I picked it.” Because there was a definiteness to death. That’s the first part of the verse, I have been crucified with Christ. You have gone through point zero. Your prideful self, myself is dead. The secret of your Welling is His indwelling.