Gal 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God.
I have been crucified with Christ… I have been writing over the last several blog posts about what it means to be crucified with Christ. How we, as Christians, can begin to learn how to no longer live our own way of life, but to live knowing that Christ lives in us.
In this passage in Galatians I find it interesting that Paul states that he "no longer lives," and then in the next sentence says that "he now lives." This may appear as a paradox, but is clearly a true definition of what he means when he says in 2Cor 5:17; therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
When we give our lives to Christ we crucify our old life of sin. We actually die to sin and are no longer bound by the law (Gal 2:19) and our inability to keep it. We have been raised up with Christ and now live a new life in him. Jesus says in John 15:5, apart from me you can do nothing.
Paul wants us to know that Christ is the source for all we have. He has taken residence in us and we in Him. Certainly we still have to live in our flesh. We still possess a body, but in that body we no longer live by the way the flesh used to lead us. We now live our life by the faith that He produces in us. (Heb 12:2) Jesus is the founder and the perfecter of our faith.
Living by faith means moment by moment looking to Jesus for our strength, trusting Him for direction, and believing in His Grace. In addition to looking to Jesus in faith for wisdom and strength, we are living more like Him as well. In 2Cor 5:15, Paul says we no longer live to ourselves, but to Him who died for us.
Many of us claim to be followers of Christ. We go to church on Sunday and try hard to be good. That can be a good thing, but Paul is not talking about being good or going to church. Paul is talking about a completely transformed life. He is talking about us having the attributes of Christ and living accordingly.
So if my life is crucified in Him and I am no longer governed by my flesh, and I live in Him by faith, what should my life now look like? Here are some things I need to consider to see if I am really living by faith in Him.
- Jesus is loving, even to the point of dying for those who were His enemies. Am I willing to die to my selfish desires in love for those I encounter?
- Jesus is humble and patient. Do I express humility in everything I do?
- Jesus is gentle, meek, and kind. How am I doing in this area? Am I filled with the Love and Kindness of Jesus?
- Jesus is prayerful. Being like Jesus requires me to be in constant contact with the Father.
- Jesus is sinless. As I live by faith in Him and experience His grace, I too will be less capable of sin. When my desires and thoughts are in constant alignment with His, sin is an abomination.
- Jesus cares for others. Living like Jesus means that I no longer look out for myself only. I look to Him for guidance and use my resources to help those in need.
Being crucified with Christ isn’t about being saved from hell. It isn’t fulfilled by going to church once a week and living like a chameleon in the world the rest of the week. Being crucified with Christ and living our new life by faith in Him is about becoming Jesus to the world. It is about us loving, trusting, and depending on Him so greatly that we begin to look more and more like Him every day.
My prayer today is that we, as Christians, stop trying to be good. We stop trying to accumulate possessions. We stop looking to our own needs first. And we start looking like, acting like, and being like Jesus.