Friday, February 5, 2010

"He Lives, We Live"

(A repeat from 2004)

Walking with God involves the beautiful union of His involvement in our lives and our continuing response to that involvement.

"I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me. And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me" (Galatians 2:20).

Note Paul's exit and reentrance in his relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. First, he is crucified and seems to be out of the picture. Then he returns - "I live". He leaves again - "yet not I but Christ liveth in me" - but returns again - "the life I now live in the flesh". Finally, Paul culminates the mystery with the blessed union of two persons living. One is the source and power of the relationship, while the other trusts and submits to his Lord's granting of a gift beyond compare - Himself.

A lifetime can and should be spent seeking to better know the meaning of these wondrous words. Paul proclaims the sublime mystery that walking in the Spirit involves both the fact that Christ lives in us - and we live by Him. The truth is not simply that Christ lives, nor that we ourselves live. Biblical godliness rather involves the beautiful marriage of Spirit with spirit wherein Christ lives in us - and we live by Him.

We risk becoming passive if we limit our understanding to the correct but incomplete truth that Christ lives in us. Conversely, we risk becoming frustrated if our quest for godliness does not begin and continue with the recognition of how near the Lord has drawn to us. Christ lives in us - we live by Him. The New Testament calls us to embrace both aspects of life in the Spirit, as Paul declared in terms of our faithfulness being the fruit of God's faithfulness...

"Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure."
(Philippians 2:12-13)

"In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.
(I John 4:9)

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