Onward bound with STS and we're off to Galatians now. Chapter 2 today, and one verse whacked me round the head and the heart (in a good way):
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Wow! How does Paul manage to pack SO much into so few words? In the context - the upholding of Gospel truth over the issue of circumcision and whether Gentiles should follow the law - it is extremely powerful.
If you are a Christian, this verse IS true in your life. (I was going to say 'is true for you', but that smacked too much of postmodernist overtones, albeit unintentionally.) It is not any more true if you have a better "spiritual" week than last week. It is not any more true if you do your quiet time every day and don't miss any. It is not any more true if you actually want to go to the mid-week meeting instead of dragging your feet to it. It is not any more true if you take 100 opportunities to share the Gospel instead of avoiding them.
We were crucified with Christ. Christ lives in us. These statements are true, all day, every day, forever.
A friend once said something extremely helpful to me. It was a while ago but I will paraphrase:
"Ask yourself 'What does God think of me today?' Most people start compiling lists of their day. Well, I did my quiet time, but I rushed the prayer... and I got annoyed with someone at work, and yelled at the kids... The real answer is, God looks at you and sees Christ, his righteousness and his glory."
We are clothed with Christ's righteousness. That's not the kind of garment you can take on and off. It's here to stay. So next time you beat yourself up because you think God's opinion of you has gone down this week, remember Galatians 2:20. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives me. Christ loved me and gave himself for me.
NB: I am not advocating not bothering with becoming more sanctified. On the contrary, the fact that we know our salvation is safe, won through Christ and Christ alone, should motivate us on to holiness even more as we know we are empowered by Christ, rather than trying to attain Christ by our works!