Shared January 11th, 2015
“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” (Galatians 2:20-21).
In our last exhortation we talked about being crucified with Christ, just like the Apostles, who laid down their lives for Christ because they indeed saw the risen Christ. This two-part series is a continuation of that exhortation. And I start with these questions:
- Have you been crucified with Christ? (i.e. is your old man of sin dead?)
- Have you abandoned self for the will of Christ in your life?
- If so, is Christ living in you? Is He seen in you? Is He influencing you (i.e., are you living for God and not for sin)? Are you living in and by His word?
- If not, then be crucified with Christ now. Where you will spend eternity (heaven or hell) depends on it.
You see, what a man does is the best revelation of his heart. Are you aware of this? Whoever you are, you ought to know that Christ does love you! I have learnt that it is one thing to recite or to know “for God so loved the world,” and “Christ loved the church,” but then, how awesome it is to know for a fact that Christ “loves me!” That is how the Apostles looked at it; they saw this as so personal that to them it was as though they were the sole object of the love and sacrifice of Christ.
Look at this illustration. Here is a cup of water and next to it is a tea bag. The water is not the tea and the tea is not the water. They are two separate items. Now, this same water is heated and the tea bag placed in it. Lo and behold a very strange thing takes place: the water suddenly changes both its colour and its nature; it becomes indwelt by a new and dominant nature. The rich tea-colour twirls and swirls around in the cup until the fluid is tea, not water. For the water to exist now is for the tea to exist. The water could say, “It is no longer I that lives, but tea that lives in me.”
Now, how many people do you know who just love to drink hot water? If there were, then particularly on cold or chilly nights (or even on hot days) you may be one of those buying hot water to drink, just like we see folks line up in queues to get cold bottles of water in hot weather. But there isn’t much demand for plain hot water as a beverage or thirst quencher. Now, if that same water is heated in preparation for, or can be made to become a wholesome and stimulating drink, then it is worthwhile and you will see lineups.
So then, beloved, what I am saying is that the individual is exactly like that cup of cold water, which when heated with faith and entered by the Saviour, becomes something else. The Christ nature enters the individual and with this individual’s consent dominates. The individual them becomes more and more like Christ and less and less like himself as Christ twirls, swirls (controls) him. Reader, just as the “tea in the water is the hope of taste,” likewise Christ in the Christian is the hope of glory!
Are you crucified with Christ? If you are, then you can identify with this:
I am crucified with Jesus, And the cross has set me free;
I have risen again with Jesus, And He lives and reigns in me!
It is sweet to die with Jesus, To the world, and self, and sin.
It is sweet to live with Jesus, As He lives and reigns within.
Beloved, this is what the Apostles are exhorting us, encouraging us about.
Proposed prayer: Heavenly Father, like the Apostles, once again I pray and say, I surrender to You. “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who 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, [your NAME]. I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.“ Thank You for demonstrating through the Apostles that with You on my side, I can also make it and one day, be with You and all the saints in heaven. Amen!