Galatians 2:20 – I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.
In my previous blog I wrote about the need to die to hypocrisy. The same hypocrisy that Paul addressed when he spoke to Peter and the other Messianic Believers of his day. The same hypocrisy that needs to be addressed in us all! But there is so much more we die to!
We not only die to our old ways of thinking, behaving and acting, but we die to our sin. Paul knew that, and so did the others. I didn’t address it because he was talking to believers and that was understood. His point in this verse is that when they died to their sins, they died to the law and to their traditions. And it was worth it!
But today I want to address life after death!
Nevertheless, I live!” Paul has just mentioned the effects of his death by crucifixion, but he doesn’t stop there. He lets us know that he has been raised from that spiritual crucifixion to being very much alive. Paul could have just as easily said, “I have a new way of living since I died to my old way of living and it is much better than that old life I had because I am truly alive!”
If you know anything about Saul of Tarsus, then you know that he was a busy man for the Sanhedrin and the cause of Judaism. As a young man he was zealous for God without any spiritual revelation of his knowledge. He went about gathering Believers and turning them over to be killed because he felt they were a bunch of heresy practicing lunatics! In Acts, Luke makes a point of letting us know that Paul was there when Stephen was martyred and was instrumental in his death! So Paul had a full and busy life, yet he recognized it was life he had to die to in order to live!
“Yet not I, but Christ lives in me!” However, Paul is saying, I am not alive because of laws, traditions, and hypocrisy, but because Christ lives in me. By now I am sure the Jewish believers are squirming in their seats! Paul reminds them all, life didn’t begin for any of them until Christ came to live in them. Jew and Gentile both lay claim to same thing “salvation by faith in Jesus Christ”, because if they don’t, they are yet not living. True life springs forth from the life of Christ that radiates from the inside to the outside. It did then, and it does now.
Jesus introduced this concept when He made the statement, “The thief comes but to steal, to kill, and to destroy, but I come that you may have life, and that more abundantly!” (John 10:10)
I was just reminded of something that happened to me many years ago. We went to pick up a young lady for church services who lived in the projects of Chicago. My husband drove me there, but on the way he made a statement about her being in the tallest building without a working elevator in it, living on the top floor. I told him to stop it! But sure enough, it turned out to be true. He then decided that the girls and I should go back to the van and wait for him because he didn’t want us in that building.
As I was headed back to the van, I saw four young men headed towards us and I knew by the Spirit of God that they were up to no good. I put my daughters in the van quickly, locked the door and turned to face them.
The first thing that came out of my mouth was, “Have you heard that Jesus came to give you life and that more abundantly?” It stopped them in their tracks! They surely was not expecting that! As I began to share the gospel, that saved me from being robbed or something, three of them walked away and the fourth one prayed the prayer for salvation with me! Glory to God!! If that young man was sincere, he died to his sinful ways that he came to assault me with and walked over to new life in Christ!!! And when my husband came back down he reported that the young lady was not there and he knew she had probably given me the wrong address to begin with. But someone still got saved that day!!
Paul reminded Peter of this new life and that there was so much more to it than being one way with the Jewish brethren and another way with the Gentile brothers. He reminded Peter that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and Life and that no one comes to the Father, but through Him!” And since that had happened with him and with the the Galatians, he should have known better. Abundant life in Jesus is not through our contacts, our heritage, our family, our works, or our church affiliation…only through Him and in Him!
Life after death!! That is the greatest and most powerful testimony any of us can have! And it can be yours today if you have not been crucified with Him. Ask Him in today that you may be crucified to your death and alive in Him. Say this simple prayer: “Father God, I recognize that I have never given my life and my heart to you. Today I recognize I am in need of your salvation. I believe in You, God! And more importantly, I believe that Jesus is Your Son, who came to earth in the flesh and died on the cross for my sins. That He rose again from physical death and is alive in You. Forgive me of my arrogance of thinking that I could live my life without You. I want Him to be alive in me. Jesus come into my life today. Change it! Crucify the old man in me and make me alive in You! Then lead me where I can learn more about You so that our relationship can grow and I can experience life more abundantly. In Your Name I pray! Amen”
Well, if you have prayed this prayer today, I welcome you into the family of God. We are family!! Praise God for another member being ingrafted in the family! One last thing— if you have prayed this prayer today, please leave me a comment so that I can begin praying for you that Christ will be formed in you and also rejoice in this great salvation! You have just experience life after death! Wonderful Jesus!