April 24 I Sunday
2 Samuel 19-20
“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
In baptism, death is not the end and neither is burial. It is a new risen life that is the end purpose. We can only receive this life that God imparts to us—the life of the Lord Jesus Christ—by the Holy Spirit. It is, however, possible to go to the cross, confess our sins and even consider them buried, but not go the whole way and realize there is a new life that we have been given. From the opening verse of this devotion, there are two aspects of the gospel. Firstly, we have been crucified with Christ. Secondly, Christ is now living in us. Note that Paul did not write, “The life I might have” but “the life I now live.”
How should we live this life? Paul answers, “In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to Him as an instrument of righteousness” (Romans 6:11-13).
With our new life, we are to present our body to God as an instrument of righteousness. Just as a musician plays an instrument and a surgeon uses instruments, the instrument by itself does not have a lot of capability—it is quite neutral—rather, it depends on whose hands it is in. In other words, we can be an instrument of wickedness or an instrument of righteousness. If we yield ourselves to God, we become an instrument of righteousness, where the explanation for our life becomes God at work in and through us.
Galatians 2:20 also makes the point “the life I now live” and not “the life we now live.” The “life” is personal because we are all different, just like an orchestra is made up of lots of different instruments and a surgeon has a whole tray of instruments. We do not need to be like somebody else or try to fit into the pack of Christianity. Instead, it is about going to God every day and praying, “Lord Jesus, the life I now live, I live by faith in the Son of God. I trust that by Your Holy Spirit, You can play the instrument that I am, produce the music that You want and make my life significant for other people.” With our new life, may we be an instrument of righteousness in the hands of God.
Prayer: Gracious heavenly Father, thank You for rescuing me from the death that I deserve, because of my sins, and for not counting my transgressions against me. The life I now live, I live for You. I want to be used by You as an instrument of righteousness.