“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” ( Galatians 2:20)
Christ died an unimaginable death on the cross. He willingly put himself in our place and suffered for the crimes that all humanity deserves. Most of us would fight to save our own lives, let alone be willing to go to death for others. Yet, Christ came to offer his life that our greatest need, separation from God, could be over come. He paid the price with his own life.
Paul reminds us that, because Christ has been crucified for our sins, we should desire to crucify ourselves to live in his way. This about fully surrendering our lives, especially the sinful and evil desires common to humanity, so that we might live in a new a holy way.
Dr. Michael Horton in a writing on “Union with Christ” demonstrates so well what it means to die with Christ that we might live new lives in him. He uses the example common to many spy movie scenario’s. He talks about how a man goes into a protection program to leave his past. The only way for his new life to begin was for those protecting him creating a situation that would appear that he had died. (1)
I thought about this, and it really does depict well leaving and dying to our old lives, so that we can live the new life. In the spy stories those in a protection program can never make contact with people or places of their past, or someone may see them and those who really wanted them dead would pursue and kill them. Sin and evil work in a similar manner in our lives. We must die to sinful behavior completely, and not return even a little bit, or we will likely find ourselves entrapped and headed down a dead pathway.
Some who have been addicted to drugs, alcohol, food, sex, or any other form of addiction, or those who have tried to help friends out of addiction know well the power it can have on people. Many times people will think they are okay, and that one little bit or turning back to see what they left will not hurt them. James in his writing says, “after desire has been conceived it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full grown gives birth to death” (James 1:15). Sin leads to death, because it leads to separation from God’s blessing now, and if left uncontrolled it will lead us to separation from God for all of eternity.
The best way to deal with the sins that desire to control our lives is to pray for God’s help to put them to death in our minds, and in our actions. Then we are free to live a life that is dedicated to doing good and following the loving example of Christ in our world. It is not always easy, because to overcome means to surrender ourselves to God. It means to recognize that we alone are to weak to overcome. However, Christ promised he would always be with us. The Holy Spirit can and will empower us when we turn fully to God for help.
May Christ bless you in walking in His good way today. May He empower you, as you seek to live for Him and share His love in the world. He is able and He will help you through to the end.
– Keep on your journey with Jesus today,
(1. Dr. Michael Horton, “Union with Christ”, Professor of Theology Westminster Seminary CA, http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/questions/horton/union.html, May 31, 2014)