Is a person included in the crucifixion of Jesus at the moment when he believes? Does it become true for her that "I have been crucified with Christ" only if she has faith in Him? It isn't believing that makes it real. Mankind's co-crucifixion with Jesus on the cross is a reality whether we believe it or not. Here's how Watchman Nee said it:
It is the 'inclusive' death of the Lord which puts me in a position to identify myself, not that I identify myself in order to be included. It is God's inclusion of me in Christ that matters." (Watchman Nee, The Normal Christian Life, p. 46).
Nee points out that I'm not included because I believe it. I believe it because I am included and that is what matters!
Faith doesn't make it happen that we died with Jesus and that the old Adamic man was destroyed. It happened! It is a historical fact that we all died with Him. That's true whether we have faith or not.
How many ways can it be said???
The New American Standard Version says, "For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died."
The New International Version says, "For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died."
The Bible In Basic English says, "For it is the love of Christ which is moving us; because we are of the opinion that if one was put to death for all, then all have undergone death."
The New King James Version says, "For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died."
Young's Literal Translation says, "For the love of the Christ doth constrain us, having judged thus: that if one for all died, then the whole died."
Can it be clearer than this? Did Jesus die for all or not? Did Jesus die for all but only some died with Him? This verse (among others) shows that everybody for whom Jesus died died with Him. The gospel of grace that the human race needs to hear is that Jesus Christ has dealt with Adam's sin in The Garden and has now given us new life!
It's true! We have died with Christ and have been raised to walk in newness of life - His life. That is the gospel we proclaim to those still trapped in their own darkness. That is the gospel that will cause people to come alive to the truth of the finished work of the cross. That is the gospel that will cause those who are blind to finally see. That is the gospel that will cause those who are lost to finally know they have been found. That is the gospel that brings salvation to a person in a way that he/she will be forever transformed.
That is the gospel we need to proclaim. Let us join together and affirm that, by God's grace, we will never again declare a potential gospel but instead we will proclaim the finished work of Jesus Christ for every person. There is power in the preaching of the gospel. When unbelievers hear the truth about the cross, God's Holy Spirit will bring many to faith in Christ.