Posted November 05, 2012
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.
The New Testament teaches us the amazing truth that once someone comes to faith in Christ and is justified, they are mysteriously united with Christ's death and resurrection. What does this mean? Just as Christ was crucified and was raised to life, so believers are joined to Christ through faith, dying to their old way of sinful living (for Christ has atoned for their sins), and are resurrected to a new way of living (for Christ fills us with His Spirit & power)! This isn't merely a symbolic dying and living, but also a practical one that plays itself out in tangible ways every day through faith in Him.
In his commentary on Galatians, John Stott said, "Once we have been united to Christ in his death, our old life is finished; it is ridiculous to suggest that we could ever go back to it. Besides, we have risen to a new life. In one sense, we live this new life through faith in Christ. In another sense, it is not we who live at all, but Christ who lives it in us. And, living in us, He gives us new desires for holiness, for God, for heaven. It is not that we cannot sin again; we can. But we do not want to."
When Paul said it was no longer he who lived, he didn't mean an end to his God-given personality and uniqueness, but rather the "sinful Paul" who was powerless at the hand of sin. It is the same with us today. Christ frees us to be human & whole again, the way God intended in the garden at the beginning! He empowers us to walk away from the things that were killing us and walk toward Christ who fills us with life. He is steadily re-building His image in us by His Son's death through His Spirit. Praise be to the God who is making all things new. For further exploration of the truths in this verse and some convicting words by John Piper, check out this blog: http://fighterverses.com/blog-post/the-required-death/.
This week's song was written by Shannon Jurrens, a singer/songwriter and worship leader out of Oklahoma City and produced by Chris Clark. You can check out her record here: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/like-a-little-girl/id384974123. The artwork was created by Joel Schierloh, a graphic designer out of Oklahoma City (http://joelowenschierloh.com/).