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 a justly famous verse. I’ve lost track of how many sermons I’ve heard on things like “220 Power” and the like. However, I dare say few if any of us live it out 100%. It is accomplished reality in Christ, but we still have to appropriate it in daily faithfulness. You could even say that we are “zombie sinners,” since our old self has indeed been crucified with Christ, but we allow it to control us at times. As Paul wrote to the Corinthians, we are all too prone to “act like mere men.” (1 Corinthians 3:3) The trick to walking in victory is to realize what you are in Christ and then act like it. We tend to accept the truth of God as theory and then ignore it in practice. That is a guaranteed recipe for disaster. It is an exercise in self-deception, just as James said. (James 1:22) Another phrase that comes to mind is “dead man walking,” as they say of a condemned man going to the execution chamber. The thing is, our death is already accomplished in Christ, so we need to accept it in order to receive the fullness of eternal life that Christ has also provided for us. (Romans 6:23)
This is of course my daily challenge. I often say that James 1:22 was written specifically for me, since I have a lot of the Bible in my head, but need to live it out in concrete terms. I’m not sure how many years ago now that I was invited to participate in a round-table discussion for The Christian Shinbun (newspaper), in which I stated that when Japanese believers wake up to who they are in Christ, it will change not only the Church but the nation, and go on to change the whole world. I remain convinced of that, but I have still seen few “awake” believers. For that matter, too often I myself seem to walk around in a daze! It is only when I accept my death to the world that I am fully alive in Christ. I don’t want to be a zombie! As a pastor, I am charged with helping others realize their status in Christ, so that as a fully-alive army we may storm the gates of hell and set the captives free. (Matthew 16:18)
Father, thank You for this reminder. Help me indeed live it out, with people and with You, so that Your purposes may be accomplished on Your schedule in and through me, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!