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. (Gal 2:20)
A lot of people know this verse. It’s one of those common ones that we can pull out without too much thought. But that’s the problem – have we actually considered the depths of what it means to be crucified with Christ?
It only hit me the other day what the implications of that statement are. If we were crucified with Jesus, that means we died with him. If we were dead we wouldn’t be doing anything would we? We’d just be laying in the ground decaying. But Paul doesn’t just say “I no longer live” – he says “but Christ lives in me”.
If Christ lives in us, and we are dead, what does that mean for our sin and all the extra bits and pieces that we fill our lives with? If we are really dead to the world, and if it is really Christ who lives in us (which should be our aim), then there is absolutely no excuse to sin. There’s no excuse for a “little white lie”, or for doing something that dishonors God “just one last time”.
But at the same time, if we are dead, what about the video games and movies that don’t really have a purpose? The exercise done not to honour God with our bodies but just to honour ourselves? We all fill our lives with things that don’t really matter (those were just two common examples for my age group).
But if we are dead, and it is Christ who lives in us, shouldn’t our every action, word and thought be in line with his? Shouldn’t we be always looking for ways to honour and glorify him and share the gospel? Shouldn’t we be transformed, doing everything for his glory and out of love for those around us?
And yet, if we’re honest none of us are like that. To be completely dead to anything except Christ is nearly impossible on this earth. And at the same time that should be our aim – we should be living as Christians constantly, always re-evaluating what we are doing in an attempt to make it more and more honouring to God. Here are two ideas:
- Are there specific areas in your life that you are still sinning? The answer to that will be yes – because we are still sinful and won’t be perfect until heaven. But are you repentant for those things and trying to give your life more fully to God?
- Have a look at where you use your time. Are those things useful and good? Are they glorifying to God in any way? They may not be wrong to do, but do they tangle you up and stop you from doing things that are specifically good and right?
- Have a think about where your thoughts are usually drawn to. Are you often thinking about how to honour God and how to serve him? Or about other things which might not be particularly bad, but just aren’t as good? I find my attention is usually drawn to my friends – not in an effort to encourage and love them, but thinking about what they think of me and things like that.
I’m not at all saying that by doing things that aren’t specifically godly or ungodly we aren’t Christians. I’m just asking if we’ve really considered what this verse means – are we dead to ourselves and the things in this world and living only for Christ? What areas in my life do I need to be working on?