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.
How are we supposed to view our present life of faith?
This passage tells us to look at our present lives as servants of the Lord Jesus. Just as Jesus was crucified, dead, and buried, and then raised to new life, so we are in a sense crucified with Jesus, dead with him, buried with him, and then raised with him.
This is what it really means to be a believer, a disciple, a Christian. This, and nothing less, is what the Christian life means. When we come to Jesus and ask him to forgive us, dwell in us, and transform us for his purposes, what we’re really asking is this: for the old selfish life story, with its private, “me-centered” goals and dreams, to be taken up into the Great Story and transformed for God’s eternal purposes.
It’s not just “making Jesus our personal savior,” then skipping happily on our way as if nothing had happened. It’s being totally aware that our life prior to faith in Jesus is dead and buried. Gone—nine feet underground.
From now on, since Jesus is our Lord, Master, Ruler, Guide, Commander, and all the rest, we live to and for him.
No, there isn’t any split-level discipleship available, as if some people can choose “First Class” Christian life of total commitment and others can opt out for “Business Class” or “Main Cabin.” Jesus is either Ruler of everything or Ruler of nothing. Either Jesus’ spirit is going to dwell inside us (the biblical definition of a Christian life—see Rom. 8:9–10; 2 Cor. 13:5), or he isn’t. We’re his disciples or we aren’t.
So we live each and every day of this earthly life by faith in and dependence on the Son of God. Our lives no longer belong to us to do with just as we wish.
Remember, the “old guy” is dead. Now Jesus lives out his life in us, daily transforming us into his likeness and doing through us the will of the Father.
How this affects our prayer is obvious: We pray for and about everything, always conscious of the fact that our life has been thrust into the main stream of another higher will and purpose.
Lord God, let me not forget that my life belongs to you and that you have a plan and purpose that far exceed my own selfish desires. Thank you for your compassion and grace to us all. Amen.
Today I recognize once again that I am fallen. I acknowledge my need to submit completely to Christ and surrender…
Photo by AdA Durden via Flickr