“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).
A careful reading of the Apostle Paul’s well known declaration confirms our premise of the Spirit of Christ and the spirit of the born again believer united in a bond wherein both parties vitally live and function.
First, Paul writes of his apparent demise – “I am crucified with Christ.” He returns, however – “nevertheless I live.” He departs again – “yet not I but Christ liveth in me.” Finally, the Apostle returns to stay, declaring himself to live, but to do so by the auspices and enabling of the Lord Jesus – “I live by the faith of the Son of God.”
In this enigmatic description of life in Christ, Paul speaks to our premise that human beings exist to serve as “the habitation of God through the Spirit.” The Spirit of the Lord Jesus lives in us so that we may live through Him.
Thorough consideration of the New Testament epistles affirms this truth of a life whereby the Son of God dwells in trusting sons and daughters of God without eliminating or annihilating our singular humanity. He lives, revealing in us His character, nature and way as the motivating and enabling power of all godliness. We live, our human personalities, characteristics, histories and gifts serving as unique vehicles through which Christ shines forth to His Father in Heaven, and to the people with whom we live our earthly lives.
The discovery of this truth establishes the foundation of understanding whereby God prepares us to walk in a genuinely Biblical faith, along with the expectation and submission that accompany trust in God. “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). We recognize our complete dependence on the Lord Jesus – “Without Me, ye can do nothing” (John 15:5). Upon this basis of trust, we then realize and rejoice in our privileged calling to exercise our God-given faculties and gifts with great enthusiasm and application – “I can do all things through Christ” (Philippians 4:13). We live with a restful heart, but also with an active mind, will and body for the glory and pleasure of our Heavenly Father as His beloved Son shines forth to Him in beloved sons and daughters.
We also recognize our calling to present Christ to our sphere of influence in ways not possible through anyone other than ourselves. Indeed, concerning both God and people, we possess heritage, traits, experiences, histories and capacities Divinely designed for our Father’s joy, and for the particular human relationships encountered along the pathways of our journey through life. As the Lord Jesus illuminates these facets of our being and our way, we glimmer forth in a radiance of Him, and of ourselves as enlightened by Him. Again, He lives in us and we live through Him, resulting in our blessing both God and people as Christ is revealed in and by us.
“The Lord taketh pleasure in His people.” (Psalm 149:4) “Ye shine as lights in the world.” (Philippians 2:15)
Part 3: Recognizing, accepting, and affirming our privileged calling with God, and with people.