“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. 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.” —Galatians 2:20
Once we have become a Christian, there is probably not anything that is more concerning to us, and to God, than how do we live holy lives? Paul writes, “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning, so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” (Romans 6:1-2). In other words, as a Christian, should we go back to our sinful ways because God is so generous, so kind and so merciful towards us? Of course not!
Paul tells us why: “Don’t you know that all of us who were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into His death? We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” (Romans 6:3-4).
Jesus Christ died as a consequence of sin; hence, we have been crucified with Christ. We have been buried with Him, but now, we have been raised again to walk in the newness of life. Baptism is a picture of this internal reality expressed by an external ritual of death, burial and resurrection. If we have become a Christian, we have been incorporated into Christ. Our identity is now in Christ, which means everything that is true of Christ has become true of us.
For those of us who are in Christ, we are eternally secure. The life we receive is the life of Christ imparted to us that cannot die again. But this does not mean we sit back and say, “It’s not me now; it’s Christ. I’ll just present myself as an instrument, and hope that something happens.” What is required of us is active obedience and submission as we declare, “Lord, I want to live in obedience to You; I also want to live in dependency on You.” These two things can never be separated.
When we see righteousness manifested, we should not pat ourselves on the back because the antithesis of true righteousness is self-righteousness. Rather, in humility, we should respond, “Lord, thank You for Your presence in me. You have removed my sin. You enable me and empower me as I submit to You as a slave to live a life that is holy.” As God leads us, He enables us, and as He calls us further, He empowers us. Slowly, we will begin to see something of His character—His holiness—in us.
Almighty God, humbly I come before Your holy presence. Thank You for removing my sin, and for enabling and empowering me to live a holy life through Jesus Christ. Praise You!