Thursday, September 24, 2009
Crucified with Christ
16 . . . a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.
17 “But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore a minister of sin? Certainly not! 18 For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. 19 For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. 20 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 2:16b-20, New King James Version
Crucified with Christ
A man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ. . . . 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.
Read the verses shown above again. We can never save ourselves; we can never live a good enough life to appease God for our sins. Though we may try to live a life of works by the law, that very same law will condemn us. We are not saved by our works, but we are saved by faith in Jesus Christ, alone.
So, what does Paul mean when he says that he has been crucified with Christ? Did he die with Christ? Did he somehow pay for his own sins? No! Because Christ was crucified for Paul, Paul's very life was changed drastically. He was crucified from the life he had lived, and, after Christ's salvation, understood that it was no longer him who lived, but rather Christ who lived in him.
Think about that! How would our lives change if we really understood what Paul was saying? Everything was changed in Christ! After our conversion to Christ, He has lived within us, so that the life we have lived in the flesh is now lived by faith in Son of God who gave His very life for us.
Our own sin nature constantly wrestles with the Holy Spirit within, but we need not be distraught. Christ in our hearts gives us the grace and power to live for Him. Very often, our lack of peace or happiness is due to our wrestling with our own sin, and the guilt we feel in our lack of obedience to Christ. Unfortunately, that wrestling will not completely end as long as we are on this earth, but it will end!
We are crucified with Christ, and in the end we will live a life that is consumed by Christ and our love for Him, as we walk with Him in white!
God Bless You,