What is the Cruciform Life?

The cruciform life is cross-shaped.  It is shaped by the cross into the shape of the cross.  The cross, representing the life, death, and resurrected life of Jesus as He is offered in the gospel, is the soul-shaping core of the disciple’s existence.  When the gospel is “of first importance” to you and “Christ is formed in you” (1 Corinthians 15, Galatians 4:19)  then your life takes on the shape of the cross:  you begin to live the vertical life of loving God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, and you begin to live the horizontal life of loving your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:36-40).

The cruciform life is a life.  It is a way of being alive and doing life in the place God has planted you.  It is not a program.  It does not offer tips and techniques.  It is not something you do only on Sundays.  The cruciform life is a day-in-day-out lifestyle of gospel-driven love for God and others.

The cruciform life is faith in Jesus Christ expressing itself through love for God and others (Galatians 5:6).  No matter where we are in our various spheres of influence we live a life that shows that Love Is Faith’s Expression.

The cruciform life is the life of Jesus taking shape in us (Galatians 4:19, Colossians 1:27, Galatians 2:20).  Each disciple, as s/he becomes more and more conformed to the image of Christ, will live as a Son and love as a Servant in his or her personal spheres of influence in increasing measure (2 Corinthians 3:18, 10:13-18):

Son*: Like Jesus, the cruciform disciple will live in constant awareness of and dependence upon his or her relationship to God as His beloved (Matthew 3:16-17; John 15:9-10; Romans 8:14-17; 1 John 3:1-3; Romans 5:5b-11; Galatians 2:19-20).

Servant: Like Jesus, the cruciform disciple will live in constant awareness and practice of his or her role as bond servant by being emptied for the sake of others to the glory of God (Matthew 10:24-25; Mark 10:42-45; Luke 6:40; John 13:3-5, 14-16, 20:21; Philippians 2:5-11; Galatians 2:19-20; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15) in the following roles:

*See Galatians 3:26-29 where both men and women are said to be “sons of God.” An adopted son in Paul’s day was a full heir while adopted daughters were not. In Christ, both men and women are full heirs and are therefore called “sons.”

See also “Created to Be Cruciform” and “A Cruciform Worldview” for more on the cruciform life.

[My thanks to Chuck DeBardeleben for teaching me about living the cruciform life, to T. M. Moore for encouraging me to develop it and write it down, and to my wife Christine for showing me what it looks like on a day-to-day basis.]

26 thoughts on “What is the Cruciform Life?

  1. Pingback: Praying for a Cruciform Life (Psalm 119:36) « The Cruciform Life Blog

  2. Pingback: Smiling Jesus « The Cruciform Life Blog

  3. Pingback: Cruciform Quotes (9.13.08) « The Cruciform Life Blog

  4. Pingback: Love One Another « The Cruciform Life Blog

  5. Pingback: The Belgic Confession on the Crucifom Life « The Cruciform Life Blog

  6. Pingback: Cruciform Quotes (10.11.08) « The Cruciform Life Blog

  7. Pingback: Gifted for the Cruciform Life « The Cruciform Life Blog

  8. Pingback: Cruciform Quotes (10.18.08) « The Cruciform Life Blog

  9. Pingback: New Verses for “Jesus Keep Me Near the Cross” « The Cruciform Life Blog

  10. Pingback: Weakness Is My Badge of Honor « The Cruciform Life Blog

  11. Pingback: Cruciform Quotes (11.15.08) « The Cruciform Life Blog

  12. Pingback: Intro to The Cruciform Life « The Cruciform Life Blog

  13. Pingback: Why The Bible Was Written « The Cruciform Life Blog

  14. Pingback: Being “On Mission” Requires Asking the Right Questions « The Cruciform Life Blog

  15. Pingback: Unfashionably Cruciform « The Cruciform Life Blog

  16. Pingback: Blog » Blog Archive » Jesus Smiles: Jimmy (and Abi) Davis

  17. Pingback: Discipleship Is BOTH Formational AND Missional « The Cruciform Life Blog

  18. Pingback: A New Co-Blogger At The Cruciform Life « The Cruciform Life Blog

  19. Pingback: Cruciform Quotes (2.26.10) « The Cruciform Life Blog

  20. Pingback: The Fruit of the Spirit is Cruciform Love « The Cruciform Life Blog

  21. Excellent article!

    Note that the two following links do not work. If possible, please send me corrections for these links:

    See also “Created to Be Cruciform” and “A Cruciform Worldview” for more on the cruciform life.

    Thanks & blessings, Ron Wilson

  22. Pingback: Cruciform Press Is Coming Soon « The Cruciform Life Blog

  23. Pingback: Book Review: Reclaiming Adoption « The Cruciform Life Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s