"IT IS NO LONGER I..."
Monday, 10 December 2018
Galatians 2 : 1-21
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” -Galatians 2:20
The apostle Paul, after his encounter with Christ, died to his old self and was confidently able to say that Christ lives in him. He exhorts us to do the same. For a child of God to live a victorious Christian life it is important for two things to happen - to put off and put on. We need to “put off” our old self and we need to “put on” Christ.
The old self— “the self-centered I,” the flesh, is to be crucified with Jesus Christ. The old self bound by sin and death and cannot please God. Galatians 5:19-21 mentions what it is like to live in the flesh. “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.” We are called to crucify these sins with Christ. In order to do so we need to submit ourselves wilfully to Him to be cleansed by His blood, so we can walk in the newness of life. Then we need to examine ourselves each day through the Word of God to see if any of the characteristics of the flesh lingers in us and get rid of every sin that entangles us.
A man who loves the self and the world is carnally minded and the Word of God teaches us that such a man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God; they are foolishness to him. Many are unable to die to self/sin because they have a darkened and divided heart (heart that does not fully follow the Lord). They want to go to heaven, but they also love the world. Lot’s wife is an example when she was running away from Sodom (representing the world), looked back because she still loved what Sodom had to offer, which resulted in her death.
The new Christ-centered life is life in the Spirit. Galatians 5:22, 23 mentions what it means to live in the Spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” For the life in the Spirit to manifest in us, we need to empty ourselves of those passions and desires displeasing to God allowing our self to be truly crucified with Christ. Then we will be able to be filled with the anointing of the Holy Spirit and experience the joy of having Christ living in and through us. As we put on Christ, the Holy Spirit helps us grow in Him. The new man has a spirit made alive by the Holy Spirit, by which the heart and mind becomes enlightened to the truths of God’s Word leading to our sanctification.
Dying to our selfish ways and flesh patterns must be a daily process. Jesus said, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” (Luke 9:23) This means a total commitment to Jesus, because in dying to ourselves we exchange our fleshly desires, selfish pursuits, and earthly comforts for the life of Jesus to be lived through us. His life becomes our life, His desires become our desires; we also partake in His suffering and His power. Crucifying the old self and taking up one's cross is not optional. In Matthew 10:38, Jesus said, "Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me." Taking up your cross, dying to self, and walking in the path of faith and obedience is, in fact, what identifies you as a true disciple of Christ.
Each of us can live this abundant life –
by faith in the Son of God!
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