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 (KJV)
Paul packs a punch in this concise little verse. I am crucified with Christ. Part of the process to grow in Christ is to participate in his sufferings. Paul illustrates our suffering to the Corinthians, “Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ?”1 Baptism represents our death in Christ. Paul states this in his writing to Roman Church, “Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore, we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.”2 Our death is not a physical one but a spiritual death because we remain alive. Unlike when Jesus died, we stay here on earth. Our transformation begins at salvation; the old is passed away. Everything is new; however, it is not complete.
Why does God not take us to heaven when we ask him to save us? Instead, we are left here as His representatives on earth. Paul calls us God’s ambassadors. We are here to tell others our story about the grace the Father bestowed upon us.
Yet not I, but Christ is living in me. We are not our own. Paul tells us, “For you were bought at a price; therefore, glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”3 We are still living. However, we are not who we were. We are now indwelled with the Spirit of Christ. The Spirit is now in the driver’s seat of our life. The Spirit controls us. The Spirit guides us. The Spirit helps us on our earthly mission.
Now Paul repeats his premise. The life that I now live in the flesh, I live in the faith of God’s Son. He doubles down on the reality that our life is not our own. Matthew Henry states, “to outward appearance he lives as other people do, his natural life is supported as others are; yet he has a higher and nobler principle that supports and actuates him, that of faith in Christ, and especially as eyeing the wonders of his love in giving himself for him. Hence it is that, though he lives in the flesh, yet he does not live after the flesh.”4 We live not because our faith is in ourselves but because we placed our faith In Christ. Now, why would we surrender our lives our passions to Christ? Because He loves us and gave himself for us.
1. 1 Corinthians 10:16-17
2. Romans 6:3-4
3. I Corinthians 6:20
4. Matthew Henry, “Commentary on Galatians 2 by Matthew Henry.” Blue Letter Bible. Last Modified March 1, 1996. https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/mhc/Gal/Gal_002.cfm.