“I No Longer Live”
Throughout the Bible, the Holy Spirit frequently chose to ask probing questions and make incredibly thought-provoking statements designed to get the reader's attention. One such occasion is in Paul's letter to the Galatians when he writes,
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I 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 for me.
In this one verse can be found numerous lessons that are good for every Christian to consider and reconsider. First, when Jesus was crucified, we must remember that it was His voluntary decision to undergo that horrible death. While everyone else in history who had been crucified did so unwillingly, Jesus of Nazareth chose to lay down His life so that others could live. Similarly, no one will force us to sacrifice for His cause. Instead, we get to volunteer for service to our God.
Second, we must allow Jesus to truly take over our lives as He is the one who lives. In simple terms, our lives as saints are a battle between self and service, a struggle between me and Him. The more we live for self and me, the more we're like the world and that, of course, is what we are to work hard to avoid. In choices that we make, we must think about pure things and always approach our lives as if Jesus Christ was truly making the decisions for us.
Third, lives we live after becoming children of God are lives of faith. After all, we are told that we walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). As part of this, that may very well mean that there'll be some uncertainties in our future. Because we have made the choice to dramatically change our perspectives and ways of life, oftentimes our choices will not make sense to our non-Christian friends. Then again, we may even wonder ourselves why God has asked us to endure a particular difficulty. When those days come, we must remember that we have been called to be children of faith.
Finally, we need to never, ever forget that God loves us and that our God gave His Son so that we could live. Little children can tell you that the song says, "Jesus Loves Me" because, "The Bible Tells Me So!" Amen! That's exactly what Paul writes to these early Christians, telling them to not listen to those who would say that they need something besides Jesus in order to be saved but rather to believe and obey Him--period. The only way that message made sense was with the complete awareness that salvation comes through Jesus who loved us, loves us, and ALWAYS will!
As we continue to serve God, let us always consider the important truth that we no longer live, but Christ must live in us!!