LIVING BY FAITH
Faith is the key to victory in the Christian life (1 John
5:4-5; Gal. 2:20). I received Christ as my Saviour by faith (John 1:12) and in the
same way I am to walk and live the Christian life (Col. 2:5-6; 2
Cor. 5:7; Gal. 3:1-3). It is not by fleshly trying or struggling, but it is by faith.
It is not my working (Heb. 4:10), but it is God working in me
(Phil. 2:13; Heb. 13:21). It is for me to actively and
whole-heartedly trust in Him to do His great working in and through me.
I was saved from the penalty of sin by believing
that CHRIST DIED FOR ME and rose again (1 Cor. 15:1-4). I rested in
finished work (John 19:30; Rom. 4:5). I can be saved from the power
of sin by believing that I DIED WITH CHRIST (Rom. 6:6; 6:3; Col. 2:20; Gal.
2:20) and that He is my LIFE (Col. 3:1-4; Gal. 2:20; Phil. 1:21; Rom. 6:11;
1 Cor. 15:22). As a saved person I must rest upon His finished work
(Heb. 4:9-11). The great truth of SUBSTITUTION is that
Christ died for
me. To be justified I must believe this truth. The great truth of IDENTIFICATION
is that I died with Christ. To grow in holiness and Christ-likeness
(sanctification) I must believe this truth.
Faith must fix itself on the facts of God's Word. First
the believer must KNOW the facts concerning his identification with Christ
in His death and resurrection (Rom. 6:3--"Know ye not";
Rom. 6:6--"knowing this"). Secondly the believer must
on those facts and count on them as being true (Rom. 6:11--"reckon"
is a faith word; it means that the believer calculates that what God has
said is true). Faith rests upon God's facts, which in this case involve
the believer's identification with Christ in His death and resurrection.
There is a difference between my POSITION IN CHRIST (my standing in Him)
and my actual CONDITION (my actual state in time). My position in Christ is
perfect, complete and eternal (Col. 2:10; 2 Cor. 5:17; Rom. 8:1) because I
stand complete in a perfect Saviour (1 Cor. 1:30) and God sees me IN HIM (Eph.
1:6; 2 Cor. 5:21). My condition is what I actually am in my daily walk. I
learn from Romans 6:6 that MY OLD MAN WAS CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST. This
is a fact. God said it and it is true of my position in Christ. In actual
experience my old man is often alive and well. The goal of the Christian life
is to have one's condition line up with one's position. This is the work of
the Spirit of God (2 Cor. 3:18), but I must do my part. The more I reckon
upon the facts of Romans 6:6; 6:11; Gal. 2:20; etc., the more it will become
a reality in my actual experience. It is faith in the facts of my position
that gives me the daily benefits of growth in my condition. Most believers
operate based upon feelings as they focus upon their failing condition. We
need to focus upon our perfect position in Christ, seeing ourselves as God
sees us in His beloved Son.
The Believer's Standing and State
To be saved from sin's penalty I had to see myself as God sees me--as a
guilty, lost, hopeless, hell-deserving sinner (Rom. 3:10-23; etc.). God and
God alone must do the saving based on the finished work of Christ. Likewise,
to be saved from sin's dominion and power I must see myself as God sees me--positioned
in His Son and identified with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection
and seated with Him in heavenly places (Eph. 2:5-6; Col. 3:1-4). Thus my focus
is not upon myself and my struggling, failing condition, but my
focus is upon ChristHis glory, His finished work, His perfect redemption,
my new life in Him (2 Cor. 3:18; 5:17). By faith I reckon upon and appropriate
my position in Him, and by God's working the Holy Spirit will be transforming
my actual condition into His image from one stage of glory [Christ-likeness]
to the next (2 Cor. 3:18; 2 Pet. 3:18).
More and more as a growing believer I will search the Scriptures and see
the riches that I possess in Christ (Eph. 1:3; 2 Cor. 8:9) and by faith I
will claim and appropriate these riches. [See our paper
215 Things That Are True of Me Now That I Am
Saved] I will possess my possessions! I
will reckon myself to be a spiritual billionaire by God's grace! Seeing myself
in light of the facts of God's Word, I then by faith seek to be what I
already am! I am a child of light (Eph. 5:8). Because of this fact, I
must walk as a child of light (Eph. 5:8).
In Christ I am a SAINT (1 Cor. 1:2). Because of this fact, I must live saintly (Eph. 4:1; 1
Just as John 3:16 concisely sums up the gospel, so Galatians 2:20 concisely sums up the Christian life. Note the following about this passage: 1) FAITH is the key; 2) The basis for Christian living is the finished work of Christ; 3) The emphasis is upon identification: I was crucified with Christ and now He lives His life in me; 4) The facts of this verse are true for every believer but only those believers who claim these facts by faith benefit in their daily walk. Sadly many believers live as if these facts are not true. 5) Galatians 2:20 is explained in the following chart:
A SUMMARY OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
IN ONE VERSE
"Not I, But Christ"
WHY IS IT NO LONGER I?
BECAUSE . . .
WHY IS IT CHRIST LIVING IN ME?
BECAUSE . . .
|In me (that is in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing . . . O wretched man that I am! (Rom. 7:18,24)||
The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death (Rom. 8:2).
|All my righteousnesses are as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6).||
I am in Christ Jesus who of God is made unto me wisdom and righteousness (1 Cor. 1:30).
|Sin dwelleth in me (Rom. 7:20).||
Christ liveth in me (Gal. 2:20).
|I live for myself (2 Cor. 5:15).||
I live for the One who died and rose again for me (2 Cor. 5:15).
|The works of the flesh are adultery, fornication, uncleanness . . . (Gal. 5:19).||
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace . . . (Gal. 5:22-23).
|Those that are in the flesh cannot please God (Rom. 8:8).||
I am not in the flesh but in the Spirit. The Spirit of God dwells in me (Rom. 8:9).
|I have put off the old man with his deeds (Col. 3:9).||
I have put on the new man which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him (Col. 3:10).
|My old man is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts (Eph. 4:22).||
My new man is created in righteousness and true holiness (Eph. 4:24).
|My old man was crucified with Him (Rom. 6:6).||
My life is hidden with Christ in God (Col. 3:3).
|I died with Christ (Col. 2:20).||
I am risen with Christ (Col. 3:1).
|I've been baptized into His death (Rom. 6:3; Gal. 2:20).||
I've been planted together in the likeness of His resurrection (Rom. 6:5).
|I have been crucified with Christ (Gal. 2:20).||
Nevertheless I live . . . and the life that I now live I live by the faith of the Son of God (Gal. 2:20).
|Old things passed away (2 Cor. 5:17).||
All things have become new! I am a new creature in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17).
|I am dead unto sin (Rom. 6:11).||
I am alive unto God (Rom. 6:11).
|I am dead in Adam (1 Cor. 15:22).||
I am made alive in Christ (1 Cor. 15:22).
|I once was a slave of sin (Rom. 6:17,20).||
I am now free from sin and a slave of God (Rom. 6:18,22).
For further study: (1) The Christian Life and How to Live It; (2) What is the Believer's Rule of Life?
|The Middletown Bible Church
349 East Street
Middletown, CT 06457