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"It is essential that you should realize that His cross was the means to an end; for to confuse the means for the end is to rob the Lord Jesus of that for which He came. He came that you might have life! His life imparted to you by the renewing of the Holy Spirit on the grounds of redemption, to re-inhabit your spirit, to re-conquer you soul, so that you might be "transformed into (His very own) image in every increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another" (II Cor. 3;18). The gift of the Holy Spirit is the end toward which the cross was but the means; redemption was never designed by God simply to make you fit for heaven it was designed to clear the decks for spiritual regeneration, which would make you fit for earth on the way to heaven." (W. Ian Thomas - The Mystery of Godliness. Zondervan 1972. pgs. 101-103)
"In the conventional form of holiness
teaching today there is a certain peculiar feature which seems
so Scriptural and so widely endorsed that apparently few Christians
ever think of questioning it. ...Yet according to strict exegesis
(so I maintain) it is demonstrably unsound and should be rejected.
"I believe that this theory of death to sin by an inward crucifixion with Christ is error. I maintain, after unbiased study, that according to careful exegesis of the New Testament, the Christian believer's identification with the death of our Lord is judicial, not experiential; that it was once-for-all, and is not continually re-enactable; that it was objective, but not transferably subjective; that it was a judicial death completed, and is not a crucifixion still to be effected inside the believer; that it was a death to Sin and the Law in a penal and legal sense, not a death to some sinful 'self' or inherited depravity in our nature; that it was a death then and there, and is not a protracted dying here and now. Yet...many Christians...still persist in thinking that somehow the believer's long-ago judicial identification with the Cross must also become a duplicated identification in the believer's present-day experience. But the onus is on all who so argue to show us where it is taught in the New Testament: and they cannot do so, for the New Testament nowhere teaches it." (Baxter, J. Sidlow. "Sanctification and the Cross". Our High Calling. Zondervan Pub., 1976. Pg. 167.)
"Galatians 2:20...is frequently used as a proof text
of the common 'identification' theory (which) teaches a present
and inward crucifixion of the believer's so-called 'self-life'
or 'old man' or 'carnal nature'. Some insist, quite consistently,
that this means an inward death to sin, inasmuch as crucifixion
is a putting to death. Others argue that it means a continual
dying to sin, in which the 'old nature' is pinioned to
the Cross and thus rendered 'inoperative' or put 'out of action',
but is never actually dead (obviously inconsistent in that it
does not truly parallel with our Lord's crucifixion, which mean
outright death, like every other crucifixion, not a never-ending