Galatians 2:20 (ESV) -- I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
When you go to a sporting event you can usually tell who a person is rooting for by what clothing and apparel they wear. If Tennessee is playing Alabama, you should be able to tell who each individual is cheering for on the basis of whether they are wearing orange or crimson. In other words, these colors become identifiers to what team you hope wins.
Christians are not distinguished in the world from the unbeliever by anything we wear, but by our lives lived for the Savior. The marker in our lives is the fruit we produce. Our passage today makes that very clear. The apostle Paul says that he has been crucified with Christ. This isn’t literal. Paul isn’t hanging on a cross. What he is saying is that his old life, including his sin, was nailed on the cross with Jesus. It is no longer Paul in his old life that lives, but Christ lives in him now. So, the life he lives out in the flesh is marked by faith in the Son of God (in Jesus), who loved him and gave himself for him.
This is vital to grasp. The way you can identify that Paul belongs to Jesus and is a Christian isn’t by his theological education, the words he speaks, or the clothing he wears. Nothing external can identify him as a believer. No, it is his life lived by faith in Christ that becomes the ultimate identifier. He no longer lives for himself. His life belongs to Jesus.
How about you? If you are a Christian, shouldn’t you be able to echo Paul’s remarks here? Our lives should be laid down for Christ as well. We should obey Jesus’ teachings and recognize that our lives are no longer ours to do as we please. We belong to Him. The challenge for us each day is to willingly choose death to self so that we might live for Christ.
Reflection & Journal:
What does Paul mean when he says he no longer lives, but Christ lives in him?
What are some examples of not living for yourself? How do we live for Christ?
Why is it vital that we are also crucified with Christ? What does this mean about our spiritual condition?