THE EXCHANGED LIFE
How would you describe yourself? We have a tendency to look at our talents, abilities, and accomplishments. People often find their identify through their performance, the opinions of others, or what they own. What is the nature of our true identity? The Apostle Paul teaches us that Christians have a new identity:
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer l 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 up for me. – Galatians 2:20
As we consider the context of this verse, we see that Paul was confronting an audience that was seeking to be justified through keeping the Law by human effort and accomplishment:
nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified. (Galatians 2:16)
Paul described the mysterious union that has taken place in which Jesus Christ is now living in and through the believer. God does not seek to change or transform our old self, but He crucified it. You don’t need to crucify yourself – God has already done it. This verb is in the perfect tense which denotes a completed action with ongoing results. The significance of being crucified is that we relinquish our right to ourselves. Jesus was crucified for us and we were also crucified with Him. This means that we are not only delivered from the condemnation of sin, but we are being delivered from the power of sin. Are you experiencing a life of victory over the power of sin?
Although we live in the flesh, we are to live by faith. Our faith is not faith in ourselves, but in Jesus, the One who loved us and gave His life so that we might have life – eternal life and abundant life. The book of Romans is a helpful commentary on this verse:
knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin. – Romans 6:6-7
We must realize that resurrection power comes only out of death and we must continually reckon ourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus (Romans 6:11). The Christian life is not simply living for Christ, but it is Christ living through the believer. Years ago this became my life verse as I realized my identity in Christ and the victory that He can give to us as we walk by faith in Him.