Galatians 2:20 ESV
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.
Crucified with Christ
Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is the second person of our triune God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He was with God in the beginning, and he is God, and all that has been created by God was made by him.
Because we, as humans, were born into sin, because of the sin of the first man Adam, God the Father sent his Son Jesus Christ to the earth to take on human form and to be put to death on a cross for our sins.
On that cross Jesus, who knew no sin, became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God. He died on that cross that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us. And, he was resurrected from the dead that we might live with him for eternity (Rom. 6:1-23; 2 Co. 5:15, 21; 1 Pet. 2:24).
So, when we believe in Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Savior, figuratively speaking we are crucified with him on that cross. By the Spirit of God, we die with him to sin that we might live to God and to his righteousness. We put our old lives of sin behind us, and we turn away from (repent of) our sins, and we turn to the Lord to now follow him in obedience to his ways.
No longer I who live
Before we trusted in Jesus Christ to be Lord (owner-master) and Savior of our lives, we were bound in our sin, slaves to all kinds evil, and destined to spend eternity in hell, in eternal punishment. We did what we wanted to do. We followed after the desires of our flesh. Yet, this is not saying that everything we did was evil, or that we did nothing good (kind, generous), but that our nature was bent toward doing what was evil in God’s sight.
Nonetheless, when Jesus Christ transformed our hearts and minds, by his Spirit, so that our sins were put to death, and so that we might be given new lives in Christ Jesus, our Lord, we died not only to sin, but we died to those selfish and sinful natures that were bound to destruction.
There are many people these days, though, who are teaching that we don’t have to repent of our sins, and we don’t have to put those old sin natures to death, by the Spirit of God, and that we can still be saved from our sins, bound for heaven, while our flesh is still on the throne in our lives.
But, that is not God’s plan of salvation for our lives! That is a plan contrived by human beings who did not want to die to their flesh or live for God.
For, God’s plan of salvation for our lives puts the “I” in us to death. In other words, it puts selfishness to death so that we might live for the Lord and do what he says. It puts “I” to death so that “Me, me!” is no longer in charge of our lives, but that Jesus is now truly the owner and master of our lives. But, this is something that must be done every day (Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 8:1-17).
Christ lives in me
Where “I” used to rule in our lives, now Jesus Christ is ruler of our lives. Our lives are committed to him and to doing what he wants us to do instead of us living for ourselves and for what we want. And, this is 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks in a year.
In other words, I hear a lot of people talk about giving Jesus 5 minutes a day of our time, as though he would be happy with that, while the rest of the day we decide what we are going to do. They think of their relationship with Jesus Christ more as an add-on to their lives rather than him now becoming their lives, and him becoming the master (boss) of their lives.
Jesus didn’t die on that cross, though, for us to only give him segments of our lives. He died that he would now be the ruler of our lives and that we might be his servants, doing what he says to do. He doesn’t want just some of our time, or some of our dedication, but he wants it all, and instead of “I” being on the throne of our lives, now he is.
I Live by Faith
These same people who are teaching that we don’t have to die to our sins, and that we don’t have to live for Christ, and that we can still be saved from our sins and have heaven guaranteed us, are thus demonizing those who are teaching that we must die to sin and live to righteousness. They are claiming that we are teaching “works-based” salvation.
But, works-based salvation is something you do in your own flesh to try to earn or to deserve God’s grace on your own merit, so that you can boast in your flesh that you were able to accomplish for yourself what it took Christ’s death on a cross to accomplish for us.
In contrast to that is this death to sin and living to God and to his righteousness through us putting self to death so that Christ can now live in us and through us. So, this is not us in the flesh trying to earn our salvation, but that this is Christ living within us accomplishing his work of salvation in and through our lives for the glory of God.
In other words, what we do, i.e. this dying to sin and living to righteousness, we do by faith in Jesus Christ, and we do it by his power and strength at work in our lives, and we do it under his guidance and direction. For, it is him accomplishing his works in and through our lives for his glory while we submit ourselves to his purposes and to letting him rule in our hearts.
For, we still live in flesh bodies. We still have a propensity to sin against God. So, only in the power and working of God’s Spirit now living with us, and ruling in our lives, can any of us forsake our sinful lifestyles and walk in Christ’s righteousness, so that all the glory goes to God, and not to us.
Who gave himself for me
It is only because of God’s grace to us, and because of Jesus’ sacrifice on a cross for our sins that any of us can be saved from our sins and have the hope of eternity with God. But, that doesn’t mean that nothing is required of us.
But, God is not asking us to do stuff in our flesh to try to earn his grace. He is asking us, because of his grace, and because of his sacrifice for us, that we give our lives to him fully surrendered to his will for our lives.
Then, when we yield our hearts to the Lord, and we submit to his purposes for our lives, and when we let him rule, and “I” no longer rules, then he can accomplish his will and his purposes through our lives, because we are surrendered to him, and so he can do his work of salvation in our hearts.
So, he is calling out to all people today to surrender their lives to him, to turn away from their sinful lifestyles, to forsake their idols, and to let him be the Lord of their lives. Then, when he is Lord, and we are his servants, we will walk in obedience to him, and then he can use us in the lives of others to accomplish his eternal purposes, and for his glory. Amen!
All glory to God, and none to us! He deserves all the praise for what he accomplishes both in our lives and through our lives.
He Gives Purpose
An Original Work / June 9, 2012
“Listen to Me when I’m calling to you.
Obey freely My word.
Follow Me in all of My ways.
Do all that I say.
Hear Me gently whisper to you
My will for your life and future.
Give all of your life and heart to
Follow Me always.”
Repent of your sins and worship Jesus.
He’s your Lord and Master.
He died for your sins so you could
Live with Him today.
He has a plan for your life and
He gives purpose and direction.
He gives meaning to your life,
So follow Him today.
“I love you so much I gave My life for
You to walk in My ways,
Living for Me each day as you
Bow to Me and pray.
Witness for Me of your love for Me and
Of My grace and mercy,
How I died to save you of your
Sins now and always.”
Sunday, April 7, 2019