Christ Lives in Me

April 8, 2017 – Saturday
faith 2
Read: Galatians 2:19 – 21, NIV
Focus: v. 20, NIV

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

It would not be a bad idea to go back and read verses 11 through 18 to get the context for why Paul is writing these words. He is taking Peter to task because he was not acting honorably before both Jews and Gentiles at the church in Antioch. Actually, he was being two-faced about the whole thing and was rightly called out by Paul. When Peter was with the Gentiles he acted just like them and ate just like them but when certain Jews of the circumcision party came to visit (and spread their brand of poison – my words) he quietly defected to them to the extent that even Barnabas, Paul’s co-worker was co-opted into doing the same thing and other Jews who had been working with and eating with the Gentiles also fell away.

Paul is simply pointing out that adherence to rules intended to enforce the Law was now actually unnecessary because we are now in an era of grace and not Law. Verse 21 makes that abundantly clear. Our purpose in these devotionals is to emphasize what was accomplished by and through the Cross. Paul is making the point by using himself as an example that he himself had been crucified with Christ. His point is that the life he now lives in the body is one of faith in the One “who loved  (him) and gave himself for (him)” (vs. 20). The indication in the earlier portion of verse 20 is that not only was Paul crucified (spiritually) with Christ but he was also resurrected (spiritually) with Christ. He is living life by faith and not by works. In other places, Paul makes it clear that works are meant to be an expression of one’s faith and not a substitute for faith.

What kind of life are you attempting to live as a believer? Is it one filled with rules you absolutely “must” keep in order to get into heaven? Or, is it a life that is filled with the freedom that comes from living by “faith” and not works? Don’t get me wrong here – works will come but are more an expression of our faith and not intended to allow us into God’s presence. Only Jesus’ finished work on the Cross allows that to happen when we accept and live the life of faith. Dorcas and others mentioned in the New Testament were often eulogized for their good works but those good works were also recognized as arising from their faith and not as an attempt to somehow get into God’s good graces. Doing good works is a hallmark of being a Christian but it must be understood that the desire and strength come through faith.

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Day 13 – A Life of Faith

Friday – December 9, 2016

Read: Galatians 2:17-21
Focus: vs 20
day-13
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

A gift! That’s what it is! The Christ who gave Himself for me now lives in me. All of us as believers can claim that. I guess the real question would be, “Are we really letting Christ live in us?” We’ll come back to this in a moment.

Most of us would agree that children are a gift from God. I found out that children in the abstract, is a lot different than children in the here and now. I have to admit that when we married the thought of children was a lot different than actually having them. Something else we discovered is that we gave our children a lot of us. That is, the more time that goes by the more we recognize ourselves in their makeup. Others see us in them as well.

Back to our first thought now – it is really important that when others see us they also see Christ living in us. I guess what I was trying to say in the paragraph above is that just as others see the parents in how the children look, act and in the talent (or lack thereof), and character traits they show to those around them, just so, do others see the character traits of Jesus in us as we allow Him to live His life in us.

How did Jesus live His life while He was here on this earth? First, it was His desire to please His Father in heaven in all that He said and did. Therefore, He always acted and spoke in ways that glorified God. The Apostle Paul, who wrote about Christ living in us also wrote this Letter to the Galatians about how to live as Jesus lived. One passage in Galatians, chapter 5, compares Christ’s love for his Church with a husband’s love for his wife. We husbands are to love our wives as Christ loves the Church. Christ’s love for the Church is so complete and so great that He even went to the Cross for her. So, how does Christ living in us show itself to the world? It happens through the complete love He enables us to show others, even those not part of the Church. How else are they to be drawn to share in Christ Jesus? This wonderful gift of Christ in us is the fulfillment of the Gift presented on that first Christmas morning. Born physically – now born in us! “Dear Lord, I need Your help to truly live this life of faith. My understanding is that this involves letting Jesus live His life through us – not just His kind of life but His life lived through us.”

ROW