I have been crucified with Christ . . . 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.
Today’s verses give a testimony of what it means to be a believer. Here Paul gets deeply personal about his relationship with Christ. He uses “I” several times to describe his own faith and trust in the Savior.
Paul explains earlier that he was once a severe legalist. He believed he could keep the law perfectly and be righteous before God, but that was impossible. There’s no way we can ever make ourselves right with God. We are made righteous only through believing a promise—that Jesus’ blood, shed on the cross, pays the whole debt of our sin. Jesus fulfilled all the requirements of the law for us, and he is the only One who could do that because he never broke the law. He was totally without sin.
So Paul learned, by grace, that he had to stop thinking he could earn salvation by trying to keep the law. Instead, he said, he had to die to the law in order to live for God. And he identified so closely with Jesus that he testified, “I have been crucified with Christ”—as if his own body had been stretched on the cross. So now, said Paul, his old way of life was dead: “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” This is the good news! We are not our own but are grafted into him who lives in us (see John 15).
So let’s join with the Canons of Dort again today by saying we are justified (made righteous) by faith in Christ alone! Can others see that Jesus is living in us?
God of grace, by your Spirit, fill us with new life in Christ so that we may live as believers grafted into him forever. Amen.
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