I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
In these sublime words, we are given profound insight concerning the grace of God at work through our intimate relationship with Christ. This majestic statement begins with our spiritual death, in order that another might live in and through our lives. Finally, we are told how we are to respond, so this divine arrangement can proceed as intended.
First, our spiritual death is in view. “I have been crucified with Christ.” If we are believers in the Lord Jesus, we died with Him upon that cross. The cross of Christ is now our testimony of rejoicing, for by that cross we escaped the dead world of unredeemed humanity. “But God forbid that I should glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Galatians 6:14). Although the cross is the end of our old life in Adam, that is not the end of our story. “Even when we were dead in trespasses, [God] made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved;)” (Ephesians 2:5). By His grace, we were raised with Christ. We died with Him, in order that we now might live with Him. “Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him” (Romans 6:8).
The astounding consequence of these truths is that we are not the ones producing our Christian life. “It is no longer I who live.” This reality is radically contrary to man’s natural thinking. If we are not to manufacture our life with God, what other option could possibly be available? The wonderful answer is: “Christ lives in me.” True Christian living is to be Christ living in and through our lives. How can this be accomplished? We still have an ongoing human experience in flesh-and-bone bodies: “the life which I now live in the flesh.” Yes, but this life is to be lived by faith: “I live by faith in the Son of God.” As we put our trust in Jesus day by day, He lives in and through our thoughts, our words, our choices, our priorities, and our relationships.
Once again, this is God’s grace at work through humility and faith. The humility is expressed by embracing this confession: “it is no longer I who live.” The faith is expressed by counting upon this truth: “Christ lives in me.”
Dear God of my salvation, what a magnificent plan! Thank You for providing a way out of the old life. Praise You for raising me to a new life. How wonderful that this new life is to be Christ living in me. Lord Jesus, please live in me as I depend upon You, Amen.