Galatians 2:20. 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.
Galatians 2:20 stands as a fundamental text in understanding the Christian life. Yesterday, we looked at the first part of this verse. Union with Christ is co-crucifixion with Christ. The old man is dead and now Christ lives out his existence in my life. His zoe lives through my bios and psyche.
Today, let’s look at the rest of this important verse.
the life I now live in the flesh
Here now is the tension: I died yet I still live. The fact that the old man has been crucified does not erase the true me. “I now live.” Yes and amen! I am now truly alive. Christ doesn’t live instead of me, he lives through me. This is the point of this whole blog. We can live. God wants us to live. We do live. Our salvation did not wipe out our experience, or even our own unique personality. You are alive. Christ is alive. Your two lives are joined together into one life. The two become one flesh.
I live by faith in the Son of God
This is the essence of life. We live by faith. All of life is faith. Faith is not something we exercise in times of great trial or duress. Faith is our way of life. It is the new instinct of our life. Faith in what? Faith in your union with Christ. Faith in the Son of God. Christian faith is not a way to get God to do something that he has not already done. As we have said before, there is no spiritual experience beyond your co-crucifixion and co-resurrection with Christ. Faith is not a way to have a spiritual experience beyond what the gospel has already accomplished. Faith is trusting that what Christ has done is all I need.
who loved me and gave himself for me
This is the Christian life- living each and every moment of life in faith that Jesus’ love and sacrifice are all I need, and then living out that same love and sacrifice toward others. This is the dependency and faith in which Jesus lived his human life. Jesus lived his life knowing and trusting in the Father’s love for him. We too, must live our lives dependent upon Christ’s loving sacrifice for us. When we lose sight of this we default back to law keeping, and thus to sin. The law always leads to either pride or despair. But faith in Christ frees us from both superiority and inferiority.
“To live is Christ” is to live by faith in Christ’s love and sacrifice for us, to the point where it is the controlling narrative and motivation of all of life. I am “in Christ.” His past is my past. His present is my present. His future is my future. We are as loved by God as if we did everything Jesus did- do you believe that? Is that the controlling truth of your life?