|Series Theme: Meditations in Galatians|
Meditation No. 10
Meditation Title: Christ Lives in Me
Gal 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
There are times in Scripture when you run across a verse which is absolutely incredible and when you first see it, it leaves you almost gasping. I remember that's how it was when I first came across this verse. It contains both mystery and incredible promise. To really catch its power we need to look at the verses that lead up to it, first of all.
Paul, as he so often does, as a good teacher, foresees possible counter arguments. He foresees the Jewish element of believers saying, But you aren't perfect, so how can you say you are justified? If you say you are in Christ, is it Christ who now empowers you to sin? Oh no, replies Paul to his own question, If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! (v.17). Look, he goes on, If I rebuild what I destroyed or if I revert back to trying to justify myself by watching my every wrong move, then all I do is I prove that I am a lawbreaker, and that I know already so there's no point in doing that (implied). No, he goes on, For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. i.e. the Law proved I was spiritually dead and so I gave up on the Law so that through Christ (implied) I would be made alive to God through His Spirit.
Now we come to today's verse. Look, says Paul, it's like I have been crucified with Christ, and I so identify with Christ and it's like I share in all he's been through, and so I consider that I too have been crucified, so that my old life has been put to death so, I no longer live, the old me has died and has gone and in reality, because his Spirit lives in me, the truth is that Christ lives in me. Yes, I know, he implies, it is still me living and having to make the decisions for my life, but The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, because although I can't see him or feel him within me, I still nevertheless believe he is living within me and energizing me, because he's told me he is so, yes, it still is a life of faith. I know he loved me and gave himself for me, and that's what motivates me to submit to him and let him live his life through me.
Now if you are not familiar with Paul's teaching that may be a lot to take in at one go. If necessary go back and read over the last two paragraphs and see it again. The danger is that it can be mere words and we either don't take in or take for granted the incredible truth that is here. I know that I have written so many meditations that have referred to the fact that God indwells us by His Spirit, that the words can almost become meaningless by repetition. However the staggering truth that is here, is that God yes, Almighty God lives in me, a mere human being, by His Holy Spirit.
It almost defies our intellect that somehow God can live within us and yet to all outward intents and purposes we look and maybe even sound just the same. But this IS the truth that Christ lives within me and because of that I AM different, I AM empowered and energized in a way that I wasn't before I became a Christian. This IS the truth, that the changes that go on in my life are only partly because I make an act of will and decide to go down a particular path, but even more they go on because He is working within me and making suggestions to me from within me and helping me come to understanding, and showing me the way all from inside me! and somehow providing the power, bringing the energizing to bear on my life that enables me not only change in character, but also to do things that are naturally beyond me.
How can I bring healing to people? How can I bring understanding to people? How can I walk on water? Of course the answer is that I can do none of these things left to myself; it is in fact Him working in and through me bringing the revelation or bringing the changes. This is the truth, that Almighty God works powerfully in and through me so that things and people change and that simply because I interacted with them. That's what this is really all about, that my presence in this world can change this world because Christ lives in me. People will be changed because they have encountered me but actually it is because they have encountered Christ in me! People will walk more tall, people will walk with greater insight, people will walk with hope because they have encountered me, or to be more precise, because they have encountered Christ within me. That is the wonder of all of this. This is the truth that is at the heart of what we have been considering here!
Why don't all these things happen more often in me, or more often in other people? Because Christ still waits for my cooperation and still wants me to make an act of will to cooperate, because it is still all about faith. I have not only got to believe in these truths, I have also got to respond to Him on the basis of these beliefs when He prompts me. These things will only happen as I believe the truths here and as long as I remain sensitive to His prompting and leading from within me, and DO what He prompts me to do. When I do it, then He acts and His revelation or His power is seen in operation. How wonderful!