In my last post on the lessons from Galatians, I announced that Galatians 1:8,9 would be the center for discussion this week but I changed my mind. I want to jump quickly to a verse in chapter 2 and later return to chapter 1.
What lesson am I sharing today? It’s from a verse I love so much. A bible passage that gets me excited even from the very first sentence. It is the greatest secret to living a holy life on a day to day basis. So, what’s this scripture?
…I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life that I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20.
At work one day, my colleague mentioned that it was impossible to stay away from sex as a single. That got me angry and of course I didn’t respond nicely because I didn’t expect that such a statement could come from him. I was greatly baffled. We’d agreed on certain doctrinal matters but here he was, defending premarital sex.
This was some years back and had I known what I knew now, I might not have reacted the way I did. I might have been patient with him and get to the bottom of it primarily to know if he was merely excusing sin or was struggling with a habit.
Maybe, he had tried stopping this and always got back in bed with his girl every time. Maybe he had made resolutions which he hadn’t been able to keep and therefore had come to a conclusion that victory wasn’t possible.
There are many believers who are frustrated with their Christian walk. They sincerely want to stand for Christ and overcome the dictates of the flesh but every time, it seems one sin or the other pulls them down. The accuser of the brethren knows how to do a good job too and they have come to believe that even though the scripture says we have been set free from sin, technically it is impossible.
If you are reading this article, it is because you want to see the Christ life revealed through you daily. You are tired of struggling, of trying so hard to stop certain sinful habits. You are desirous of developing roots that’ll produce holiness in your spiritual walk.
You have recognized that even though you are saved, you cannot walk through life on your own terms and you direly want to see progress in the outworking of the new life you have received. You are not just concerned about behavior modification, you want life transformation. I sincerely pray that your desire will be met as you read this.
In Galatians 2:20, did you notice that our Lord Jesus Christ was mentioned thrice?
…I am crucified with Christ.
…But Christ lives in me
…I live by faith of the Son of God…
When in your Christian walk, you are prone to always look inward, it will be difficult for you to enjoy your Christian life and see the victory you hope for. ‘How many sins did I not commit today?’ ‘Even God knows, I cannot stop sinning’ ‘Why can’t I just stop drinking’ ‘I…’ ‘I…’
When your daily life is centered around you or what you can and cannot do, it’ll either land you in a self-righteous state or keep you struggling. For us who have recognized the power of the cross, this song rings true for us:
It is no longer I that liveth, but Christ that liveth in me.
It is no longer I that liveth but Christ that liveth in me.
In me, in me, Jesus is the life in me.
It is no longer I that liveth, but Christ that liveth in me.
We are aware that now that we have been reconciled by Christ’s death, we shall be saved by his life (Romans 5: 10). We understand that the way to pulling off those weight of sin that besets us is by looking unto Jesus.
Can we break down this verse for better clarification.
1. I am crucified with Christ.
What exactly is the implication of this? It means when Christ went to the cross, he carried all our sins with him and died with them.
Romans 6 v 3 tells us that we were in Christ when he died. So when sin comes knocking, what should be our response? ‘I am dead to sin.’ ‘Sin has no dominion over me because I have been set free from sin.’
Don’t just memorize these words. Let the Holy Spirit open your eyes to see the spiritual implication of this. An identification with Christ finished works is the breakthrough you need over the stronghold of sin.
Why do we still sin even though this is a reality for us? Why does it look so difficult for many believers to live Christ’s life on a daily basis.
It always starts from an identification problem. Wrong focus. Rather than spend time praying and seeking understanding of this new nature you have received, your eyes are focused on sin and the flesh. You are busy ticking the sins you have not committed and the ones you need to strive not to commit. Your thoughts dwell on your struggles and the accusations the devil fills your mind with.
The access into divine life, a life void of self, comes through the knowledge of Christ.(2 Peter 1:3) Through the revelation of Christ, you will be able to understand the exceeding greatness of his power in you. This reality is a never ending one. We will continue to explore the reality of the finished works of Jesus till we leave this world.
Declare to yourself who you are in Christ.
You are crucified with Jesus.
In him you live, you move and have your being.
You are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works.
Of his fullness have you received and grace for grace.
In Christ dwells all the fulness of the Godhead and you are in Christ.
You can find more scriptures for declaration here.
Keep these truths at the center of your heart. Constantly make your daily living about him. Continue to put Jesus at the center of everything you do. This is the way out of a life of struggle.
2. Nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me
When Christ rose from the dead, you arose with him without that sinful nature. This is why when you receive Christ, a new nature is given to you. So even though you are alive physically, Christ is in you and He greatly desires to see his life expressed in your thoughts and actions. Are you letting Him do this or are you standing in his way? Two scriptures come quickly to mind:
Jesus said, ‘I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10.
And all of us, as with unveiled face, because we continued to behold in the word of God, as in a mirror the glory of God are constantly being transfigured into His own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another, for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18(AMP)
Who is the Word of God. Jesus. When we behold Jesus, we are transformed into whose image? Jesus. In John 5:39, Jesus said, ‘Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they which testify of me.’ Where does the scriptural verses points you to? Jesus.
3. The life I now live in my flesh, I live by faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.
God is holy and he desires us to live a holy life too. After all that is the lifestyle of the new creation. Look at all the instructions Paul gave concerning holy living. They are scattered across the epistles.
He warned against lust, bitterness, envy, sexual immorality, gossip, covetousness, filthy fornication and all of the things belonging to our earthly members.
God has never changed his standard with regards to sin. He hates and detests it. Yet when we received the new nature, we were not immediately whisked away from this earth. We remained in a world where our minds can be corrupted thereby influencing our body to act outside of God’s character.
God knew that if our minds which govern our actions are left to run its course, we would fulfil the lust of the flesh. This is one reason that even though instructions on holy lifestyle are stated emphatically in the scriptures, the solution was included. That’s why you see verses like; Walk in the Spirit, Renew your mind, behold as in the mirror the Word of God, looking unto Jesus, he that raised Jesus shall quicken your mortal bodies through the Spirit..
God needs our cooperation so that the Holy Spirit whose primary function is to reveal the risen Lord can work through our mortal bodies and produce fruits unto holiness.
There is a call for us to rest on the faith of the Son of God continually and watch our lives receive transformation. Christ in us, is the hope of glory.
Can I ask you this important question; Where is your focus?
I end with this scripture:
…Unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. Ephesians 3:20.
Related: Your words carry power