Death and Life; February 25, 2020

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

This is the most famous single verse in Galatians, certainly, and one of the more famous in the whole New Testament, and rightly so. When we rightly grasp what it says and apply it in our own lives, it can be transforming. Paul touched on this in Romans 6:11. “In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” The thing is, when we are dead, temptation can’t touch us. We all have areas of particular weakness, but when we are dead, those disappear. Life in Christ is paradoxical from many standpoints, such as serving to be great, (Mark 10:43) so we really need to have our minds renewed. (Romans 12:2) The disciple of Jesus Christ is in no way suicidal, but they know that death is better than life (Philippians 1:21) and, as this verse says, they are a “dead man walking.” To someone without faith that can seem terribly morbid, but for someone with assurance of eternal life, it is glorious! When we understand that we have already died through the cross of Christ and are resurrected in Him, physical death holds no terrors. As a result, life itself holds no terrors! We fear all sorts of things, but the more we really grasp that in Christ we are already dead, the less those things can shake us.

This is something I have grown in over the years, and I continue to do so. Having already outlived my father by over seven years, I know that each day is a gift with a purpose, to be used as my Lord intends. Since I still “live in the flesh,” I am to be careful that I indeed “live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” As Paul wrote to the Philippians, my personal greatest blessing would be to leave this body behind and go be with my Lord, but my still being in my body means I’ve got work to do to bless others. I would be delighted if I didn’t keep making mistakes in this body, even hurting others at times by the things I say and do, but God’s grace is sufficient for that as well. Right now the world is going into something of a panic over the COVID-19 virus, but I find myself pretty unconcerned, even though there are now cases on this same island of Kyushu. I read reports from Dennis Balcombe and others that this is causing many to come to Christ in China, and I pray that the same would be true in Japan and elsewhere. When I am already dead, what happens to me is entirely God’s business! I am not to be careless, but be a good steward of this body and all it contains in terms of abilities and the like, but when I have this verse firmly established in my spirit, nothing can shake me.

Father, thank You for all that You have been doing and are doing, both in me and around me. Various developments are giving me deep peace and joy. May I be an open channel of that peace and joy to those around me, so that all the tricks of the devil may be exposed and defeated and Your kingdom come indeed, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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