I have been put to death with Christ on his cross, so that it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. This life that I live now, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave his life for me. (verses 19b, 20)
Read Galatians 2:11-21
Here Paul expresses, very concisely, the relationship between the gospel and the new life we have as Christians. We are one with Christ in his death (and so have all the benefits his death brings), and we are one with him in the new life he makes possible.
In 2 Corinthians Paul writes that anyone who is in Christ is a ‘new being’ (5:17). The implications of this are enormous. As ‘poor miserable sinners’ we constantly worry about whether God’s grace is strong enough for us. If we see ourselves as forgiven sinners, we are considerably better off, but we still haven’t seen our full potential. But if we hear and believe that Christ lives in me’, we increasingly realise that we are one with Christ, and we see that we have the potential to be God’s agents in bringing the gospel to others, and that these people can then have the same potential.
A congregation where the people know that they are God’s new beings will be a congregation in mission. They will know that their new life is the result of Holy Spirit-given faith in the Son of God, Jesus, ‘who loved me and gave his life for me’. Empowered and motivated by the love of Jesus, they will love the lost and give their lives for them, in life, word and deed.
Thank you, Jesus, for loving me and giving your life for me: Continue to live in me, and make me what I already am. God’s new being. Amen.
by Robert Turnbull, in ‘Living Water for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 2001)
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