We trust Christ. We submit to Christ. We desire his life, his character, his love. His life becomes our law – the “law of Christ.” Not a law we must live up to, but a law that is alive in us. That’s “to live is Christ.”
“To live is Christ” allows us to take a deeply honest look at our own wretchedness as law keepers and then place our hope in the one who will deliver us from the body of death.
The law can reveal my holy God and my unholy self, but only the cross can crucify the flesh and only the resurrection can quicken the life of Christ in me (and it already has). This is the gospel. This is the new way of the Spirit. This is “to live is Christ.”
“To live is Christ” is to trust in your position in grace alone. Your full forgiveness. Your freedom from the power and consequence of sin. Your resurrection unto eternal life. It is to rest in the freedom of his unconditional love. A resting that will bring true obedience as the impulse of his love.
“To live is Christ” means forever living free from the only curse that ever existed. The curse of the law. And, beyond this, it means living in the blessing of Christ’s own life. The life of curse crushing love and mercy that now lives in you.
“To live is Christ” is therefore much, much, more than self-denial or the “imitation of Christ.” It is a whole new identity, a new reality, a new nature. It’s a whole new life and a whole new way to live. Alive through death. Living by dying.