“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.”– Galatians 2:20
The changes God makes in our lives after our conversion are profound and lasting; God does a deep work that rituals cannot perform. Consider this: God so profoundly put us into Jesus—in a legal way—that His history becomes our history. We were crucified with Him, and we were “raised with Him” (Romans 6:5). This identification with Christ is the basis for our intimate relationship with Him; it is also the basis of our walk of victory.
If you were convicted of a capital crime and then put to death for it, the law would have no more claim on you. Just so, as believers, we’ve died with Christ, and as a result, we are dead to our obligations to meet the demands of the law. In short, Jesus fulfilled the demands of the law for us. So our “death” with Jesus frees us from a standard we could never keep and the punishments that accompany it. But—thanks be—we still do live, but we do so by faith in Jesus.
“The true Christian life” writes John Mac Arthur, “is not so much a believer’s living for Christ as Christ’s living through a believer” (p. 60, Commentary). Before our conversion, we did the best we could at managing our guilt and hoping that we could rectify our relationship with God. After our conversion, we continue to strive, but with an entirely different motivation: now we’re empowered by letting Christ live in and through us. Our responsibility is to surrender with confidence so that the life we now live we live by “faith in the son of God” who loved us and gave Himself for us.
This “crucified life,” as it’s sometimes called, means that we not only died to the law in Christ, but we must, by faith, die to our own plans and ambitions; now our lives are entirely in His capable hands. Letting Christ live in us opens up a whole spectrum of hope and victory.
The bottom line: we are saved by faith in Christ who died for us; now we continue have faith in the Christ who lives for us and in us. Today, let us not concentrate as much on living for Christ as trusting Christ to live in us! And let us pray we will understand and obey.
Let Us Pray
Father, I begin by asking that I will grasp the meaning of this verse, that the demands of the law have been met on my behalf by Jesus Christ; but equally wonderful, let me also have confidence that Jesus now lives in me. Let me exercise the same faith in the living Christ within me as I have for the dying Christ who died for me. Let the thought that Christ lives within me captivate my mind and heart, and that might I walk in the light of this experience.
Then, also Father, I pray for _____ who is presently living for himself/herself. I pray that they might submit to Jesus who lives with them. And if they do not know Him as Savior, I pray that they will receive His gift of grace and accept Him as their Savior and Lord. Father, do a work in their heart that is miraculous and lasting.
Father, help us to believe that Christ living within us frees us from stress and senseless pressure of life. Take charge and work through us for Your glory.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.